An analysis of Herodotus: background



Last year I began reading around the subject of Greek history. I had realized that my knowledge of ancient history was somewhat impaired by having not studied it in any serious depth and decided to rectify this. I started by reading about the leaders of Athens, focusing on Pericles by reading the accounts by Thucydides and Plutarch on him. Whilst this was interesting I wanted to explore further how the Greeks shaped the study of history, an easier task than it sounds due to the first historians being Greek.

Naturally, I decided to begin with Herodotus, ‘the father of history’, as my starting point. I acquired a copy for Christmas and had finished the history by Easter. The history itself captivating; the accounts of Marathon and Thermopylae provide excitement whilst the words of Solon, Darius and Croesus make room for thinking about the history as an intellectual discussion.

Unfortunately, some of the romantic details of his work I had forgotten by summer, possibly due to the pressure of exam season. As a result, I listened to an audiobook to revise the details of this history. On my second visit to Herodotus’ world I began to see a more purposeful and subtle meaning to his record. In addition, I began noticing the similar themes and motifs that Herodotus shared with Thucydides (who I had time to fully read from April to June).

This is the context behind which I embark on my third reading of Herodotus and here are my thoughts, views and criticisms of his work. I will try to upload my analysis of each book as I read them.



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