Herodotus

Good Essays
Herodotus c.484 B.C-c.429/425 B.C.
Greek historian.

INTRODUCTION
Called the "father of history" by the Roman philosopher Marcus Tullius Cicero, Herodotus is best known for his long and compelling prose account of life in Greece, Asia Minor, and Egypt which focuses on the causes and events of the Greco-Persian Wars. For Herodotus, history (historiai) meant "inquiry," and his attentions in the History are devoted not just to epic moments in the past, but also to geography, ethnology, and myth. Herodotus combines religious belief with secular knowledge; he took seriously the pronouncements of oracles but also travelled to see distant places for himself and to gather eyewitness accounts from others. While critics have rejected his work as too often anecdotal, accusing Herodotus of naive credulity, his informal style and omnivorous appetite for interesting and sometimes fantastic historical narratives have made the History an enduring fixture in the classical literary canon.

Biographical Information
Herodotus reveals little in the History about his own life and many of its details remain obscure or disputed. He was born in Helicarnassus (now Bodrum) in Caria, Asia Minor, the son of Lyxes and Dryo, and the nephew of the epic poet Panyassis. With the advent of civil war in 461 B.C, Herodotus was exiled to the island of Samos, where he began to write his History in the literary Ionic language. He subsequently returned to Helicarnassus and was instrumental in the downfall of the tyrant Lydgamis, who had been responsible for the death of Panyassis. From 454 B.C. to 443 B.C. Herodotus travelled widely, observing and interviewing informants for the History. His long itinerary included India, Babylon, Scythia, Egypt, Thrace, and Magna Graecia, and he noted both the physical geography and the customs and myths of each region. Much of Herodotus's information on the Persian Wars was collected toward the close of this period from 444 B.C. to 443 B.C. Herodotus then

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Powerful Essays

    The accounts of Scythia in Herodotus’ The Histories are organized in concurrence with the timeline of the Persian invasion of Scythia, led by King Darius, where as the invasion progresses Herodotus repeatedly digresses about the history of Scythia until the Persians and Scythians meet, at which point the apparent essence of the accounts of Scythia in The Histories, the Persian invasion, is concluded. Although Herodotus’ description of Scythia seems to be a byproduct of the accounts of King Darius…

    • 1103 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Herodotus Histories

    • 1106 Words
    • 5 Pages

    Herodotus was born in 485 BC in the Greek City of Halicarnassus and is known as the pioneer of history. His series of books, The Histories was the first piece of literature that described historical events. No writer had ever attempted to analyze events in history before Herodotus, he catalyzed the study of history and allowed scholars to have a deeper understanding of events in the world. The Histories was an account of the Greco-Persian wars, which was a series of wars between the Persian Empire…

    • 1106 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    the body of techniques, theories, and principles of historical research and presentation; methods of historical scholarship. HERODOTUS’S METHODS FOR HISTORIOGRAPHY: Herodotus preserves the ‘memory of the past’ (our history) by recording in his book, all of the astonishing achievements of the people of the past worlds. Herodotus not only looks at his own lineages achievements, e.g.: the Greeks, Egyptians etc... But everyone else’s as well. WHAT ARE SOME ISSUES WITH UNDERSTANDING ANCIENT HISTORY…

    • 284 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Histories, written by Herodotus, have the theme of punishment scattered throughout. Many of the stories are based upon punishment and cruelty, partly because this book tells the story of how the Greek city states fight off the Persians time and time again. However, it is not only in battle it cruelty and punishment seen; the idea of punishment and cruelty for power, revenge, and control is seen throughout the entire work. Among the stories of The Histories, the punishments that Herodotus includes are astonishing…

    • 1396 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Herodotus and Tacitus, great writers of their time, reflect on their thoughts about their own civilizations and what views they had on the civilizations of their enemies at the time of their writings. While these men lived almost 500 years apart, and in different parts of the world, their writings both seem to express both displeasure and acceptance of other civilizations customs and ways of life. Herodotus, a Greek, focused his writings the Persians, the Greek enemy at the time. Since Herodotus…

    • 1510 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    kings and famous personalities. It is instead the investigation of the past intended in ample sense; and it comprehends the study of culture, thoughts, habits, political institutions and many other aspects of society. This concept was very clear to Herodotus and Voltaire, two historians that, although lived a totally different period and contest, share some affinities in the way in which they write about the past. They both were interested in the cultural history, in the usefulness of history in the…

    • 1159 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    Throughout the Histories Herodotus chronicles many stories taking place over eighty years. The climaxes of the Histories are the great wars between the Greeks and the Persians. With that in mind it seems reasonable that Herodotus serves as a spectacular source for military matters of the ancients. Truly it is a great source, historians can learn about ancient armies building bridges to move their forces across bodies of water and Herodotus tells his readers that barbarians use short spears and wear…

    • 797 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Herodotus Movie 300

    • 292 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The historic account by Herodotus covered the plan of Xerxes, how he expressed his plan, how his people reacted to his plan, and the battle itself. Xerxes gathered his nobles together and outlined the plan that he had for attacking the Spartans as a way to get revenge on them for the wicket things that they had done, something that Darius was not able to do during his lifetime. Although, in the end, the Persians won, it was not a victory of which they should have been proud. This is evident by the…

    • 292 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Herodotus was a Greek historian whose work encompassed Western civilization involving conflicts between Greece and the Persian Empire. There were many differences between the Greeks and the Persians. For instance, the Greeks struggled to find freedom during 480 B.C – 400 B.C. They were determined to train their soldiers, especially Spartan warriors, to be brave, courageous, and strong for defensive purposes from Persian invasion. On the other hand, the Persians differed from the Greeks because…

    • 777 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    Darius Vs Herodotus

    • 293 Words
    • 2 Pages

    rise to the throne but the most important came from both Darius and Herodotus. Both accounts state he killed Smerdis, son of Cyrus, and claimed the throne with assistance of 6 other nobles. Darius claimed in his Behistun inscription that the supposed Smerdis was actually an impersonator called Gaumata, a Magian. Darius therefore stated that he was restoring the kingship to the rightful Achaemenid house. However, according to Herodotus, Smerdis was actually the legitimate king and it is undoubtedly certain…

    • 293 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Satisfactory Essays