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480 BCE: The Making of a World Historical Date

Suzanne Marchand, Department of History/Louisianna State University

April 7, 2023 · 12:00 pm1:30 pm · 103 Scheide Caldwell House

Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies
WIlhelm von Kaulbach, "The Sea Battle of Salamis" (1868; Wikimedia commons)

Please see event details and registration on the Hellenic Studies Webpage

Program in the Ancient World
Center for Collaborative History, Department of History

This paper will discuss the ways in which the significance of the date 480/79 was elevated in the course of historiographical developments of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  Most particularly, it will emphasize the ways in which readings of Herodotus’ Histories changed over this period, as Christian readings of the first books gave way to a new, but never fully convincing Whiggish emphasis on the ‘clash of civilizations.’ I hope to show not only that that The Histories do not need to be read in this way, but that centuries of readers have provided us with many alternative visions of the lessons we might learn from ‘the father of history.’

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