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Greek Ethnography

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Chapter Summary

The inclusion of Ionian Greeks in the Persian empire and the birth of Ionian philosophy helped to create an awareness of other people and a new way of looking at the world that had not previously existed. This combination of circumstances gave birth to Hekataios' work. The generalized presentation of Hekataios served to spur on more specific treatments of individual countries or ethnic groups. Although the remains of these works are too fragmentary to warrant dogmatic conclusions, their fundamental agreement with the ethnographic logoi of Herodotos indicates the establishment of a distinct genre. There were four major areas of concern for ancient ethnographers: the land, the history, the marvels, and the customs of a people. The specific form of the treatise varied from ethnic group to ethnic group even within the same author.

Keywords: Greek ethnography; Hekataios; Ionian Greeks; Ionian philosophy; logoi



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