Published online by Cambridge University Press: 08 May 2021
The fourth chapter is focused on reconfigurations of cosmography within the expanding, contested archive of the Classical period. It looks at successive rewritings of Hyperborea in the changing epistemological landscape of different Classical genres. The stakes at play in identifying Hyperborea as an object of knowledge are considered from the perspective of the great upheavals in the cultures of wisdom of the Classical city. This chapter is interested in situating Classical rewritings of Hyperborea within the ongoing effort of scholarship to move away from the old evolutionary ‘From Myth to Reason’ narrative. A first section looks at cosmographical usages of the distant North in Attic tragedy. The second section reconsiders the question of Xenophanes' reception of Aristeas of Proconnesus. The monumentalisation of Aristeas in the agora of early-fifth century BCE Metapontum is the focus of the third section, with a review of the evidence for Pythagorean appropriations of Hyperborea in southern Italy, and the early circulation of the Abaris legend. The fourth section deals with some usages of Hyperborea in early prose. This opens the way for the final section, which looks anew at the cosmography at stake in Herodotus' extensive deconstruction of Hyperborea in Book 4 of the Histories.
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