Francois Boucher, “Arion on the Dolphin” (1748); Wikimedia Commons.

Project (2018)

Herodotus Among the Moderns

Over the centuries, Herodotus’ readers have cast him as “the father of history” and “the father of lies,” as a Greek patriot and a barbarian lover, as a source to secure scriptural truth and a superstitious pagan. Based on decades of reading and research, this book project examines Herodotus’ diverse legacies since about 1700, demonstrating the formative impact of his Histories on a wide range of disciplines, including theology, geography, anthropology, zoology, and history proper. Much more multivalent, diffuse, and entertaining (flying snakes included!), and much less fully explored than the reception history of his usual antagonist, Thucydides, the often counter-cultural legacies of Herodotus form an epic tale well worth telling.