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Histories (Herodotus)
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The Histories (; {{IPA-el|historíai̯|anc}}; also known as The HistoriesHerodotus (1987). The History, translated by David Gren. University of Chicago Press. {{ISBN|0-226-32770-1}}. pp. 37-38.) of Herodotus is considered the founding work of history in Western literature.Arnold, John H. (2000). History: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press. 17. {{ISBN|0-19-285352-X}}. Written in 440 BC in the Ionic dialect of classical Greek, The Histories serves as a record of the ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of various cultures that were known in Western Asia, Northern Africa and Greece at that time.{{Citation needed|reason=Reliable source needed for the whole sentence|date=May 2015}} Although not a fully impartial record, it remains one of the West's most important sources regarding these affairs. Moreover, it established the genre and study of history in the Western world (despite the existence of historical records and chronicles beforehand).The Histories also stands as one of the earliest accounts of the rise of the Persian Empire, as well as the events and causes of the Greco-Persian Wars between the Achaemenid Empire and the Greek city-states in the 5th century BC. Herodotus portrays the conflict as one between the forces of slavery (the Persians) on the one hand, and freedom (the Athenians and the confederacy of Greek city-states which united against the invaders) on the other.The Histories was at some point divided into the nine books that appear in modern editions, conventionally named after the nine Muses.

Motivation for writing

Herodotus claims to have traveled extensively around the ancient world, conducting interviews and collecting stories for his book, almost all of which covers territories of the Persian Empire. At the beginning of The Histories, Herodotus sets out his reasons for writing it:

Summary

File:Etty-Candaules King of Lydia Shews his Wife to Gyges.JPG|thumb|upright=1.2|Candaules, King of Lydia, shews his wife by stealth to Gyges…, by William EttyWilliam Etty

Book I (Clio)

  • The rapes of Io, Europa, and Medea, which motivated Paris to abduct Helen. The subsequent Trojan War is marked as a precursor to later conflicts between peoples of Asia and Europe. ({{Herodotus|en|1|1}}–5)Fehling, Detlev (1989). "Some demonstrably false source citations". Herodotus and His 'Sources' . Francis Cairns, Ltd. 50–57. {{ISBN|0-905205-70-7}}. Lindsay, Jack (1974). "Helen in the Fifth Century". Helen of Troy Rowman and Littlefield. 133–134. {{ISBN|0-87471-581-4}}
  • Colchis, Colchians and Medea. (1.2.2–1.2.3)
  • The rulers of Lydia (on the west coast of Asia Minor, today modern Turkey): Candaules, Gyges, Ardys, Sadyattes, Alyattes, Croesus ({{Herodotus|en|1|6}}–7)
  • How Candaules made his bodyguard, Gyges, view the naked body of his wife. Upon discovery, she ordered Gyges to murder Candaules or face death himself
  • How Gyges took the kingdom from Candaules ({{Herodotus|en|1|8}}–13)
  • The singer Arion's ride on the dolphin ({{Herodotus|en|1|23}}–24)
  • Solon's answer to Croesus's question that Tellus was the happiest person in the world ({{Herodotus|en|1|29}}–33)
  • Croesus's efforts to protect his son Atys, his son's accidental death by Adrastus ({{Herodotus|en|1|34}}–44)
  • Croesus's test of the oracles ({{Herodotus|en|1|46}}–54)
  • The answer from the Oracle of Delphi concerning whether Croesus should attack the Persians (famous for its ambiguity): If you attack, a great empire will fall.
  • Peisistratos' rises and falls from power as tyrant of Athens ({{Herodotus|en|1|59}}–64)
  • The rise of Sparta ({{Herodotus|en|1|65}}–68)
File:Edwin Long 001.jpg|thumb|upright=1.5|Edwin Long's 1875 interpretation of The Babylonian Marriage MarketThe Babylonian Marriage Market
  • Croesus's defeat by Cyrus II of Persia, and how he later became Cyrus's advisor ({{Herodotus|en|1|70}}–92)
  • The rulers of the Medes: Deioces, Phraortes, Cyaxares, Astyages, Cyrus II of Persia ({{Herodotus|en|1|95}}–144)
  • The rise of Deioces over the Medes
  • Astyages's attempt to destroy Cyrus, and Cyrus's rise to power
  • Harpagus tricked into eating his son, his revenge against Astyages by assisting Cyrus
  • The culture of the Persians
  • The history and geography of the Ionians, and the attacks on it by Harpagus
  • Pactyes' convinces the Lydians to revolt. Rebellion fails and he seeks refuge from Mazares in Cyme (Aeolis)
  • The culture of Assyria, especially the design and improvement of the city of Babylon and the ways of its people
  • Cyrus's attack on Babylon, including his revenge on the river Gyndes and his famous method for entering the city
  • Cyrus's ill-fated attack on the Massagetæ, leading to his death

Book II (Euterpe)

