Classical Scholarship Today: Geoffrey E. R. Lloyd’s Methodological Principles

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From the beginning of the twentieth century, and especially during its second half, scholars became increasingly aware of the difficulties entailed in the study of classical texts, or more generally, in the study of the human sciences. This led to the development of a new methodological approach, which in classical scholarship was characterized by a self-critical awareness of what scholars can legitimately say, for example, about the ancient Greeks. Among those who took part in this endeavour, the classical scholar and historian Geoffrey E. R. Lloyd stands out for his rigorous clarification of the implicit modern assumptions in studying ancient texts. Like other classicists, Lloyd called attention to the difficulties or risks involved in classical scholarship and general historiography, whether this be of a single culture or a comparative study of different cultures.1
What, then, are Lloyd’s methodological considerations as presented in three of his most important books? This will be answered by first considering a negative approach that details the methodological practices scholars should avoid. Secondly, I will point out several positive features that Lloyd believes classical scholars should seriously take into account in carrying out their own research. Finally, I will discuss the epistemological principles that underlie Lloyd’s proposal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-491
JournalEuropean Legacy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014


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