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2 Debates

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the representation of debate in Herodotus. Speeches are viewed in a wider context of competitive discourse, and the dynamics of debate come under scrutiny. It centres on how the kind of language that describes debate and the mechanics of debate sustain and problematize specifically the fragility of Greek unity and the distinction between Greeks and Persians. The chapter opens with some general observations on Herodotus' stance towards Greek and Persian debate. It then turns to the use of particular vocabulary by which Greek collectivity and disunity, through dissonance and clash of opinions, are brought forward, and by which the Persian autocratic manner as well as a sense of openness are communicated. The chapter offers a concise comparison of Herodotean, Homeric and Thucydidean debate. It culminates in a series of Greek and Persian case studies.

Keywords: Greek; Herodotus; Homer; Persia; Thucydides



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