Tsami Karatasou 5
Athina 117 42
Carlos Hernandez Garces from the University of Oslo will give a talk titled:
Αἰτίη in Herodotus’ Histories: exploring the Space between Predetermination and Free Will
The talk will be presented at the premises of the Norwegian Institute at Athens, Tsami Karatasou 5, 5th floor, on May 26, 2017 starting at 7 PM
Egbert Bakker’s discussion of the notion of time in the Iliad in ‘Khronos, Kleos and Ideology from Homer to Herodotus’ demonstrated that the absence of a term does not imply the absence of an idea. The scarcity of time terms in the Homeric poem, he concludes, does not imply an undeveloped notion of time, as Hermann Fränkel had posited. Indeed, in practice, the experience of time in epic manifests itself as κλέος (good repute, fame). In my paper, I explore the idea of αἰτίη (cause, responsibility) in Herodotus’ Histories as the manifestation of history’s temporality. Time’s emergence in the Histories displaces the conceptual focus from a gods’ determined temporality to man’s conscious role in time. Although the dichotomy predetermination-freed will does not occur overtly in the Histories, as it is not formalised theoretically, it pervades the text nonetheless. However, as neither predetermination nor free will accounts for historical events entirely satisfactory, Herodotus drives a wedge (αἰτίη) between them, thus opening out a new space.