An atthidographer is an ancient author who, according to tradition, wrote an atthis , a local history of the city of Athens . The name is modern. The works of the atthidographers were collected under the uniform title Atthis after a categorization in the Alexandrian period . As a historiographical genre, the Atthids already existed before.
Time position and basics
The works of the atthidographers were created between the end of the 5th and the middle of the 3rd century BC. Modern research counts a total of seven writers among the atthidographers, whose works are only preserved from mentions and in fragments. It is uncertain, but unlikely, whether other authors wrote an atthis in the true sense of the word. Istros, who is often mentioned in this context, called his work Attika , not Atthis , and is therefore not to be counted among the atthidographers. The poet Hegesinos wrote a poem under the title Atthis , but no local history. After all, Pausanias calls the part of his Periegesis dedicated to Athens several times Atthis syngraphe . Even in antiquity, these authors were grouped together as “those who wrote the Atthids”, even if the togetherness expressed thereby remained purely superficial. However, the similarities in questions of chronology go so far that Wilamowitz suspected a chronicle on which all works are based, which can be traced back to the Exegetai, the official interpreters of sacred law in Athens. The institution of the exegetes themselves, on the other hand, has only been documented in inscriptions since the second half of the 5th century, mentioned literarily in Plato's dialogue Euthyphron . The fragments of the atthidographers have been collected and edited in the collective work The Fragments of the Greek Historians .
Hellanikos of Lesbos is mostly considered the first of the atthidographers, the only local historian in the city who was not from Athens. He gave with his probably soon after 403/402 BC BC published the framework for all subsequent authors. Around 350 BC Kleidemos followed with four books, the first volume of which was also cited separately as Protogonia . Soon afterwards, Androtion - a student of Isocrates and an Athenian statesman, whose Atthis comprised eight books and has come down to us in 68 fragments - and Phanodemos at about the same time, only a few years younger - both published their Atthis between about 340 and about 330 v. At the time of the Diadochi , Demon of Athens wrote his history of Athens in at least four volumes. Melanthios , who wrote at least three books on the history of the city and another work on the Eleusinian mysteries , cannot be categorized in time. The conclusion was formed by Philochorus , who in a 290 BC. Atthis, which began in seventeen volumes after the Chremonideic War and was concluded after the Chremonideic War , is the most comprehensive work of this genre, of which numerous fragments have been preserved.
What all atthidographers have in common is the attempt to depict Athenian history from the royal era to the present. Hellanikos is the first to reconstruct the list of the Athenian kings and to put it into a chronological framework that is conclusive for antiquity. He probably did the same with the list of archons , which he expanded in the early days so that it reached back into mythical times. Its historical account extended to the Peloponnesian War , but was already mentioned disparagingly by Thucydides . His position as an atthidographer has been questioned more recently. For Pausanias, Kleidemos was the first local historian of Athens and Tertullian to say that Kleidemos received a golden wreath for his work. While Androtion showed a strong interest in his own time - five of his eight books alone were from the period 403 to 340 BC. Dedicated to BC - and he stylized Theseus as the founder of Athenian democracy, Phanodemos, also known from inscriptions, was primarily interested in questions of cult in his at least nine books and exaggerated the importance of Athens in mythical prehistoric times from a restorative stance. Demon was particularly fond of the early days, which provoked Philochorus to reply to this because of his results. The content of Melanthios' work, with its only four surviving fragments, cannot really be grasped.
Philochorus seems to have declined Athenian history in a rather dry way and based on the archons of the respective year, by listing the events of the year in the order of the archons. His first book covered the mythical time up to the reign of Kekrops , the second the time up to the first one-year archon Creon, whose term of office in 684/83 BC. Is set. Book three covered the years up to 460 BC. BC, book four led to the beginning of the Peloponnesian War. The fifth and sixth books progressed in periods of about 40 years each, from book seven and with the beginning of the lifetime of Philochorus, the sections became more detailed, comprised only a few years and ended in book nine with the inauguration of Demetrios Poliorketes into the Eleusinian Mysteries 304/302 BC The tenth book may contain addenda to the first nine books. Of the remaining seven volumes, only book 16 is cited in ancient literature.
Mythical events were treated by the atthidographers as if they had been historical events , and the presentation was accordingly adapted to a historicizing narrative. In the end, the aim was always to deal with recent history, mostly based on a personal political stance that already influenced the representation of the myth and the older past.
