Thomas Figueira: Language as a Marker of Ethnicity in Herodotus & Contemporaries A consideration of ethnicity in Herodotus starts from the formulation of the Athenian envoys at Sparta in 479 where quality of being ‘same-blooded’ is juxtaposed with being ‘of the same language’. Recent scholarship has failed to recognize the primary role of language and dialect in distinguishing ethnic identity, such as Greek versus non-Greek, in the contrast between Ionians and Dorians, and among Greek ethnē. Differentiation between folkways and ritual behavior worked synergistically with linguistic variation. Wrong-headed perspectives on Greek ethnicity can reduces ethnogenesis to mere arbitrariness and mistake the significance of a fundamental cultural distinction dividing Greeks and non-Greeks.