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Sense And Sentence Complexity. Sentence Structure, Sentence Connection, And Tense-Aspect As Indicators Of Narrative Mode In Thucydides' Histories

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Chapter Summary

Thucydides’ unique literary style is particularly known for its striking complexity, which often verges on obscurity. However, Thucydides’ style is not homogenous in this respect. In his narrative he frequently employs a style that is more simple and straightforward. Such passages, in turn, are characterized by chains of relatively short, paratactic clauses which are connected by ĸαί. In the extended passage from Thucydides book 6, the stretches of text that reveal a simple, paratactic style are printed in bold-face. This chapter addresses the question: how we should explain this striking alternation of narrative styles. It argues that these alternations of narrative style can be explained by means of the concept of narrative mode. But before it turns to the issue of narrative mode, the chapter takes a closer look at some linguistic properties of the passage from book 6.

Keywords: book 6; linguistic properties; literary style; narrative mode; Thucydides



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