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Herodotus ( ; grc, Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an
ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
writer A writer is a person who uses writing, written words in different styles and techniques to communicate ideas. Writers produce different forms of literary art and creative writing such as novels, short stories, books, poetry, travelogues, plays ...

writer
,
geographer A geographer is a physical scientist, social scientist or humanist whose area of study is geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offic ...
, and
historian A historian is a person who studies and writes about the past and is regarded as an authority on it. Historians are concerned with the continuous, methodical narrative and research of past events as relating to the human race; as well as the stu ...
born in the Greek city of
Halicarnassus Halicarnassus (; grc, Ἁλικαρνᾱσσός ''Halikarnāssós'' or ''Alikarnāssós''; tr, Halikarnas; : 𐊠𐊣𐊫𐊰 𐊴𐊠𐊥𐊵𐊫𐊰 ''alos k̂arnos'') was an city in , in . It was located in southwest , on an advantageous ...
, part of the
Persian Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, wikt:𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎶, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian peoples, Iranian empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Grea ...

Persian Empire
(now
Bodrum Bodrum () is a district A district is a type of administrative division that, in some countries, is managed by the local government. Across the world, areas known as "districts" vary greatly in size, spanning regions or County, counties, sever ...

Bodrum
,
Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country located mainly on Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia an ...

Turkey
). He is known for having written the ''
Histories Histories or, in Latin, Historiae may refer to: * the plural of history * Histories (Herodotus), ''Histories'' (Herodotus), by Herodotus * ''The Histories'', by Timaeus (historian), Timaeus * The Histories (Polybius), ''The Histories'' (Polybius), ...
'' – a detailed account of the
Greco-Persian Wars The Greco-Persian Wars (also often called the Persian Wars) were a series of conflicts between the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empi ...
. Herodotus was the first writer to do systematic investigation of historical events. He is referred to as "
The Father of History
The Father of History
", a title conferred on him by the
ancient Roman In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom (753 BC ...
orator
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Ancient Rome, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher and Academic skepticism, Academic Skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during crisis of ...

Cicero
. The ''Histories'' primarily covers the lives of prominent kings and famous
battles
battles
such as
Marathon The marathon is a long-distance foot race with a distance of , usually run as a road running, road race, but the distance can be covered on trail routes. The marathon can be completed by running or with a run/walk strategy. There are also ...

Marathon
,
Thermopylae Thermopylae (; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the following periods ...
,
Artemisium Artemisium or Artemision (Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 1 ...

Artemisium
,
SalamisSalamis may refer to : Places and battles * Salamis Island in the Saronic Gulf of the Aegean Sea, near Athens, Greece ** Salamina (city), former municipality on Salamis Island ** Salamis Naval Base, a Greek naval base on Salamis Island ** Battle o ...

Salamis
,
Plataea Plataea or Plataia (; grc, wikt:Πλάταια, Πλάταια), also Plataeae or Plataiai (; grc, wikt:Πλαταιαί, Πλαταιαί), was an ancient city, located in Greece in southeastern Boeotia, south of Thebes (Boeotia), Thebes.Mi ...
, and
Mycale Mycale (). also Mykale and Mykali ( grc, Μυκάλη, ''Mykálē''), called Samsun Dağı and Dilek Dağı (Dilek PeninsulaDilek is a Turkish word meaning ''wish'', ''request'' or ''desire''.https://tureng.com/en/turkish-english/dilek It is used ...
. His work deviates from the main topics to provide cultural,
ethnographical
ethnographical
, geographical, and
historiographical Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC and one of the earliest historians whose work survives. A historian is a person who studies and writes about the p ...

historiographical
background that forms an essential part of the narrative and provides readers with a wellspring of additional information. Herodotus has been criticized for his inclusion of "legends and fanciful accounts" in his work. Fellow historian
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc-gre, Θουκυδίδης ; BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the app ...
accused him of making up stories for entertainment. However, Herodotus explained that he reported what he "saw and hat wastold to him." A sizable portion of the ''Histories'' has since been confirmed by modern historians and
archaeologists Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better understanding of it. The technique h ...
.


Life

Modern scholars generally turn to Herodotus's own writing for reliable information about his life, supplemented with ancient yet much later sources, such as the
Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire in its eastern provinces during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, when its capital city was Constantinople. It survi ...

Byzantine
''
Suda The ''Suda'' or ''Souda'' (; grc-x-medieval, Σοῦδα, Soûda; la, Suidae Lexicon) is a large 10th-century Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman ...

