John K. Davies, Ephoros and Theopompos: two contrasting horses from the same stable

By | 15 maja 2013

Instytut Historyczny Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego serdecznie zaprasza na wykład prof. Johna K. Daviesa (University of Liverpool) pt. Ephoros and Theopompos: two contrasting horses from the same stable, który odbędzie się 21 maja 2013 (wtorek) o godzinie 12:00 przy ul. Szewskiej 39, s.104.
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This paper will ‘compare and contrast’ the historical achievement of two of Isokrates’ most distinguished students, insofar as the extant fragments allow us to do so. It will first look at Ephoros and at the cultural conditions which are likely to have influenced him, including his Anatolian background, the shifting patterns of mainland politics from the 370s onwards and of the human networks of the Eastern Mediterranean, and a whole range of developments in education, in systematic knowledge, in non-divine explanations, and in a growing sense of ‘Hellas’ as a cultural reality. Scu developments stimulated him to create the first ‘History of Greece’, and in that and other respects he is in a very real sense our founding father. That cannot be said of Theopompos, whose complex profile and ambiguous reputation are explored with particular (but not exclusive) reference to his attitudes towards Athens. The paper will argue that those attitudes reflect both a serious philosophically-based critique of Greek society and a strong tendency to indulge in sensationalist tabloid journalism — a combination which has made him very difficult to characterise but which makes some sense as the reflection of a conviction that self-mastery in all circumstances was a necessity.