Herodotus and Samos: Personal or Political?

Irwin, Elizabeth K.

This article addresses the reasons behind Herodotus' interest in the island of Samos. Taking as its starting point the famous passage about Samian erga (3.60), I examine Herodotus' stated and implicit reasons for his extended Samian logoi. Scholars tend to explain his interest in Samos as lying in details of his biography. I argue that any such biographical connection to the island merely reinforces stronger unstated reasons for going on long about Samos: these have to do with Periclean Athens' competition with Polycratean Samos as a historical antecedent for thalassocracy, and--not unrelated--the Samian revolt.


Also Published In

The Classical World

More About This Work

Academic Units
The Johns Hopkins University Press
Published Here
July 2, 2015