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date: 15 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses Thucydides’ influence on the historians of late antiquity, with a particular emphasis on Procopius. Topics include an overview of history writing in late antiquity; a look at some basic Thucydidean borrowings, from subject matter to types of episodes; a discussion of rhetoric and education in late antiquity and its role in fostering Thucydides’ impact; the particular place that Thucydides’ description of the siege of Plataea had in later accounts of sieges; and a discussion of Procopius’ particular engagement with Thucydides. The chapter argues that Thucydides’ evident influence was not the result of a malaise among those late antique historians who chose to write classicizing, “old-fashioned” histories, but rather of the immediate usefulness of Thucydides’ approach for those interested in war and politics.

Keywords: late antiquity, Procopius, intertextuality, siege accounts, pre-battle speeches, military exhortations, paraineseis, Belisarius, allusion

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