Bryn Mawr Classical Review: Historical Present

Bryn Mawr Classical Review: Historical Present

Postby MAubrey » April 29th, 2012, 8:33 pm

There's a review of a recent monograph on the historical present in Thucydides:
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Re: Bryn Mawr Classical Review: Historical Present

Postby Stephen Carlson » April 29th, 2012, 8:49 pm

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Re: Bryn Mawr Classical Review: Historical Present

Postby Eeli Kaikkonen » April 29th, 2012, 11:30 pm

Stephen Carlson wrote:Another review is here: ... hucydides/

Especially interesting from the viewpoint of some recent discussions in this forum is this:

Bernard Jacquinod reveals impressive evidence pertaining to the verb πείθω in Thucydides: one quarter of all indicative occurrences of this verb in Thucydides are historical presents (89). Interestingly, whenever Thucydides uses an historical present to say that someone persuaded someone else, he provides no direct speech (98), so that the historical present stands for the decisive moment of persuasion. Jacquinod’s evidence dovetails nicely with Coulter George’s argument that the use of the historical present speeds the pace of the narrative (228); the historical present tends to lend punctuality (239), an aspect that goes hand in hand with its “vividness.”

This would prove that the historical present is used against the normal aspectual value of the present tense as much as against the temporal value.
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