Classics in Credo: Books. General History Andromeda Encyclopedic Dictionary of World History Facts about historical events, periods, and personalities available under alphabetically arranged headword entries. Coverage extends across every continent and every century of history. The entries have been prepared by professional historians, and Jeremy Black, Professor of History at the University of Exeter, has acted as academic consultant. Chambers Dictionary of World History Contains entries providing clear and authoritative coverage of the most significant people, ideas and events of world history.
The Encyclopedia of World History A comprehensive chronology of entries that span the millennia from prehistoric times to the year Archaeology Encyclopedia of Archaeology Encompasses all aspects of archaeology, including the nature and diversity of archaeology as a scientific discipline, the practice of archaeology, archaeology in the everyday world, and the future of the discipline. Herodotus is variously considered "father of comparative anthropology",  "the father of ethnography",  and "more modern than any other ancient historian in his approach to the ideal of total history".
It is clear from the beginning of Book 1 of the Histories that Herodotus utilizes or at least claims to utilize various sources in his narrative. Waters relates that "Herodotos did not work from a purely Hellenic standpoint; he was accused by the patriotic but somewhat imperceptive Plutarch of being philobarbaros , a pro-barbarian or pro-foreigner. Herodotus at times relates various accounts of the same story.
For example, in Book 1 he mentions both the Phoenician and the Persian accounts of Io. Rather, I will point out the man who I know for a fact began the wrong-doing against the Greeks. Throughout his work, Herodotus attempts to explain the actions of people. Speaking about Solon the Athenian, Herodotus states "[Solon] sailed away on the pretext of seeing the world, but it was really so that he could not be compelled to repeal any of the laws he had laid down.
Herodotus writes with the purpose of explaining ; that is, he discusses the reason for or cause of an event. He lays this out in the proem: "This is the publication of the research of Herodotus of Halicarnassus, so that the actions of people shall not fade with time, so that the great and admirable achievements of both Greeks and barbarians shall not go unrenowned, and, among other things, to set forth the reasons why they waged war on each other. This mode of explanation traces itself all the way back to Homer,  who opened the Iliad by asking:. Both Homer and Herodotus begin with a question of causality.
In Homer's case, "who set these two at each other's throats? Herodotus's means of explanation does not necessarily posit a simple cause; rather, his explanations cover a host of potential causes and emotions. It is notable, however, that "the obligations of gratitude and revenge are the fundamental human motives for Herodotus, just as Some readers of Herodotus believe that his habit of tying events back to personal motives signifies an inability to see broader and more abstract reasons for action.
Gould argues to the contrary that this is likely because Herodotus attempts to provide the rational reasons, as understood by his contemporaries, rather than providing more abstract reasons.
Herodotus attributes cause to both divine and human agents. These are not perceived as mutually exclusive, but rather mutually interconnected. This is true of Greek thinking in general, at least from Homer onward. However, divine will is the reason that the house collapses at the particular moment when I am inside. It was the will of the gods that the house collapsed while a particular individual was within it, whereas it was the cause of man that the house had a weak structure and was prone to falling.
Some authors, including Geoffrey de Ste-Croix and Mabel Lang , have argued that Fate, or the belief that "this is how it had to be," is Herodotus's ultimate understanding of causality. The idea of "it was going to happen" reveals a "tragic discovery" associated with fifth-century drama.
This tragic discovery can be seen in Homer's, Iliad as well. John Gould argues that Herodotus should be understood as falling in a long line of story-tellers, rather than thinking of his means of explanation as a "philosophy of history" or "simple causality". Thus, according to Gould, Herodotus's means of explanation is a mode of story-telling and narration that has been passed down from generations prior: . Herodotus' sense of what was 'going to happen' is not the language of one who holds a theory of historical necessity, who sees the whole of human experience as constrained by inevitability and without room for human choice or human responsibility, diminished and belittled by forces too large for comprehension or resistance; it is rather the traditional language of a teller of tales whose tale is structured by his awareness of the shape it must have and who presents human experience on the model of the narrative patterns that are built into his stories; the narrative impulse itself, the impulse towards 'closure' and the sense of an ending, is retrojected to become 'explanation'.