The atthidographers are valuable as a historical source, since their historiography in Athens bridges the period between Thucydides and Hellenistic historiography from Polybius onwards and is complementary to the Alexander historians and their successors. Nonetheless, their focus was mostly on mythical and cultic questions, so that the fragments that have survived, in addition to their contributions to the early history of Athens, are of particular relevance for these areas. If they wrote history, especially constitutional history, which was always a subsequent reconstruction of the processes and connections, the sources and motivation of the atthidographers must be taken into account. Aristotle already relied extensively on Androtion in his state of Athens , especially for his constitutional explanations. He was an important source for his later successor Philochorus. For many of his biographies, Plutarch used the traditions of the atthidographers, who in antiquity were generally used as sources of information about events in Athenian history, especially early history.
Sources of the atthidographers
The atthidographers' works, some of which are very distinctly annalistic , were based on older works such as the Histories of Herodotus in the case of Hellanikos or on Thucydides, from which Philochorus drew, among other things, on archon lists, decrees and laws, and to a large extent on hearsay and oral tradition . In the case of Philochorus, who owed much to Androtion, the atthidographers also resorted to one another.
- Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff : Aristoteles and Athens . Volume 1. Weidmann, Berlin 1893, pp. 260-289.
- Felix Jacoby : Atthis: the local chronicles of ancient Athens . Clarendon Press, Oxford 1949.
- Jürgen Werner : Atthis. In: The Little Pauly (KlP). Volume 1, Stuttgart 1964, Col. 720 f.
- Philip Harding: Local History and Atthidography . In: John Marincola (Ed.): A Companion to Greek and Roman Historiography . Blackwell Pub., Malden (MA) - Oxford 2007, ISBN 1-40-51021-60 , pp. 180-188.
- Charlotte Schubert : Forms of Greek Historiography: The Atthidographs as Historians of Athens . In: Hermes . Vol. 138, 2010, pp. 259-275.
- Christopher Joyce: What Hellanikos the First Chronicler of Athens?
- Felix Jacoby : Atthis: the local chronicles of ancient Athens . Clarendon Press, Oxford 1949, pp. 1-2.
- Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff: Aristoteles and Athens . Volume 1. Weidmann, Berlin 1893, pp. 260-289, especially pp. 284-285 ( online at archive.org ).
- Felix Jacoby: Atthis: the local chronicles of ancient Athens . Clarendon Press, Oxford 1949, pp. 6-7, on the Exegetai esp. Pp. 8-50.
- Deviating: Christopher Joyce: Was Hellanikos the First Chronicler of Athens? .
- Phillip Harding: Androtion and the Atthis. The fragments translated with introduction and commentary . Clarendon Press, Oxford 1994.
- Oskar Dreyer : Melanthios 6). In: The Little Pauly (KlP). Volume 3, Stuttgart 1969, column 1165.
- Suda sv Philochoros ( online ).
- The Fragments of the Greek Historians (FGrHist) 328.
- FGrHist 4.
- Thucydides 1, 97, 2.
- Christopher Joyce: Was Hellanikos the First Chronicler of Athens? .
- FGrHist 323.
- Pausanias , 5.
- Tertullian, De anima 52.
- FGrHist 324.
- FGrHist 325.
- FGrHist 327.
- FGrHist 326.
- FGrHist 328.
- Felix Jacoby: Atthis: the local chronicles of ancient Athens . Clarendon Press, Oxford 1949, pp. 71-79; Jeremy McInerney: Politicizing the Past: The "Atthis" of Kleidemos . In: Classical Antiquity . Vol. 13, 1994, pp. 17-37.
- Cf. e.g. Eberhard Ruschenbusch : ΡΑΤΡΙΟΣ ΠΟΛΙΤΕΙΑ. Theseus, Drakon, Solon and Kleisthenes in journalism and historiography of the 5th and 4th centuries BC Chr. In: Historia . Vol. 7, 1958, pp. 398-424; s. also Hermann Bengtson : Greek History from the Beginnings to the Roman Empire . 5th revised and supplemented edition. Beck, Munich 1996, p. 105.
- Ulrich von Wilamowitz-Moellendorff: Aristoteles and Athens . Volume 1. Weidmann, Berlin 1893, pp. 260-289; Hermann Bengtson: Greek History from the Beginnings to the Roman Empire . 5th revised and supplemented edition. Beck, Munich 1996, p. 105.
- See the concordance list in Felix Jacoby: Atthis: the local chronicles of ancient Athens . Clarendon Press, Oxford 1949, pp. 405-415.
- Felix Jacoby: Atthis: the local chronicles of ancient Athens . Clarendon Press, Oxford 1949, pp. 149-215; Charlotte Schubert: The Significance of Narrativity for Greek Historiography: An Attempt Using Two Examples from Antiquity . In: Sabine Rieckhoff , Ulrich Veit , Sabine Wolfram (eds.): The archaeologist as a narrator . International conference in Leipzig June 29-30, 2009. TAT, Tübingen 2010.