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date: 27 September 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This essay shows how in Thucydides, and especially in the Archaeology, the mythological periods of Greek history become the subject of argumentation, rather than narrative exposition. It also points out the absence of references to myth and mythological figures from the speeches of the History. By contrast, Thucydides recorded the past and present formation of myths—for instance, the myth of the tyrant slayers Harmodius and Aristogiton—and the social and political effect of such myths. References to mythological figures were therefore restricted to the narrator, who may recall them at moments when he seems to empathize with the sufferings of the war, such when he tells the story of Theseus’ founding of the city of Athens during his account of the Athenian evacuation of Attica in 431 bce.

Keywords: archaeology, founders, thalassocrat, Minos, Agamemnon, Theseus, Harmodius, Aristogiton, speeches, empathy.

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