A Handbook to the Reception of Thucydides (HCRZ - Wiley Blackwell Handbooks to Classical Reception)

A Handbook to the Reception of Thucydides (HCRZ - Wiley Blackwell Handbooks to Classical Reception)

Language: English

Pages: 624

ISBN: 1405196912

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


A Handbook to the Reception of Thucydides offers an invaluable guide to the reception of Thucydides, with a strong emphasis on comparing and contrasting different traditions of reading and interpretation.

• Presents an in-depth, comprehensive overview of the reception of the Greek historian Thucydides

• Features personal reflections by eminent scholars on the significance and perennial importance of Thucydides’ work

• Features an internationally renowned cast of contributors, including established academics as well as new voices in the field

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(ibid.: 23), that is, history writing that is focused on the past. Contemporary history writing, the biography of the living, is then criticized as a distinct source of information which cannot attain the status of model historiography due to its lack of critical perspective. The approach of contemporary historians, Arnold writes, “cannot avoid giving us some correct and valuable impressions of its times” as well as its author’s “own mind with its peculiar leanings, his own language with its

storiografia nell’età degli Antoni.” Critica Storica 20: 3–31. 2 The Renaissance Scholarship, Criticism, and Education Marianne Pade Background: Byzantium and Medieval Italy Thucydides had been widely read and used by Greek scholars and writers during the Byzantine period, and he is frequently mentioned or quoted directly (Krumbacher 1897; Moravcsik 1958; Pade 2003: 109–11). As late as the fifteenth century, Byzantine historians used him as a model; Michael Critobulus of Imbros, for instance,

Nonetheless, the respect and veneration accorded to Thucydides’ work on the part of humanists did not automatically result in the historian becoming the most widely read during this period. Authors such as Burke (1966) have cast doubt on whether his History had ever been popular reading. The reason for this comparison is due to the proverbial obscurity of the text (similarly conveyed in certain translations that often did not entirely make it clear what the author wanted to say) and the fact that

translation) Quintilian goes on to assess the “lesser” Greek historians in similar comparative terms: Philistus, for instance, is “an imitator of Thucydides, and while he is much weaker, he is at times more lucid than Thucydides” (10.74). When he turns to the Roman historians the same comprehensive, quasi-synchronic understanding of the tradition is in evidence: But history is not conceded to the Greeks. I would have no fear in pitting Sallust against Thucydides, nor would Herodotus disdain Livy

of the eighteenth century” (Momigliano 1992: 57), or that “Thucydides [was] an author much neglected by the 1789 generation in favour of Plutarch” (Vidal-Naquet 1990: 230)? The problem needs to be tackled by applying a finer timescale to Thucydides’ reception, especially for the two decades after the Quarrel and before Rousseau: between Rome and Sparta, in Rollin’s era, which is also the time of Montesquieu (Vidal-Naquet 2000: 232; Cambiano 2003: 314, 332, 346; Guelfucci 2006). The second problem

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