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Quantifying Mentalities: The Use of Numbers by Ancient Greek HistoriansCatherine Rubincam 2021
This systematic, quantified study is based on the compilation of statistics concerning a standard constellation of aspects of all the numbers in the historical works of the five earliest wholly or at least substantially surviving ancient Greek historians: Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon (Anabasis and Hellenica), Polybius, and Diodorus Siculus. Such a comprehensive study has not been attempted before. For scholars reading and writing about the history of ancient Greece the volume offers a tool for interpreting the numbers in these ancient texts with more sensitivity to the world in which they were written. Standard aspects of number use captured by the coding system are: the different types of number (cardinals, ordinals, compounds, and non-explicit but definite numbers); the subject category to which each number belongs (Time, Distance-Size, Military, Population, Money, and Miscellaneous); and the types of any qualifications attached to it (Approximating, Comparative, Alternative, and Emphatic). The statistics also facilitate comparisons of every aspect of number use between authors and texts, enabling the delineation of a numeric profile for each one. This allows us to read these texts with a greater sensitivity to how they might have sounded to the author and his original readers, thus providing a firmer foundation for reconstructing or interpreting ancient Greek history.
- 978-0-472-13240-9 (hardcover)
- 978-0-472-12861-7 (ebook)
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