Although Herodotus considered his "inquiries" a serious pursuit of knowledge, he was not above relating entertaining tales derived from the collective body of myth, but he did so judiciously with regard for his historical method , by corroborating the stories through enquiry and testing their probability. In Book One, passages 23 and 24, Herodotus relates the story of Arion , the renowned harp player, "second to no man living at that time," who was saved by a dolphin.
Herodotus prefaces the story by noting that "a very wonderful thing is said to have happened," and alleges its veracity by adding that the "Corinthians and the Lesbians agree in their account of the matter. He hired a vessel crewed by Corinthians, whom he felt he could trust, but the sailors plotted to throw him overboard and seize his wealth. Arion discovered the plot and begged for his life, but the crew gave him two options: that either he kill himself on the spot or jump ship and fend for himself in the sea. Arion flung himself into the water, and a dolphin carried him to shore.
Herodotus clearly writes as both historian and teller of tales. Herodotus takes a fluid position between the artistic story-weaving of Homer and the rational data-accounting of later historians. John Herrington has developed a helpful metaphor for describing Herodotus's dynamic position in the history of Western art and thought — Herodotus as centaur:. The human forepart of the animal Herodotus is neither a mere gatherer of data nor a simple teller of tales — he is both.
While Herodotus is certainly concerned with giving accurate accounts of events, this does not preclude for him the insertion of powerful mythological elements into his narrative, elements which will aid him in expressing the truth of matters under his study. Thus to understand what Herodotus is doing in the Histories , we must not impose strict demarcations between the man as mythologist and the man as historian, or between the work as myth and the work as history. As James Romm has written, Herodotus worked under a common ancient Greek cultural assumption that the way events are remembered and retold e.
Herodotus is a supporting character in the video game Assassin's Creed Odyssey , where he travels alongside the player character through the classical Greek world. Several English translations of The Histories of Herodotus are readily available in multiple editions. The most readily available are those translated by:. Modernist Travel Writing: Intellectuals Abroad. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Ancient Greek historian. For other uses, see Herodotus disambiguation. Thurii , Calabria or Pella , Macedon. Theodorus brother Panyassis uncle or cousin. The original title can be translated from the Greek as "researches" or "inquiries". Fehling writes of "a problem recognized by everybody", namely that Herodotus frequently cannot be taken at face value.
Persian and Egyptian informants tell stories to Herodotus that dovetail neatly into Greek myths and literature, yet show no signs of knowing their own traditions. For Fehling, the only credible explanation is that Herodotus invented these sources, and that the stories themselves were concocted by Herodotus himself. Sparks writes, "In antiquity, Herodotus had acquired the reputation of being unreliable, biased, parsimonious in his praise of heroes, and mendacious".
The absence of any mention of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in his work has attracted further attacks on his credibility. In response, Dalley has proposed that the Hanging Gardens may have been in Ninevah rather than in Babylon. Boedeker concurs that much of the content of the works of Herodotus are literary devices. James Luce, The Greek Historians , , p. The Gale Group. Retrieved March 11, Retrieved 16 November The Peloponnesian War. Greenwood Publishing Group. Herodotus and Greek History.
Taylor and Francis. The Histories by Herodotus. University of Oxford Press. A Political History of the Achaemenid Empire. Introduction and Notes by John Marincola; Trans. Penguin Books. Retrieved 12 June The Imperial Gazetteer of India. Delhi: Prabhat Prakashan.
Calcutta: Firma KLM. The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 23 February Retrieved 13 September Ziff Davis, LLC. Retrieved 9 February Archambault, Paul Multicultural Writers from Antiquity to a Bio-bibliographical Sourcebook. A Commentary on Herodotus, Books 1—4.
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