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The emotions of historical agents, of Herodotus as author and narrator, and of the work’s potential audiences loom large in the Histories. Among several prominent emotional motives (especially anger and fear), wonder stands out, both as a justification for the inclusion of elements of the narrative and as an attitude of narrator and characters that steers audience response. Emotions are also significant aspects of Herodotean ethnography: his interest in cross-cultural variation involves a focus on emotional norms and the institutions and sanctions by which they are sustained. The coalescence of emotional perspectives in author, historical agents, and audience is at its most pronounced in the narrative of Xerxes’ invasion in Books 7-9, where the author sets the emotions that promote and undermine Greek resistance against the emotional styles of the Persians and their king.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHerodotus Encyclopedia
EditorsChristopher Baron
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781119113522
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2021


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