Black Doves Speak: Herodotus And The Languages Of Barbarians

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Black Doves Speak: Herodotus And The Languages Of Barbarians


In Greek thought barbaroi are utterers of unintelligible or inarticulate sounds. What importance does the text of Herodotus's Histories attribute to language as a criterion of ethnic identity? The answer to this question illuminates the empirical foundations of Herodotus's pluralistic worldview. "The first translator of cultures also translates describes and evaluates foreign speech to a degree unparalleled by other Greek ancient authors. For Herodotus, language is an area of interesting but surprisingly unproblematic difference which he offers to his audience as a model for coming to terms in a neutral way with other, more emotionally charged, cultural differences.

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Center for Hellenic Studies

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.


This work is freely available under a Creative Commons license.

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