Sunday, November 20, 2022


Double-Edged Arguments

A.R. Burn, Persia and the Greeks: The Defense of the West, 546-478 B.C. (1962; rpt. Minerva Press, 1968), p. 369 (on the Themistocles Decree from Troizen):
In dealing with details the discussion runs into great difficulties; nearly all the arguments are double-edged. If a detail is consistent with Herodotos, it can be used (a) as evidence of genuineness or (b) as ground for suspicion that a forger has used the current tradition; if it is awkward and anomalous, it can nevertheless be used as an argument for genuineness, on the ground that no forger would have done that. If a detail of usage can be shown to be known in the early fifth century by a parallel usage in Aeschylus, it can be suggested that the forger used Aeschylus.

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