File:PloverCrocodileSymbiosis.jpg|thumb|upright|Nile crocodile allowing the trochilus to eat leeches in its mouth.{{efn|Herodotus (Book II, 68) claimed that the trochilus bird visited the crocodile, which opened its mouth in what would now be called a cleaning symbiosis to eat leeches. A modern survey of the evidence finds only occasional reports of sandpipers "removing leeches from the mouth and gular scutes and snapping at insects along the reptile's body."JOURNAL, Cleaning symbiosis involving Galapagos tortoises and two species of Darwin's finches, Macfarland, Craig G., Reeder, W. G., Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie, 1974, 34, 5, 464–483, 10.1111/j.1439-0310.1974.tb01816.x, }} Drawing by Henry ScherrenHenry Scherren
  • The proof of the antiquity of the Phrygians by the use of children unexposed to language
  • The geography of Egypt
  • Speculations on the Nile river
  • The religious practices of Egypt, especially as they differ from the Greeks
  • The animals of Egypt: cats, dogs, crocodiles, hippopotamuses, otters, phoenixes, sacred serpents, winged snakes, ibises
  • The culture of Egypt: medicine, funeral rites, food, boatsWEB,weblink 2,500 Years Ago, Herodotus Described a Weird Ship. Now, Archaeologists Have Found it., Geggel, Laura, March 19, 2019, Live Science, 2019-03-19,
  • The kings of Egypt: Menes, Nitocris, MÅ“ris, Sesostris, Pheron, Proteus
  • Helen and Paris's stay in Egypt, just before the Trojan War ({{Herodotus|en|2|112}}–120) Kim, Lawrence (2010). "Homer, poet and historian". Homer Between History and Fiction in Imperial Greek Literature. Cambridge University Press. 30-35 {{ISBN|978-0-521-19449-5}}. Allan, Williams (2008). "Introduction". Helen. Cambridge University Press. 22-24 {{ISBN|0-521-83690-5}}. Lindsay, Jack (1974). "Helen in the Fifth Century". Helen of Troy. Rowman and Littlefield. 135-138. {{ISBN|0-87471-581-4}}
  • More kings of Egypt: Rhampsinit (and the story of the clever thief), Cheops (and the building of the Great Pyramid of Giza using machines), Chephren, Mycerinus, Asychis, Anysis, Sethôs
  • The line of priests
  • The Labyrinth
  • More kings of Egypt: the twelve, Psammetichus (and his rise to power), Necôs, Psammis, Apries, Amasis II (and his rise to power)

Book III (Thalia)

File:Scythian Warriors.jpg|thumb|upright=1.7|Scythian warriors, drawn after figures on an electrum cup from the Kul'Oba kurgan burial near Kerch (Hermitage MuseumHermitage Museum

Book IV (Melpomene)

File:Darius In Parse.JPG|thumb|upright|Relief of Darius IDarius I File:Athena type Velletri.jpg|thumb|upright|Statue of AthenaAthena

Book V (Terpsichore)

Book VI (Erato)

File:Trireme.jpg|right|thumb|A Greek triremetrireme File:Miltiades.jpg|upright|thumb|MiltiadesMiltiades
  • The order of Darius that the Greeks provide him earth and water, in which most consent, including Aegina
  • The Athenian request for assistance of Cleomenes of Sparta in dealing with the traitors
  • The history behind Sparta having two kings and their powers
  • The dethronement of Demaratus, the other king of Sparta, due to his supposed false lineage
  • The arrest of the traitors in Aegina by Cleomenes and the new king Leotychides
  • The suicide of Cleomenes in a fit of madness, possibly caused by his war with Argos, drinking unmixed wine, or his involvement in dethroning Demaratus
  • The battle between Aegina and Athens
  • The taking of Eretria by the Persians after the Eretrians sent away Athenian help
  • Pheidippides's encounter with the god Pan on a journey to Sparta to request aid
  • The assistance of the Plataeans, and the history behind their alliance with Athens
  • The Athenian win at the Battle of Marathon, led by Miltiades and other strategoi (This section starts roughly around 6.100)WEB,weblink Herodotus, The Histories, Book 6, chapter 100, section 1, www.perseus.tufts.edu, 2017-10-03,
  • The Spartans late arrival to assist Athens
  • The history of the Alcmaeonidae and how they came about their wealth and status
  • The death of Miltiades after a failed attack on Paros and the successful taking of Lemnos
(File:Ac.marathon.jpg|thumb|upright=1.4|The plain of Marathon today)

Book VII (Polyhymnia)