Suda
'', an 11th-century encyclopedia which possibly took its information from traditional accounts.


Childhood

Modern accounts of his life typically go something like this: Herodotus was born at
Halicarnassus Halicarnassus (; grc, Ἁλικαρνᾱσσός ''Halikarnāssós'' or ''Alikarnāssós''; tr, Halikarnas; : 𐊠𐊣𐊫𐊰 𐊴𐊠𐊥𐊵𐊫𐊰 ''alos k̂arnos'') was an city in , in . It was located in southwest , on an advantageous ...
around 485 BC. The ''Suda'' describes his family as influential, and that he was the son of Lyxes and Dryo, and the brother of Theodorus, and that he was also related to
Panyassis Panyassis of Halicarnassus, sometimes known as Panyasis ( grc, Πανύασις), was a 5th-century BC Greek epic poet from Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, wikt:𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎶, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xš ...

Panyassis
– an epic poet of the time. Halicarnassus was within the
Persian Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, wikt:𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎶, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian peoples, Iranian empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Grea ...

Persian Empire
at that time, making Herodotus a Persian subject, and it may be that the young Herodotus heard local eyewitness accounts of events within the empire and of Persian preparations for the invasion of Greece, including the movements of the local fleet under the command of
Artemisia I of Caria Artemisia I of Caria ( grc, Ἀρτεμισία; fl. 480 BC) was a queen of the ancient Greek city-state ''Polis'' (; grc-gre, :wikt:πόλις, πόλις ), plural ''poleis'' (, ) literally means "city" in Greek. It defined the administr ...
. Inscriptions recently discovered at Halicarnassus indicate that Artemesia's grandson Lygdamis negotiated with a local assembly to settle disputes over seized property, which is consistent with a tyrant under pressure. His name is not mentioned later in the tribute list of the Athenian
Delian League The Delian League, founded in 478 BC, was an association of Greek city-states, with the number of members numbering between 150 and 330 under the leadership of Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, ...
, indicating that there might well have been a successful uprising against him sometime before 454 BC. Herodotus wrote his ''Histories'' in the Ionian dialect, yet he was born in Halicarnassus, which was a Dorian settlement. According to the ''Suda'', Herodotus learned the Ionian dialect as a boy living on the island of Samos, to which he had fled with his family from the oppressions of Lygdamis, tyrant of Halicarnassus and grandson of Artemisia.
Panyassis Panyassis of Halicarnassus, sometimes known as Panyasis ( grc, Πανύασις), was a 5th-century BC Greek epic poet from Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, wikt:𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎶, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xš ...

Panyassis
, the epic poet related to Herodotus, is reported to have taken part in a failed uprising. The ''
Suda The ''Suda'' or ''Souda'' (; grc-x-medieval, Σοῦδα, Soûda; la, Suidae Lexicon) is a large 10th-century Byzantine The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman ...

Suda
'' also informs us that Herodotus later returned home to lead the revolt that eventually overthrew the tyrant. Due to recent discoveries of inscriptions at Halicarnassus dated to about Herodotus's time, we now know that the Ionic dialect was used in Halicarnassus in some official documents, so there is no need to assume (like the ''Suda'') that he must have learned the dialect elsewhere. The ''Suda'' is the only source placing Herodotus as the heroic liberator of his birthplace, casting doubt upon the veracity of the romantic account.


Early travels

As Herodotus himself reveals, Halicarnassus, though a Dorian city, had ended its close relations with its Dorian neighbours after an unseemly quarrel (I, 144), and it had helped pioneer Greek trade with Egypt (II, 178). It was, therefore, an outward-looking, international-minded port within the
Persian Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, wikt:𐎧𐏁𐏂𐎶, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian peoples, Iranian empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Grea ...
, and the historian's family could well have had contacts in other countries under Persian rule, facilitating his travels and his researches. Herodotus's eyewitness accounts indicate that he traveled in Egypt in association with Athenians, probably sometime after 454 BC or possibly earlier, after an Athenian fleet had assisted the uprising against Persian rule in 460–454 BC. He probably traveled to
Tyre Tyre may refer to: * Tire, the outer part of a wheel Places * Tyre, Lebanon, a city ** See of Tyre, a Christian diocese seated in Tyre, Lebanon ** Tyre Hippodrome, a UNESCO World Heritage site * Tyre District, Lebanon * Tyre, New York, a town in t ...
next and then down the
Euphrates The Euphrates () is the longest and one of the most historically important rivers of Western Asia. Tigris–Euphrates river system, Together with the Tigris, it is one of the two defining rivers of Mesopotamia (the "Land Between the Rivers"). O ...
to
Babylon ''Bābili(m)'' * sux, 𒆍𒀭𒊏𒆠 * arc, 𐡁𐡁𐡋 ''Babil'' * grc-gre, Βαβυλών ''Babylṓn'' * he, בָּבֶל ''Bavel'' * peo, 𐎲𐎠𐎲𐎡𐎽𐎢 ''Bābiru'' * elx, 𒀸𒁀𒉿𒇷 ''Babili'' *Kassite The Kassites ...

