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Document Details :

Title: Thucydides on Aetolia
Subtitle: A Lesson on Cultural History and the Possibilities of Historical Learning
Author(s): HIRSCH, Tobias
Journal: Ancient Society
Volume: 52    Date: 2022   
Pages: 69-96
DOI: 10.2143/AS.52.0.3291457

Abstract :
In the first and third book of his Histories, Thucydides deals with Aetolia, a region in the remote north-west of Greece. Thus, the historian shapes ethnic otherness attributing practices of an archaic past to a people considered to live on the edge of civilization. During the Athenian expedition against Aetolia in 426 BC, the invaders’ prejudices prove wrong, and the remote ‘half-barbarians’ succeed, as the inherent dynamic of the war, κίνησις, changed their way of life. As the Histories continue, for the Athenian general Demosthenes as well as for Thucydides’ readers, the expedition to Aetolia retrospectively functions as a lesson of cultural learning, which turns out to be only partially successful.

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