Aphistemi in Thucydides
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This thesis combines a linguistic study of the meaning of άφίστημι with a Content Analysis of Thucydides' accounts of revolt. In Part One, concentration on the semantic field of άφίστημιand its derivatives permits the classification from Homer to Herodotus of the meanings understood by this lexeme. The development of specialized uses is propounded, and the conceptual colouring conferred by different authors highlighted. The semantic field conferred by Herodotus is seen to be social (in the sense of social-class) and this same field is found in Thucydides' speeches, whereas that deployed by Thucydides in the narrative is more truly political. In fact, Thucydides is shown to be in a strong sense the creator of a specifically political function for this and other key terms which he applies to interstate relations: Part Two complements the investigation of the meaning with an inquiry into the use of άφίστημιContent An-alysis is used to break down the accounts of revolt into their components. Having shown that Thucydides' created a political vocabulary, we now fi~d that he has created a political genre, viz. political history. The Content Analysis reveals an astonishing control and selection of material by Thucydides, in both narrative and speeches, focusing on the theme of hegemonialism. This control and direction is found to be derived from the sophistic movement, Prodicus inspiring the creation of meaning, Gorgias' legacy being a conviction that reason can and should direct"the'use of language to elicit truth. Thus to a greater extent than previous studies, Thucydide.s is seen in the context of the thought of his contemporaries, the sophists.