Babylon
. For some reason, possibly associated with local politics, he subsequently found himself unpopular in Halicarnassus, and sometime around 447 BC, migrated to – a city whose people and democratic institutions he openly admires (V, 78). Athens was also the place where he came to know the local topography (VI, 137; VIII, 52–55), as well as leading citizens such as the Alcmaeonids, a clan whose history features frequently in his writing. According to
Eusebius Eusebius of Caesarea (; grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος τῆς Καισαρείας, ''Eusébios tés Kaisareías''; AD 260/265 – 339/340), also known as Eusebius Pamphili (from the grc-gre, Εὐσέβιος τοῦ Παμϕίλου) ...

Eusebius
and
Plutarch Plutarch (; grc-gre, Πλούταρχος, ''Ploútarchos''; ; AD 46 – after AD 119) was a Greek Middle Platonist Middle Platonism is the modern name given to a stage in the development of Platonic philosophy, lasting from about 90 BC&nbs ...

Plutarch
, Herodotus was granted a financial reward by the Athenian assembly in recognition of his work.


Later life

In 443 BC or shortly afterwards, he migrated to Thurium, in modern
Calabria it, Calabrese , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = , demogr ...

Calabria
, as part of an Athenian-sponsored
colony In political science Political science is the scientific study of politics Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with making decisions in groups, or other forms of power relations between individuals, ...
.
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
refers to a version of ''The Histories'' written by "Herodotus of Thurium," and some passages in the ''Histories'' have been interpreted as proof that he wrote about
southern Italy Southern Italy ( it, Sud Italia; nap, 'o Sudde; scn, Italia dû Sud), also known as ''Meridione'' or ''Mezzogiorno'' (, literally "Midday"; in nap, 'o Miezojuorno; in scn, Mezzujornu), is a macroregionA macroregion is a geopolitical subdivis ...

southern Italy
from personal experience there (IV, 15,99; VI, 127). Intimate knowledge of some events in the first years of the
Peloponnesian War The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to ...

Peloponnesian War
(VI, 91; VII, 133, 233; IX, 73) indicate that he might have returned to Athens, in which case it is possible that he died there during an outbreak of the plague. Possibly he died in
Macedonia Macedonia most commonly refers to: * North Macedonia North Macedonia, ; sq, Maqedonia e Veriut, (Macedonia until February 2019), officially the Republic of North Macedonia,, is a country in Southeast Europe. It gained independence in ...
instead, after obtaining the patronage of the court there; or else he died back in Thurium. There is nothing in the ''Histories'' that can be dated to later than 430 BC with any certainty, and it is generally assumed that he died not long afterwards, possibly before his sixtieth year.


