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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
December 2022
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Book description

In this concise but stimulating book on history and Greek culture, Hans-Joachim Gehrke continues to refine his work on 'intentional history', which he defines as a history in the self-understanding of social groups and communities – connected to a corresponding understanding of the other – which is important, even essential, for the collective identity, social cohesion, political behaviour and the cultural orientation of such units. In a series of four chapters Gehrke illustrates how Greeks' histories were consciously employed to help shape political and social realities. In particular, he argues that poets were initially the masters of the past and that this dominance of the aesthetic in the view of the past led to an indissoluble amalgamation of myth and history and lasting tension between poetry and truth in the genre of historiography. The book reveals a more sophisticated picture of Greek historiography, its intellectual foundations, and its wider social-political contexts.

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