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The Problem of the “Aithiopian Logos”

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Chapter Summary

Herodotus uses logos to refer to the whole of his work as well as to smaller narrative units in it while representing himself as a narrator and at the same time a histor who is retelling stories heard from others. He frequently separates the retold logoi by simple narrative devices or more complex framing sentences. Uniting as an experiment the Aithiopian passages into a hypothetical Aithiopian logos, one can find that the history of Aithiopia, as far as this "reconstructed" narrative has a historical dimension at all, has only Egyptian reference points. It may thus be concluded that Herodotus did not collect material for, and/or compose an Aithiopian logos dealing with the historical kingdom of Kush lying south of Egypt's southern border, whose kings also ruled over Egypt for a period of time some centuries before Herodotus' day.

Keywords: Aithiopian Logos; Egypt; Herodotus; Kush



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