Herodotus and Mandeville

Both Herodotus and Mandeville describe a variety of peoples in their texts, but their views and comments on those peoples are very much colored by the societies that they themselves come from. In fact, most scholars agree that as we try to make sense of “the other,” we are actually making sense of ourselves. Your task in this paper is to show how Herodotus and Mandeville do just that. In other words, what do Herodotus and Mandeville reveal about ancient Greek and medieval European societies even while they are describing the societies of others? Please use simple parenthetical citations, using the author’s name and the page number, when you draw upon information from either of the texts. Examples: Mandeville notes that Muslims do not eat pork (Mandeville, 39). Xerxes asked Demaratus, “will the Greeks dare to lift a hand against me?” (Herodotus, 448). The Histories. By Herodotus. Translated by Aubrey de Sélincourt. Edited by John Marincola. Penguin, 2003. ISBN: 978-0140449082 The Book of Marvels and Travels. By John Mandeville. Translated by Anthony Bale. Oxford World’s Classics, 2012. ISBN: 978-0199600601

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