Authority and Tradition in Ancient Historiography by John Marincola

By John Marincola

This e-book is a learn of a few of the claims to authority made by means of the traditional Greek and Roman historians all through their histories, and of ways within which the culture of old historiography formed their responses and molded the presentation of themselves to their viewers. Guiding them of their claims to be authoritative used to be the culture of the founders and most sensible practitioners of heritage, Herodotus and Thucydides.

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The Achaeans seem to have taken over the palace at Knossos as a going concern, and would presumably have left the accounting activities more or less unaltered, though perhaps insisting that some accounts should be done in Greek. Thus Minoan scribes would probably be left, in the main, in control. It is highly probable, too, that many Cretan craftsmen left Crete for the mainland during the whole period between the earthquake and the final destruction of Knossos ; and not un­ likely that scribes would .

Con­ versely Homer completely ignores scribes and the record system of the Mycenaean palaces. Many differences between the world of the tablets and that of the poems are to be expected -we should anticipate, for example, that many of the objects described by the aoidoi would take on the colouring of the post­ Mycenaean age. But the differences in social structure, economy and specialized occupation are most striking, and undoubtedly strengthen the case of those who claim that the tablets do not throw much light on Homer, that the social and cultural background of the poems is largely post-Mycenaean, and that there was a profound change in society and institutions between the 1 2th century and the 1 0th and 9th.

1 Nevertheless I suspect that these Akaiwasha are Achaeans of some kind, probably not from the mainland but from Rhodes, Cyprus or the Levant-one reason being that the Odyssey contains a probable reminiscence of one such raid on Egypt. In his false tale to Eumaeus at 14. 245ff. Odysseus relates how, as a Cretan nobleman, he had set off directly after his return from Troy with a fleet of nine ships, which reached the Nile on the fifth day. Piracy of some kind was intended, as is explicitly stated in the slightly different version at 17.

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