Author and orator

Herodotus would have made his researches known to the larger world through oral recitations to a public crowd. John Marincola writes in his introduction to the Penguin edition of '' The Histories'' that there are certain identifiable pieces in the early books of Herodotus's work which could be labeled as "performance pieces." These portions of the research seem independent and "almost detachable," so that they might have been set aside by the author for the purposes of an oral performance. The intellectual matrix of the 5th century, Marincola suggests, comprised many oral performances in which philosophers would dramatically recite such detachable pieces of their work. The idea was to criticize previous arguments on a topic and emphatically and enthusiastically insert their own in order to win over the audience. It was conventional in Herodotus's day for authors to "publish" their works by reciting them at popular festivals. According to
Lucian Lucian of Samosata, '; la, Lucianus Samosatensis (Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referre ...
, Herodotus took his finished work straight from
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
to the
Olympic Games The modern Olympic Games or Olympics (french: Jeux olympiques) are leading international sporting events featuring summer and winter sports competitions in which thousands of athletes An athlete (also sportsman or sportswoman) is a pe ...
and read the entire ''Histories'' to the assembled spectators in one sitting, receiving rapturous applause at the end of it. According to a very different account by an ancient grammarian, Herodotus refused to begin reading his work at the festival of Olympia until some clouds offered him a bit of shade – by which time the assembly had dispersed. (Hence the proverbial expression "Herodotus and his shade" to describe someone who misses an opportunity through delay.) Herodotus's recitation at Olympia was a favourite theme among ancient writers, and there is another interesting variation on the story to be found in the ''Suda'': that of
Photius Photios I ( el, Φώτιος, ''Phōtios''; c. 810/820 – 6 February 893), also spelled PhotiusFr. Justin Taylor, essay "Canon Law in the Age of the Fathers" (published in Jordan Hite, T.O.R., & Daniel J. Ward, O.S.B., "Readings, Cases, Material ...
and
Tzetzes John Tzetzes ( gr, Ἰωάννης Τζέτζης, Iōánnēs Tzétzēs; c. 1110, Constantinople – 1180, Constantinople) was a Byzantine Empire, Byzantine poet and Speculative grammarians, grammarian who is known to have lived at Constantinople i ...
, in which a young
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc-gre, Θουκυδίδης ; BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the app ...
happened to be in the assembly with his father, and burst into tears during the recital. Herodotus observed prophetically to the boy's father, "Your son's soul yearns for knowledge." Eventually, Thucydides and Herodotus became close enough for both to be interred in Thucydides' tomb in Athens. Such at least was the opinion of Marcellinus in his ''Life of Thucydides''. According to the ''Suda'', he was buried in Macedonian
Pella Pella ( el, Πέλλα) is an ancient city located in Central Macedonia Central Macedonia ( el, Κεντρική Μακεδονία, Kentrikí Makedonía, ) is one of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece, consisting of the central ...
and in the
agora Image:TyreAlMinaAgora.jpg, upAgora of Tyre, Lebanon, Tyre The agora (; grc, ἀγορά ''agorá'') was a central public space in ancient Ancient Greece, Greek polis, city-states. It is the best representation of a city-state's response to accom ...

agora
in Thurium.


Place in history

Herodotus announced the purpose and scope of his work at the beginning of his ''Histories:'' :Here are presented the results of the inquiry carried out by Herodotus of Halicarnassus. The purpose is to prevent the traces of human events from being erased by time, and to preserve the fame of the important and remarkable achievements produced by both Greeks and non-Greeks; among the matters covered is, in particular, the cause of the hostilities between Greeks and non-Greeks. — Herodotus, ''The Histories'' (tr. R. Waterfield, 2008)


Predecessors

His record of the achievements of others was an achievement in itself, though the extent of it has been debated. Herodotus' place in history and his significance may be understood according to the traditions within which he worked. His work is the earliest Greek prose to have survived intact. However,
Dionysius of Halicarnassus Dionysius of Halicarnassus ( grc, Διονύσιος Ἀλεξάνδρου Ἁλικαρνασσεύς, ; – after 7 BC) was a Greek historian Hellenic historiography (or Greek historiography) involves efforts made by Greeks to track and r ...
, a literary critic of Augustan Rome, listed seven predecessors of Herodotus, describing their works as simple, unadorned accounts of their own and other cities and people, Greek or foreign, including popular legends, sometimes melodramatic and naïve, often charming – all traits that can be found in the work of Herodotus himself. Modern historians regard the chronology as uncertain, but according to the ancient account, these predecessors included
Dionysius of MiletusDionysius of Miletus ( el, Διονύσιος, translit=Dionýsios) was an ancient Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located ...
, Charon of Lampsacus,
Hellanicus of Lesbos Hellanicus (or Hellanikos) of Lesbos ( Greek: , ''Ἑllánikos ὁ Lésvios''), also called Hellanicus of Mytilene ( Greek: , ''Ἑllánikos ὁ Mutilēnaῖos'') was an ancient Greek logographer who flourished during the latter half of the 5th ce ...
,
Xanthus of Lydia Xanthus of Lydia ( el, Ξάνθος ὁ Λυδός, ''Xanthos ho Lydos'') was a native Lydia Lydia ( Assyrian: ''Luddu''; el, Λυδία, ''Lȳdíā''; tr, Lidya) was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of anc ...
and, the best attested of them all,
Hecataeus of Miletus Hecataeus of Miletus (; el, Ἑκαταῖος ὁ Μιλήσιος; c. 550 BC – c. 476 BC), son of Hegesander, was an early Ancient Greece, Greek historian and geographer. Biography Hailing from a very wealthy family, he lived in Miletus ...
. Of these, only fragments of Hecataeus's works survived, and the authenticity of these is debatable, but they provide a glimpse into the kind of tradition within which Herodotus wrote his own ''Histories''.


