Book summaries of the Histories

General notes on the the books that are requires for in the exam 

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Book summaries of the Histories
Book one:
` Here displays his inquiry, so that human achievements may not become forgotten in time,
and great and marvellous deeds- some displayed by the Greeks, some by the barbarians-
may not be without glory; and especially to show why the two peoples waged war against
each other'
Inquiry: `to ask a question' his work is not History in our narrow sense; it can be
anything that he can find out through asking questions'
`Some by the barbarians' ­ Herodotus' strength in presenting both sides. In fact,
Plutarch criticises Herodotus and calls him philobarbaros (Barbarian lover)
`Glory'- Greeks immensely conscious of preserving their kleos. Herodotus is there to
make sure that the good deeds that deserve to be known forever are written down.
`Why the two peoples waged war' Herodotus presents us with the nature of the
problem(s). Although his approach to his narrative is often through the telling of
stories rather than analysing them, his stories are his way of exploring causation.
Moral, philosophical explanation...
Persians say that the cause of the quarrel was due to the Phoenicians. They went on trading
voyages, stopped in Argos, where Io, the daughter of the king lived, kidnapped her and took
her to Egypt.
`learned Persians' Herodotus begins with the world of myth. Persian account of the
Geek myth, this myth is almost sounding believable.
Io- priestess of Hera at Argos, seduced by Zeus. Transformed into a cow, watched
over by the monster Argos, Hermes killed Argos, Io became mad because of a gadfly
, wandered the world and then reached Egypt.
Persians then say that come to Tyre in Phoenicia and seized Europa, the daughter of the
king. Another set of Greeks, Jason and the Argonauts (to steal the Golden fleece from
Colchis) they seized Medea, she fell in love with Jason, she was the daughter of the King
of Colchis. The king of Colchis demanded retribution; Greeks replied that they didn't give
them any retribution from the kidnapping of Io.
Men repay for the deeds they do and gods pay men back for what they have done.
Paris was inspired by the story of women kidnapping and kidnapped Helen and was
confident that he wouldn't have to be reparations. (Herodotus tries to link this to the
myths) in the military sense, Greeks were the ones to blame. They were the ones who
launched an invasion against Asia. The Persians thought it was silly to make a big deal
about getting retribution for kidnapping women. They thought if a woman didn't want to
be kidnapped, she wouldn't be kidnapped. But the Greeks destroyed the power of Priam.

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Since of then, they have always considered the Greeks their enemy. The Phoenicians
however don't agree with the Persians about Io. She slept with the captain, fell pregnant
and ran away to avoid being stigmatised. That is their account I am not going to say
whether what they said is true or not. I know that human happiness does not stay for
long in the same place, so I will make mention of both.
` I am not going to say..…read more

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One of them men accidently struck Atys with a spear.
He later then killed himself due to the guilt he possessed.
When he heard about the Persian expansion, he tested the knowledge of the oracles,
whether he should campaign against Persia. `Would destroy a great empire' he also asked
which states he should ally with.
Croesus failed to grasp the true meaning of the oracle. He prepared for an expedition
against Cyrus.…read more

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Croesus interpreted the oracle wrong. He should have asked the
oracle again before attempting to invade Persia. He then admitted that he was innocent.
Herodotus then talks about all the offerings Croesus gave to the gods that still survive in his
1.131-1.141 Persian customs:
- Temples, statues and altars is not an accepted practice, and those who do are considered
as fools, not an anthropomorphic like the Greeks.
- They worship the sun, moon, earth, fire and water.…read more

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BOOK SIX ­ the battle of Marathon.
Not as significant to the Persians as it was to the Greeks,
For the Greeks, it created a new epoch, changed the direction of Geek history
The Persian wars reveal the Geek articulation of a new sense of freedom and Greek
This is the nature of the divide between the Eastern and Western world.
It was a matter of time that the Greeks and Persians came into open conflict. Persia
was expanding, under Darius.…read more

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They took stand in Thermopylae. Even here, the Greeks were indecisive. It was left to
the Spartan king, Leonidas, and pretty much his personal contingents, his royal
bodyguard of 300 Spartans tried to hold the pass at Thermopylae. With the help of a
1000 Thebans. A moral victory for the Greeks. The story of Leonidas reverberated
throughout the rest of Greek history.…read more

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