Theopompus The Historian

Book Details

Author  Gordon S. Shrimpton
Publisher  McGill-Queen's University Press
Publication Date   April 1, 1991
ISBN  0773508376
Pages  368

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Theopompus was primarily known in antiquity for his historical works, which included an Epitome of Herodotus; Hellenica, a twelve-volume history of Greece; and the fifty-eight volume Philippica, which focused mainly on the career of Philip II of Macedon. All of Theopompus' works were lost by late antiquity except fifty-three volumes of the Philippica, which survived into Byzantine times only to disappear by perhaps the tenth century. Before these works were lost, geographers, lexicographers, biographers, collectors of anecdotes, and later historians all quoted Theopompus in their writings and many critics of historical style commented on Theopompus' work. Concentrating on the Hellenica and the Philippica, Shrimpton studies the fragments and testimonies to reveal what can be gleaned about the scope and content of Theopompus' two major works. He deals systematically with the problems of interpretation and makes clear the methodological background of his reconstructions and evaluations, furnishing the basis for further methodological debate. Theopompus' moral and political views are discussed, as are his treatment of two of the most important figures of the middle of the fourth century BC, Philip and Demosthenes. In addition, Shrimpton provides a comprehensive index of the proper names found in the fragments and reassesses the authorship of the Hellenica Oxyrhynchia, suggesting that it is most plausibly identified with Cratippus.

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