Contemporary and modern critics

It is on account of the many strange stories and the folk-tales he reported that his critics have branded him "The Father of Lies." Even his own contemporaries found reason to scoff at his achievement. In fact, one modern scholar has wondered if Herodotus left his home in Greek
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
, migrating westwards to Athens and beyond, because his own countrymen had ridiculed his work, a circumstance possibly hinted at in an epitaph said to have been dedicated to Herodotus at one of his three supposed resting places, Thuria: Yet it was in Athens where his most formidable contemporary critics could be found. In 425 BC, which is about the time that Herodotus is thought by many scholars to have died, the Athenian comic dramatist
Aristophanes Aristophanes (; grc, Ἀριστοφάνης, ; c. 446 – c. 386 BC), son of Philippus, of the deme 250px, Pinakia, identification tablets (name, father's name, deme) used for tasks like jury selection, Museum at the Ancient Agora of Athe ...

Aristophanes
created ''
The Acharnians ''The Acharnians'' or ''Acharnians'' (Ancient Greek: ''Akharneîs''; Attic Greek, Attic: ) is the third play — and the earliest of the eleven surviving plays — by the Athenian playwright Aristophanes. It was produced in 425 BC on behalf of the ...
'', in which he blames the
Peloponnesian War The Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to ...

Peloponnesian War
on the abduction of some prostitutes – a mocking reference to Herodotus, who reported the Persians' account of their wars with Greece, beginning with the rapes of the mythical heroines Io,
Europa Europa may refer to: Places *Europe Europe is a continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regard ...
,
Medea In Greek mythology, Medea (; grc, Μήδεια, ''Mēdeia'' perhaps implying "planner / schemer") is the daughter of Aeëtes, King Aeëtes of Colchis, a niece of Circe and the granddaughter of the sun god Helios. Medea figures in the myth of Ja ...

Medea
, and
Helen Helen may refer to: People * Helen of Troy, in Greek mythology, the most beautiful woman in the world * Helen (actress) (born 1938), Indian actress * Helen (given name), a given name (including a list of people with the name) Places * Helen, Ge ...

Helen
. Similarly, the Athenian historian
Thucydides Thucydides (; grc-gre, Θουκυδίδης ; BC) was an Athenian , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the app ...
dismissed Herodotus as a "''
logos ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος, lógos; from , , ) is a term in Western philosophy Western philosophy refers to the philosophy, philosophical thought and work of the W ...

logos
''-writer" (story-teller). Thucydides, who had been trained in
rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic – see Martianus Capella), is one of the Trivium, three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the techniques writers or sp ...
, became the model for subsequent prose-writers as an author who seeks to appear firmly in control of his material, whereas with his frequent digressions Herodotus appeared to minimize (or possibly disguise) his authorial control. Moreover, Thucydides developed a historical topic more in keeping with the Greek world-view: Focused on the context of the ''
polis ''Polis'' (, ; grc-gre, πόλις, ), plural ''poleis'' (, , ), literally means "city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (199 ...

polis
'' or city-state. The interplay of civilizations was more relevant to Greeks living in Anatolia, such as Herodotus himself, for whom life within a foreign civilization was a recent memory.


See also


Critical editions

* C. Hude (ed.) ''Herodoti Historiae. Tomvs prior: Libros I–IV continens.'' (Oxford 1908) * C. Hude (ed.) ''Herodoti Historiae. Tomvs alter: Libri V–IX continens.'' (Oxford 1908) * H. B. Rosén (ed.) ''Herodoti Historiae. Vol. I: Libros I–IV continens.'' (Leipzig 1987) * H. B. Rosén (ed.) ''Herodoti Historiae. Vol. II: Libros V–IX continens indicibus criticis adiectis'' (Stuttgart 1997) * N. G. Wilson (ed.) ''Herodoti Historiae. Tomvs prior: Libros I–IV continens.'' (Oxford 2015) * N. G. Wilson (ed.) ''Herodoti Historiae. Tomvs alter: Libri V–IX continens.'' (Oxford 2015)


