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date: 16 April 2024


, of Halicarnassus, historian


, of Halicarnassus, historian
  • John P. A. Gould


Herodotus (1), of Halicarnassus (now Bodrum on the Aegean coast of Turkey), historian. ‘Herodotus’ is (in Greek) the first word of a long historical narrative, the earliest we possess. It looks back to the fall of the *Lydian kingdom in western Turkey in 545 bce and forwards to events in the early 420s, during the great war between Athens and Sparta (see peloponnesian war), but it has as a principal focus (proem) the ‘war between Greeks and non-Greeks’, which we call the *Persian Wars. We do not know exactly when it was written but some think that *Aristophanes (1) parodied its opening chapters in one of his plays (Ach. 515 ff.): if so, it was known in Athens in 425 bce. We know very little about the life of its author: he nowhere claims to have been an eyewitness or participant in any of the major events or battles that he describes (unlike *Aeschylus), but records conversations with those who were (8.


  • Greek History and Historiography
  • Greek Literature

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