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

See all articles by Peter Gainsford

Peter Gainsford

Victoria University of Wellington

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

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

Gainsford, Peter, Herodotus' Homer: Troy, Thermopylae, and the Dorians (2013). 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. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2665956

Peter Gainsford (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington
New Zealand

HOME PAGE: http://victoria.academia.edu/PeterGainsford

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