Herodotus – Important Figures In History

Herodotus was one of the greatest historians of his time. Born of a prominent family around 484 ECB, he had access to the best education unlike most of his peers. His parents, Lyxes and Dyro, and his brother Teodoro lived in the Persian empire, currently the Republic of Turkey, where the famous poet named Panyassis also lived. Herodotus learned a great deal about ancient Greek literature and developed a traveling character who took him through the Middle East, Asia Minor, Babylon and Egypt, bringing him much knowledge about Geography and history.

In 457 BCE, there was a conflict between his clan and the rulers of that time. This was largely contributed by the great knowledge of his wider family that made them question the leadership style of the rulers of Halicarnassus. This caused him to go into exile in the islands of Samos and later in Babylon, Greece and Asia. Eventually he returned to his native region and was instrumental in overthrowing the kingdom of Halicarnassus and thus became a hero in his hometown. He traveled to Athens in Greece and participated in the affairs of that city by winning two awards for the most illustrious man and the most important statesman Pericles. In 443 BCE, he moved to Thurii in Italy where he carried out important literary works that will never be forgotten.

Works of Herodotus

As the first intuitive writer, Herodotus wrote an exceptional piece known as “Inquiry” that helped scholars understand the events of ancient times. In his early years, he must have heard of the Persian Empire’s preparations for attacking Greece and training the army under Cariac’s officer Artemisia, forming works for his first history books. The main source of information for Herodotus was personal encounters with events, other witnesses and oral traditions. In addition to Bible writers, he successfully analyzed problems in a consequential format. His work went beyond covering what was happening in other kingdoms like the king of Lydia, Asian history and the Black Sea.

He has serialized his books since edition 1 and has covered all aspects of life from economics, geography, military and anthropology. The content of the research in the fifth book is on the lonic revolution between 499 and 494 BCE, while the sixth book concerns the Persian defeat by the Athenians in 490 BCE in the region of the Marathon. His latest books, believed to have been made in his last days, cover the exploratory journey made between 480 BCE and 479 BC by Xerxes. He vividly captures the defeat of Xerxes by the Greeks and the consequences of the war.

In the field of science, he explained the nature of the various features and phenomena. An example is the flooding of the Nile river with melting snow despite the heat in Africa. He also gave an account of huge ants carrying gold to the surface after digging the ground. These were established to be squirrels in Desai plateau rich in gold in Pakistan that actually came out with gold dust from their hibernating tunnels.

Critics of the work of Herodotus

Despite his great success in narrating the chronicle of events, some of these authors find fault in some of his publications. This is seen in cases where you have relied on other people for information. Third parties are believed to have distorted the actual customs and occurrence of events, especially as seen in the second book on the history of Egypt. The language barrier could also be another contribution to the digression. Having no experience in the military field, he was not able to understand and accurately report on war operations. However, modern philosophers and historians see his work as the only analogy of events and data that makes us understand the ancient world.


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