Friday, February 23, 2024


The Personality of Herodotus

Peter Green, From Ikaria to the Stars: Classical Mythification, Ancient and Modern (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004), pp. 69-70:
It is Herodotus's personality that irritates a certain type of intellect: his sunny cosmopolitanism, his open-mindedness over questions of religion, his obvious enjoyment of women (and the large role allotted to them in the Histories), his addiction to anecdotes, his discursive digressions on anything from tribal couvade to the walls of Babylon, his refusal to take up any kind of ideological stance save in the pursuit of freedom (eleutheria), his preference for inductive as opposed to deductive reasoning—that is, amassing bits of evidence to see what, if any, pattern may emerge from them, rather than coming up with a theory first and trying to make the facts fit it.

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