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Greek Notions of the Past in the Archaic and Classical Eras

History Without Historians

Edited by John Marincola, Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, Calum Maciver

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This volume in The Edinburgh Leventis Studies series collects the papers presented at the sixth A. G. Leventis conference organised under the auspices of the Department of Classics at the University of Edinburgh. As with earlier volumes, it engages with new research and new approaches to the Greek past, and brings the fruits of that research to a wider audience.

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List of Illustrations
1. Introduction: A Past without Historians, John Marincola
2. Homer and Heroic History, Jonas Grethlein
3. Hesiod on Human History, Bruno Currie
4. Helen and ‘I’ in Early Greek Lyric, Deborah Boedeker
5. Stesichorus and Ibycus: plain tales from the western front, Ewen Bowie
6. Pindar and the Reconstruction of the Past, Maria Pavlou
7. Debating the Past in Euripides’ Troades and Orestes and in Sophocles’ Electra, Ruth Scodel
8. Tragic Pasts and Euripidean Explainers, Allen Romano
9. Old Comedy and Popular History, Jeffrey Henderson
10. Attic Heroes and the Construction of the Athenian Past in the Fifth Century, H. A. Shapiro
11. Family time: temporality, gender and materiality in ancient Greece, Lin Foxhall
12. Common knowledge and the contestation of history in some fourth-century Athenian trials, Jon Hesk
13. Plato and the Stability of History, Kathryn Morgan
14. Inscribing the Past in Fourth-Century Athens, S. D. Lambert
15. The Politics of the Past: Remembering Revolution at Athens, Julia L. Shear
16. ‘Remembering the ancient way of life’: primitivism in Greek sacrificial ritual, Emily Kearns
17. The Great Kings of the Fourth Century and the Greek Memory of the Persian Past, Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones
18. Commentary, Simon Goldhill, Suzanne Saïd and Christopher Pelling
Index Locorum

About the Author

John Marincola is Leon Golden Professor of Classics at Florida State University in Tallahassee. He is the author of Authority and Tradition in Ancient Historiography, Greek Historians, and, with Michael A. Flower, Herodotus Histories: Book IX. He revised the Penguin edition of Herodotus’ Histories, and provided the translation for The Landmark Xenophon’s Hellenica. His edited volumes include the Cambridge Companion to Herodotus and A Companion to Greek and Roman Historiography.

Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones is Professor of Ancient History at Cardiff University and a specialist in the histories and cultures of ancient Iran and Greece. He also works on dress and gender in antiquity and on the ancient world in popular culture, especially Hollywood cinema. He is the author of "Aphrodite’s Tortoise: the veiled woman of Ancient Greece" and "King and Court in Ancient Persia 559-331 BCE" and of "Ctesias’ History of Persia". He is editor of "Women’s Dress in the Ancient Greek World", "Greek Notions of the Past in the Archaic and Classical Eras", "Creating a Hellenistic World" and "The Hellenistic Court" as well as numerous articles on Greek and Persian culture. Forthcoming work includes "The Culture of Animals in Antiquity" and "Through Esther's Eyes: An Iconographic Exegesis of the Book of Esther". He is the series editor of Edinburgh Studies in Ancient Persia and co-series editor of Screening Antiquity.

Calum Maciver is a Lecturer in Classics at the University of Edinburgh


If this brilliant collection allows any one unarguable inference, it is that there's no such thing as 'the past', any more than there's one single and uncontestable definition of, or way of doing, 'history'. Going back to the very roots of Western historiography in early Greece, John Marincola and his expert team do a grand job of radical conceptual reappraisal in this far-reaching, deeply scholarly and yet accessible addition to the outstanding "Edinburgh Leventis Studies" series.

- Paul Cartledge, A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture

...offer[s] much to anyone interested in scholarly debates as well as in archaic and classical Greece more broadly... The editors deserve thanks, then, for a volume that should do much to inform and nuance future debate.

- Tim Rood, St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, Classical Journal Online

John Marincola opens this volume with a lucid critique of Jacoby’s influential entwicklungsgeschichtliches model, according to which the development of Greek historiography (and of the Greeks’ historical consciousness in general) resided in the individual progress of Herodotus from geographer and ethnographer to historian. What follows is a tour-de-force from Homer to third-century inscriptions. The sixteen contributors and three commentators (Simon Goldhill, Suzanne Saïd and Christopher Pelling) break down the old dichotomy of critical historiography, on the one hand, and other, "inferior" forms of engagement with the past, on the other. This book provides excellent snapshots of the current state of the study of social memory in ancient Greece, but also shows the way for further research in this exciting field... Everybody interested in the manifold uses and meanings of the past in archaic and classical Greece should read it.

- Bernd Steinbock, University of Western Ontario , Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"If there is any single inference to be drawn safely from this brilliant collection, it is that 'the past' is itself a deeply questionable notion."
- Paul Cartledge, University of Cambridge, The Anglo-Hellenic Review (No 47)
A rich volume.
- Gocha R. Tsetskhladze, Linacre College, Oxford, Ancient West and East

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