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Herodotus is often referred to as the “father of history” as, in Western culture
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Herodotus is often referred to as the “father of history” as, in Western culture, he is the first to write an account of the past based on observation and consideration of what really happened and what did not, and the understanding that change occurs over time. His writings also show that he was thinking about what causes historical change and what do human actions and ideas have to do with such change.
Choose two passages from Herodotus’ Histories from those assigned and discuss how you find the passage(s) representative of how Herodotus writes history, and how his account compares to other (ancient, contemporary) historical works that you have studied. How does Herodotus’ method of narrating history recall the storytelling of Homer in the Iliad?
Make sure to (1) include citation information (MLA or Chicago format are both fine) and (2) format the lines as poetry, with line breaks.
I will Include the readings where you will get the 2 passages from just copy them and then comment under each one answering the prompt. There should be about 4-6 sentences under each passage you find
make sure to follow all the instructions.
I will also give you an example of someones here, please just comments in 2-3 sentences either agreeing with their statement or furthering it in any way:
Describing Herodotus as the “father of history” would be an accurate representation based on his writing style because Histories could be interpreted as reading about a timeline of history rather than a story in a book. He blends together different important events throughout history and includes various characters and their perspectives, making his own opinions neutral. The reader is able to come up with their own opinions and understandings of his analysis of history and understand the different lifestyles, beliefs, and cultures people shared centuries ago and how they differ today. Specifically in Book 1, when he writes about the violence women experienced due to the Phoenicians they were captured by and how their side of the story was different from the ones shared by the women and Persians, he states:
“These are the tales told by the Persians and the Phoenicians severally: and concerning these things I am not going to say that they happened thus or thus, but when I have pointed to the main who first within my own knowledge began to commit wrong against the Hellenes, I shall go forward further with the story, giving an account of the cities of men, small as well as great..since I know that human prosperity never continues steadfast, I shall make mention of both indifferently (5).”
Herodotus’s stories within this chapter are interesting, but can be hard to follow since there are multiple things going on at once. In comparison to the Iliad, Homer uses dialogue and follows the theme of a story in his writing which is easier for the reader to follow. Additionally, Histories feels like more of an accurate depiction of what history was truly like in the past rather than forcing a lesson or theme on the reader. Another line mentioned in Histories states:
“Now the Lydians have very nearly the same customs as the Hellenes, with the exception that they prostitute their female children; and they were the first of men, so far as we know, who struck and used coin of gold or silver (94).”
What specifically stuck out to me in this line was Herodotus’s use of the words “as far as we know.” He recalls on moments in time and allows the reader to know the extent of his knowledge on certain facts. This attribution is what makes him a reliable storyteller and makes his writing more captivating to those who are unaware of the history of Ancient Greece.
“The History of Herodotus, by Herodotus.” Www.gutenberg.org, www.gutenberg.org/files/2707/2707-h/2707-h.htm.
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