  • The amassing of an army by Darius after learning about the defeat at Marathon
  • The quarrel between which son should succeed Darius in which Xerxes I of Persia is chosen
  • The death of Darius in 486 BC
  • The defeat of the Egyptian rebels by Xerxes
  • The advice given to Xerxes on invading Greece: Mardonius for invasion, Artabanus against (9-10)
File:Leónidas en las Termópilas, por Jacques-Louis David.jpg|thumb|right|upright=1.4|Leonidas at Thermopylae, by Jacques-Louis DavidJacques-Louis David
  • The dreams of Xerxes in which a phantom frightens him and Artabanus into choosing invasion
  • The preparations for war, including building the Xerxes Canal and Xerxes' Pontoon Bridges across the Hellespont
  • The offer by Pythius to give Xerxes all his money, in which Xerxes rewards him
  • The request by Pythius to allow one son to stay at home, Xerxes's anger, and the march out between the butchered halves of Pythius's son
  • The destruction and rebuilding of the bridges built by the Egyptians and Phoenicians at Abydos
  • The siding with Persia of many Greek states, including Thessaly, Thebes, Melia, and Argos
  • The refusal of aid after negotiations by Gelo of Syracuse, and the refusal from Crete
  • The destruction of 400 Persian ships due to a storm
  • The small Greek force (approx. 7,000) led by Leonidas I, sent to Thermopylae to delay the Persian army (~5,283,220 (Herodotus) )
  • The Battle of Thermopylae in which the Greeks hold the pass for 3 days
  • The secret pass divulged by Ephialtes of Trachis, which Hydarnes uses to lead forces around the mountains to encircle the Greeks
  • The retreat of all but the Spartans, Thespians, and Thebans (forced to stay by the Spartans).
  • The Greek defeat and order by Xerxes to remove Leonidas's head and attach his torso to a cross
File:Kaulbach, Wilhelm von - Die Seeschlacht bei Salamis - 1868.JPG|thumb|upright=1.4|The Battle of Salamis, by Wilhelm von KaulbachWilhelm von Kaulbach

Book VIII (Urania)

  • Greek fleet is led by Eurybiades, a Spartan commander who led the Greek fleet after the meeting at the Isthmus 481 BC,
  • The destruction by storm of two hundred ships sent to block the Greeks from escaping
  • The retreat of the Greek fleet after word of a defeat at Thermopylae
  • The supernatural rescue of Delphi from a Persian attack
  • The evacuation of Athens assisted by the fleet
  • The reinforcement of the Greek fleet at Salamis Island, bringing the total ships to 378
  • The destruction of Athens by the Persian land force after difficulties with those who remained
  • The Battle of Salamis, the Greeks have the advantage due to better organization, and fewer losses due to ability to swim
  • The description of the Angarum, the Persian riding post
  • The rise in favor of Artemisia, the Persian woman commander, and her council to Xerxes in favor of returning to Persia
File:Snake column Hippodrome Constantinople 2007.jpg|thumb|upright|The Serpent Column dedicated by the victorious Greeks in Delphi, later transferred to ConstantinopleConstantinople

Book IX (Calliope)

  • The second taking of an evacuated Athens
  • The evacuation to Thebes by Mardonius after the sending of Lacedaemonian troops
  • The slaying of Masistius, leader of the Persian cavalry, by the Athenians
  • The warning from Alexander to the Greeks of an impending attack
  • The death of Mardonius by Aeimnestus
  • The Persian retreat to Thebes where they are afterwards slaughtered (Battle of Plataea)
  • The description and dividing of the spoils
  • The speedy escape of Artabazus into Asia.
  • The Persian defeat in Ionia by the Greek fleet (Battle of Mycale), and the Ionian revolt
  • The mutilation of the wife of Masistes ordered by Amestris, wife of Xerxes
  • The death of Masistes after his intent to rebel
  • The Athenian blockade of Sestos and the capture of Artayctes

Critical editions

  • C. Hude (ed.) Herodoti Historiae. Tomvs prior: Libros I-IV continens. (Oxford 1908)
  • C. Hude (ed.) Herodoti Historiae. Tomvs alter: Libri V-IX continens. (Oxford 1908)
  • H. B. Rosén (ed.) Herodoti Historiae. Vol. I: Libros I-IV continens. (Leipzig 1987)
  • H. B. Rosén (ed.) Herodoti Historiae. Vol. II: Libros V-IX continens indicibus criticis adiectis (Stuttgart 1997)
  • N. G. Wilson (ed.) Herodoti Historiae. Tomvs prior: Libros I-IV continens. (Oxford 2015)
  • N. G. Wilson (ed.) Herodoti Historiae. Tomvs alter: Libri V-IX continens. (Oxford 2015)

Translations

Manuscripts

See also

{{Columns-list| }}

Notes

{{notelist}}

References

{{Reflist}}

External links

{{Wikisource|History of Herodotus|History of Herodotus}}{{wikisourcelang|el|Ηρόδοτος|Ἡρόδοτος}} {{Authority control}}
  • Books 5-8 by A. D. Godley translation with footnotes: The Histories, (WEB,weblink Direct link to PDF,  {{small|(14 MB)}})


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