Herodotus the father of History

Because of Herodotus, history is, in spirit, a verb: to find out for yourself.” (Robert Kaplan)

Herodotus was a Greek historian of the fifth century B.C. He created the first work of what we now consider to be history. He was born in Halicarnassus, in south- western Asia Minor, some-time around 484 B.C. and died around 425 B.C in the Greek colony of Thurii, in southern Italy, where he wrote much of his only work, «The Histories».

Herodotus was named “The Father of History” by the Roman writer Cicero, as he was the first scholar to treat historical subjects as a method of investigation by gathering his materials systematically and then arranging them into a historiographic narrative.

He traveled widely around the entire world of his day writing down his own observations and experiences, as well as keeping record of the greatest marvels and the most exceptional customs and fables of the ancient world.

The Histories is a lengthy record of his inquiry on the origins of the monumental struggle between the Greeks and the Persians, including the battles of Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis among much more. His primary task was to explain how the Greeks came to fight and defeat the much stronger Persian army, but the buildup to that includes a history of the ancient world covering a vast amount of different types of material.

The Histories have a tremendous geographical range, as Herodotus laid much emphasis on geographical and cultural-ethnographic information. Thus, Herodotus was the first to look at the big picture of a sweeping history of humanity. As he claims in the opening sentence of his work, he sought to preserve the memory of all the great deeds and achievements of the world he lived in and especially the reason why the Greeks and the Persians warred against each other.