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“Honor” translates the Greek timē, a concept whose core meanings center on notions of value and esteem. Timē is ordinary Greek for the “price” or “value” of material commodities, but in contexts of social interaction it also refers to the esteem or deference of others and to the status, role, or claim that attracts such esteem or deference. Timē is thus a feature of virtually every form of social interaction, in the Histories and elsewhere. Concern for honor is a central motive of Herodotus’ characters, deeply embedded in a wider network of emotions and motives, from the shame of failure to the envy that is typical of rivals and the anger that calls for vengeance. A particular focus for Herodotus, however, is the timē of kings, especially that of Xerxes, both as the status-role that commands recognition and as a motive that blinds one to the limits of individual self-assertion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHerodotus Encyclopedia
EditorsChristopher Baron
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9781119113522
ISBN (Print)9781118689646
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2021


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