Theopompus of Chios: History and Rhetoric in the Fourth Century BC

Theopompus of Chios: History and Rhetoric in the Fourth Century BC

Theopompus of Chios: History and Rhetoric in the Fourth Century BC

Theopompus of Chios: History and Rhetoric in the Fourth Century BC

Synopsis

Theopompus of Chios was one of the most important ancient Greek historians of the fourth century BC. Although his work has survived only in fragments, it is still a rich and vital source of information for Greek political, social, and intellectual history during the age of Philip of Macedon. This book explores both Theopompus's historical method and the intellectual milieu in which he worked, while placing the fragments themselves in "context" by examining where and why they are cited by later authors. Flower's illuminating and original study leads up to some important new conclusions about historical writing in the fourth century BC--that there was no so-called Isocratean school of rhetorical history; that Theopompus used moral explanations typical of Greek thought to account for historical changes; and that oral tradition, as opposed to rhetorical invention, was still vibrant in the fourth century. All Greek in the book is translated.

Excerpt

Theopompus of Chios wrote a very large book. in this I have tried not to imitate him. Rather, I have attempted to make this study as accessible as possible to those who are interested in the history and literature of Classical Greece, but who may not have a specialist knowledge of fragmentary historians. in order to make this book both intelligible and convenient to consult, I have taken several steps. Quotation of ancient Greek has been kept to a minimum and all Greek is translated. Disagreements with other scholars have been relegated for the most part to the footnotes, where they are less likely to interrupt the flow of the argument. I have attempted to free the reader from the necessity of having a copy of Jacoby (Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker) at hand. in general, when a fragment is discussed, both its number in Jacoby and the reference in the source are given. Important fragments are translated either in the text or in Appendix 2. the translations are of Jacoby's text, unless otherwise noted. All translations are my own; in places they differ significantly from those found elsewhere. I have not cited anything published after 1992, except for Badian (1993) and Brunt (1993), which are revisions of earlier articles.

This book has its origin in my 1986 doctoral dissertation 'Theopompus of Chios'. in the following years, I rewrote and revised the whole, to the extent that the present volume is an entirely new work. My debts are many to those who helped improve the manuscript at various times. in particular, I would like to thank Alan Boegehold, George Cawkwell, Charles W. Fornara, who was my thesis adviser, Ludwig Koenen, John Marincola, Martin Ostwald, Robert Palmer, Kurt Raaflaub, and Zeph Stewart. On points of detail I profited from the assistance of my colleagues Joel Farber and Christopher Hildebrandt, and of C. B. R. Pelling and Peter Parsons. Much of the rewriting and rethinking took place at the Center for Hellenic Studies, in Washington dc, where I was a Junior Fellow during the 1990-1 academic year. Subsequently, many useful comments were . . .

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