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date: 20 June 2021

p. 766. Herodotus and the divinelocked

p. 766. Herodotus and the divinelocked

  • Jennifer T. Roberts


‘Herodotus and the divine’ explains how much of The Histories turns on the importance of digesting and analysing oracular pronouncements with humility and caution. Herodotus uses the way people in his Histories respond to divine signs to demonstrate both the character of specific individuals and human nature. What, then, is the province of the transcendent divine in The Histories? Divinity acts to punish hybris and excess, however Herodotus lived at a time of tremendous intellectual ferment in Greece, when religious belief ranged from unquestioning piety to scoffing scepticism. Indubitably, gods are present in The Histories, but it is the human dimension to which Herodotus accords pride of place.

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