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Born: approx. 484 BC
Born at: Halicarnassus, Caria, Asia Minor
Died: approx. 425 BC (aged around 60)
Key facts: Obsessed with glorious deeds of individuals,
supernatural events and often becomes side tracked by
monuments or geography. Not considered very credible however is
writing closest to the time of events.
Reputation: fairly negative to other historians (Plutarch)
Famous Quotes: "Circumstances rule men, men do not rule
circumstances" "In peace sons bury fathers, but in war fathers
He has been called the "Father of History" since he was the first historian known to collect his materials
systematically, test their accuracy and arrange them in a constructed and vivid narrative. He is also known as
the father of lies because of his unreliable research methods, impossible time scales and strategies, and
obsessions with supernatural events and individual glory and irrelevant information. Little is known of his
personal history since ancient records are scanty, contradictory and often fanciful.
The Histories is an investigation of the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars and includes geographical and
Although some of his stories were not completely accurate, he claimed that he was reporting only what
had been told to him.
was divided by Alexandrian editors into nine books, named after the nine Muses
Some commentators have argued that the story of the first three Persian kings must have been
originally planned as a history of Persia and that the story of Xerxes, later added to it, is instead a
history of the Persian Wars.
Herodotus was writing at a time when philosophers increasingly sought to understand the world
according to basic principles so his repetition of themes and motifs is understandable and may have
been a device to help him connect with the audience.
Herodotus employs a deceptively simple, narrative style, in which the original Greek is Ionian in dialect,
including however some Homeric and other forms.
Homer was great inspirational source to Herodotus. Herodotus appears to have drawn on an Ionian
tradition of story-telling, collecting and interpreting the oral histories he chanced upon in his travels.
Thucydides dismissed Herodotus as a 'logos-writer' or story-teller. Thucydides was an author who
appears firmly in control of his material, much the opposite of Herodotus.
It is believed he was born to an influential family related to Panyassis, an epic poet of the time.
The town was within the Persian empire at that time and maybe the young Herodotus heard
Herodotus reveals affection for the island of Samos and this is an indication that he might have lived
there in his youth. It is possible that his family was involved in an uprising against Lygdamis, leading to a
period of exile on Samos and followed by some personal hand in the tyrant's eventual fall.
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Born: AD 46
Born at: Chaeronea, Boeotia
Died: AD 120 (aged 74) at Delphi
Key facts: Liked to use small anecdotes rather than great deeds
and events to explain a personality. Was more concerned with
morals and ethics of key figures in history than the actual events
that make up history.
Reputation: Excellent, praised as a celebrity and even contributed
to a new branch of platonism.
Famous Quotes: "Character is long-standing habit" "Fate leads those
who follow it, and drags those who resist.…read more
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Key facts: High value on eyewitness testimony and writes about
events in which he probably took part. Unlike Herodotus, everything is
black and white with nothing attributed to the role of the gods and
an emphasis on political and military fact.
Reputation: Thucydides is generally regarded as one of the first
Famous Quotes: "But, the bravest are surely those who have the
clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and
yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.…read more