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CLCV 1002A - Oct. 9, 2012.rtf

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Carleton University
Classical Civilization
CLCV 1002

CLCV 1002AOct 9 2012Rivalries of the Greek CityStates and Growth of Athenian DemocracySources for HistoryIn ancient Greece war and politics were the main subjects of historical writingsTwo major historians recorded the history of Greek wars Herodotus and ThucydidesHerodotus Father of Historyowrote the Historia inquiry which gave a detailed account of the Persian wars and their aftermath as well as the contemporary cultures of the groups conquered by the Persian empireohe was the first person to write a large scale prose work narrative detailing causes and effectsobeing too young to remember the Wars he systematically obtained information from the older generation through personal interviewsoalthough most of his facts were confirmed by the later findings and the work ofother historians due to the nature of his sources much of the Historia was riddled with discrepancies and blatant errorsomany of the tall tales reported he presented as examples of the false Greek notions of the time eg golddigging ants in the Hindu Kush acknowledging the limitations of his resources in detailing cultures as they wereowas however complicit in crafting stories and embellishments of his own to explain unknown events and to illustrate his own beliefs some Hellenocentriccausalitythe influence of divine fate on events eg Xerxes hubris punishmentthe interactions of nations eg imperialism of Persiacause for warhuman natureeg the corruption of Croesus by his powerGreek racial supremacyeg downfall of Persia due to lack of democratic gvt
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