Herodotus' Homer: Troy, Thermopylae, and the Dorians
Matthew, Christopher; Trundle, Matthew (eds.). Beyond the Gates of Fire: New Perspectives on the Battle of Thermopylae. Barnsley: Pen and Sword Military. 117-137 and 202-208, 2013
23 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2015
Date Written: 2013
This chapter outlines the epic backdrop to the battle of Thermopylae, and includes a catalogue of epic echoes throughout Herodotus book 7 as well as a detailed discussion of Herodotus' battle narrative. The semi-mythological character of the battle is explored in terms of its mythological significance for the Spartans as Dorians: since the Spartans who were at Troy were supposedly not Dorians (and the evidence on this point, pro and contra, is outlined), Thermopylae marks the first participation of the Dorians in a truly pan-Hellenic "myth".
Keywords: Homer, Persian Wars, Trojan War, Greek ethnic identity, Dorians
JEL Classification: Z00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation