Skip to main content

The Speeches in Herodotus and Thucydides: A Comparison

Landon, Graham Anthony (2017) The Speeches in Herodotus and Thucydides: A Comparison. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:62456)

Language: English
Download (2MB) Preview
[thumbnail of 208The speeches in H  T.pdf]
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format


The past century and a half of our era has seen a plethora of research, analysis and comment on the two major Greek historians of antiquity. Seminal commentaries have appeared, notably those of Macan (1895, 1908), of How and Wells (1913), and of Asheri, Lloyd and Corcella (1988-1998) on Herodotus, and of Gomme, Andrewes and Dover (1945-1981), and of Hornblower (1991-2008) on Thucydides. These have concentrated, as one would have expected of historical commentaries, on analysing the texts from an historical viewpoint although all, to a greater or lesser extent (Hornblower's fully), do comment in their introductions or appendices on matters of composition, language and style. There have also appeared many studies of both historians, either in book or article form, most of which are well known and cited often in this thesis.

The post-modern revolution in the study of language and literature over the past century has also had a significant effect upon historiographical studies and thus upon this thesis. Its progress into the twenty-first century is well described in summary by Dewald (2005, 1-13), and analysed in the case of Herodotean studies by Luraghi (2001, 1-9). Meanwhile the corresponding revolution in Thucydidean studies is pithily summed up by Connor (1977), while excellent summaries of the progress of Herodotean and Thucydidean scholarship over the same period are provided by Marincola (2001, 1-8), and by Dewald and Marincola (2006, 1-7).

An important offshoot of this revolution, not least because of its effect upon the subject of this thesis, has been the rise of narratology, the most illuminating explanation of which so far for classical students has been written by de Jong (2014) in her book Narratology and Classics; this thesis takes cognisance of this relatively new science. Despite the advances in the study of both historians, however, there had still been few attempts comprehensively to compare their Speeches, until the important work appared, in German, of Scardino in 2007. In addition, there has been the recent 4 publication, in 2012 during the writing of this thesis, of a complete book devoted to a comparison of Herodotus and Thucydides, edited by Foster and Lateiner and containing articles by Pelling, Stadter and, again, by Scardino, all three of which are directly relevant to this topic and which I cite passim. Other recent works of direct relevance are de Bakker (2007) and Zali (2014). Nevertheless, the controversy about the origins of the Speeches and the respective contributions made by our two historians to this medium in the history of historiography is still far from settled. And yet it is the use of speeches that provides one of the most obvious similarities methodologically between the two Histories. Indeed the Speeches may hold the key to a better understanding of their authors' overall methodology and message, and thus to their individual and combined contribution to the early development of historiography.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: La'da, Csaba
Uncontrolled keywords: comparison logos erga epic poetry drama rhetoric quantitative qualitative original research
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 28 Jul 2017 12:33 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 06:12 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year