Translations

Several English translations of ''The Histories of Herodotus'' are readily available in multiple editions. The most readily available are those translated by: * Henry Cary (judge), translation 1849
text
Internet Archive The Internet Archive is an American digital library A digital library, also called an online library, an internet library, a digital repository, or a digital collection is an online databaseAn online database is a database In computing ...
*
George Rawlinson George Rawlinson (23 November 1812 – 6 October 1902) was a British scholar, historian, and Christian theology, Christian theologian. Life Rawlinson was born at Chadlington, Oxfordshire, the son of Abram Tysack Rawlinson and the younger broth ...
, translation 1858–1860. Public domain; many editions available, although
Everyman LibraryImage:End papers.jpg, Endpapers of the original 1906 run of the ''Everyman's Library''. The art signed "Reginald Knowles, RLK" is heavily based on that of William Morris and his Kelmscott Press, whereas the quotation is derived from the medieval Dram ...
and Wordsworth Classics editions are the most common ones still in print. *
George Campbell Macaulay George Campbell Macaulay (6 August 1852 – 6 July 1915), also known as G. C. Macaulay, was a noted English classical scholar. He was the father of the fiction writer Rose Macaulay. Family Macaulay was born on 6 August 1852, in Hodnet, Shropsh ...
, translation 1890, published in two volumes. London: Macmillan and Co. * A. D. Godley 1920; revised 1926. Reprinted 1931, 1946, 1960, 1966, 1975, 1981, 1990, 1996, 1999, 2004. Available in four volumes from
Loeb Classical Library The Loeb Classical Library (LCL; named after James Loeb; , ) is a series of books, originally published by Heinemann_(publisher), Heinemann in London, UK, today by Harvard University Press, US, which presents important works of ancient Greek l ...

Loeb Classical Library
,
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. Printed with Greek on the left and English on the right: ** A. D. Godley ''Herodotus : The Persian Wars : Volume I : Books 1–2'' (Cambridge, Massachusetts 1920) ** A. D. Godley ''Herodotus : The Persian Wars : Volume II : Books 3–4'' (Cambridge, Massachusetts 1921) ** A. D. Godley ''Herodotus : The Persian Wars : Volume III : Books 5–7'' (Cambridge, Massachusetts 1922) ** A. D. Godley ''Herodotus : The Persian Wars : Volume IV : Books 8–9'' (Cambridge, Massachusetts 1925) * Aubrey de Sélincourt, originally 1954; revised by John Marincola in 1996. Several editions from
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available. *
David Grene David Grene (13 April 1913 – 10 September 2002) was a professor of classics at the University of Chicago from 1937 until his death. He was a co-founder of the Committee on Social Thought and is best known for his translations of ancient Greek ...
, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985. *
Robin Waterfield Robin Anthony Herschel Waterfield (born 1952) is a British classical scholar Classics or classical studies is the study of classical antiquity, and in the Western world The Western world, also known as the West, refers to various ...
, with an Introduction and Notes by Carolyn Dewald, Oxford World Classics, 1997. * Andrea L. Purvis, ''The Landmark Herodotus'', edited by Robert B. Strassler. Pantheon, 2007. with adequate ancillary information. * Walter Blanco, ''Herodotus: The Histories: The Complete Translation, Backgrounds, Commentaries''. Edited by Jennifer Tolbert Roberts. New York: W. W. Norton, 2013. *
Tom Holland Thomas Stanley Holland (born 1 June 1996) is an English actor. A graduate of the BRIT School, BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology in London, he began his acting career on the West End theatre, West End stage in the title role of '' ...
, ''The Histories, Herodotus''. Introduction and notes by Paul Cartledge. New York, Penguin, 2013.


Notes


References


Sources

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Pitcher, Luke (2009). ''Writing Ancient History: An Introduction to Classical Historiography''. New York: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd. * * * * * * * Waters, K.H. (1985). ''Herodotus the Historian: His Problems, Methods and Originality''. Beckenham: Croom Helm Ltd.


External links


Herodotus on the Web


at Livius.org * * * ** (translation by
George Campbell Macaulay George Campbell Macaulay (6 August 1852 – 6 July 1915), also known as G. C. Macaulay, was a noted English classical scholar. He was the father of the fiction writer Rose Macaulay. Family Macaulay was born on 6 August 1852, in Hodnet, Shropsh ...
, 1852–1915) ** * *
The History of Herodotus
at The Internet Classics Archive (translation by George Rawlinson).

at the Internet Sacred Text Archive


Herodotus ''Histories''
on the
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*