Herodotus's great work is not only an account of the momentous
historical conflict between the Greeks and the Persians but also
the earliest sustained exploration in the West of the problem of
cultural difference. Francois Hartog asks fundamental questions
about how Herodotus represented this difference. How did he and his
readers understand the customs and beliefs of those who were not
Greek? How did the historian convince his readers that his account
of other peoples was reliable? How is it possible to comprehend a
way of life radically different from one's own? What are the
linguistic, rhetorical, and philosophical means by which Herodotus
fashions his text into a mirror of the marginal and unknown? In
answering these questions, Hartog transforms our understanding of
the "father of history." His Herodotus is less the chronicler of a
victorious Greece than a brilliant writer in pursuit of otherness.
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