The Shape of Herodotean Rhetoric

A Study of the Speeches in Herodotus’ Histories with Special Attention to Books 5-9


In The Shape of Herodotean Rhetoric, Vasiliki Zali offers a fresh assessment of Herodotus’ rhetorical awareness. Redressing the usual view that considers Thucydides as a significant jump from earlier authors in the rhetorical tradition, Zali attempts to find a place for Herodotus. The volume explores the direct and indirect speeches in Herodotus’ fifth to ninth books, focusing in particular on the ways in which they highlight two major narrative themes: the fragility of Greek unity and the problematic Greco-Persian polarity. Through discussion of case studies and Herodotus’ literary background, Zali brings Herodotus’ sophisticated rhetorical system to life, examines the ways in which this system affects Herodotus’ authority, and demonstrates that Herodotus occupies a crucial place in the development of rhetoric.

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Vasiliki Zali, Ph.D. (2009) in Classics (University College London), is University Teacher in Ancient Greek Culture and Language at the University of Liverpool. She is co-editor of the forthcoming Brill’s Companion to Herodotus in Antiquity and Beyond.
"Zalis Buch [zeichnet sich] durch einen originellen Ansatz und eine Fülle treffender Beobachtung aus, die den Horizont der Reden-Forschung in der antiken Geschichtsschreibung gewiß erweitern können." - Carlo Scardino, in: Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2015.08.39
Students and scholars interested in Herodotus, ancient rhetoric, rhetoric in ancient historiography, classical studies, Greek literature, and ancient history.
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