Rhetoric of Kinship in the Early Biography of Cyrus
(Hdt. 1.107-130

Abstract: This paper focuses on the rhetoric of kinship in the early biography of the founder of the Persian Empire included in Herodotus’ Histories, that is, within the Herodotean account of Cyrus II of Persia’s birth, childhood and accession to the throne. Its aim is to demonstrate the influence exerted by family ties among characters over the construction of Cyrus’ identity. To this end, the paper examines the speech acts through which characters articulate their family relationships, as well as the clarifications and interpretations made in this respect by the narrator. Results show that there is not a unique identity of Cyrus, but three of them (prince, slave and conqueror) that combine to create a prime example of a hero archetype applicable to men who are born to rule but face great difficulties caused by relatives or people around them.

Key Words: Herodotus, Cyrus, biography, identity, kinship, rhetoric

ISSN: 1886-9440
DOI:  https://doi.org/10.17398/1886-9440.13.1


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