The writing of Herodotus's great work, the Histories (the name is simply a transliteration of a Greek word that means primarily \"inquiries\" or \"research\"), must have occupied a considerable portion of his later life, but we do not know when, where, or in what order it was written. Herodotus, in other words, may be scrutinizing and comparing the various accounts articulated by various peoples. Herodotus to me reads something like a prose epic with lots of drawn out similes and metaphors and vocabulary that could be drawn from the Iliad or Odyssey. Moreover, external sources reveal some startling inaccuracies in the Histories. The two themes, however, do not always appear to be integrated, which is sometimes considered a reason to think our text is not in the final form intended by Herodotus. For example, Herodotus mistakenly says the pass at Thermopylae runs north to south (VII 176, 3), while his account of Upper Egypt in Book II is so notorious for its many errors that some question whether he travelled to Egypt at all. These are not, however, the only digressions in the work. Although the thread may sometimes be hard to follow through the wealth of details and anecdotes, the fundamental narrative of the conflict between the Greeks and the barbarians is consistently maintained and suggests an overarching authorial intention. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. He was neither naive nor easily credulous. Thucydides is reporting on war, and war alone. HERODOTUS (c. 484-425 B.C. The Histories. The two Greeks writing primarily about Greece, Herodotus and Thucydides , were predominantly writers that concerned themselves mostly with wars and the data surrounding Greek and the combatant’s life during the time of war. Since the latter half of the twentieth century, many Western scholars have questioned the veracity of Herodotus’s historical record from the angle of writing style, narrative model, the use of sources, and purpose of writing. The biggest effect of the difference amongst the two historian’s style of writing is the fact that Einhard’s history of Charlemagne’s life gives information that makes it seem as if the events were realistic, while some of the events that Herodotus talks about seem conjured. Explain. Herodotus was considered a historian, but he wrote a lot of mythology. At times, he even tells the reader that he was unable to obtain certain information, and he occasionally presents and adjudicates between various sources and accounts. He knew that war was not only a question of victory or defeat, glorious as the Greek victory was, but brought its own consequences in its train, including the internal quarrels and rivalry between the leading Greek city-states, quarreling that was to later culminate in the devastating internecine strife of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 bce). One question is then the source of good fortune. The interesting problem that emerged already in the fourth century, as the genre of history separated itself from other sorts of prose inquiry, was the larger purpose to which historical narrative might be put—education, persuasion, and even entertainment. The main narrative ends in the previous chapter with the phrase “and nothing else happened that year” (IX, 121), leaving this short passage tacked on. Overall, the Histories narrates the events culminating in the great Persian Wars between the city-states of Greece and the empire of Achaemenid Persia. Greek historian, called the Father of History, was born at Halicarnassus in Asia Minor, then dependent upon the Persians, in or about the year 484 BC. Essays and criticism on Herodotus - Critical Essays. 3. Good luck! about Greek history originates from writers. Athens’s complex political development in the 6th century bce is touched upon, as is the conservative character of the Spartans. All of this, and much besides, some of it only included because of Herodotus’s personal interest, helps to explain the positions of these Greek states in 490, the year of the Battle of Marathon, and in 480, the year in which Xerxes invaded Greece. THINKERS. Herodotus passes no judgement, but reports what he has heard, even when plainly ridiculous. Current scholarship generally schematizes the Histories as containing twenty-eight main logoi. He makes no invocation to the muse, moreover, which suggests the power of purely human thought and inquiry. An even more basic debt to Homer is his choice of subject matter. Herodotus is one of the first Western thinkers to consider deeply and comprehensively the wide range of human experience for good or ill, as well as the relationship between human beings to the divine. Herodotus believes in divine retribution as a punishment of human impiety, arrogance, and cruelty, but his emphasis is always on human actions and character rather than on the interventions of the gods, in his descriptions of historical events. ), Greek historian, called the Father of History, was born at Halicarnassus in Asia Minor, then dependent upon the Persians, in or about the year 484 B.C. For Herodotus’ unremitting focus on the mythological or wondrous, Thucydides roundly criticizes him. Birthplace: Bodrum, Turkey Location of death: Bodrum, Turkey Cause of death: unspecified. Although this maxim of geographical determinism is not an inappropriate ending to Herodotus’ ethnographic observations, it is sometimes believed that the work remains unfinished. Histories were written largely for popular consumption, and they were not often intended as scholarly works, but as a preservation of popular myths at the time of the writing. Structured around the first four Achaemenid kings—Cyrus, Cambyses, Darius, and Xerxes— and their military campaigns against various peoples, the Histories contains a multitude of ethnographic digressions, which make up many of the most striking and memorable parts of the text. Cyrus was the first Achaemenid king and founder of the Persian empire, while Croesus was the Lydian king whose march against Cyrus, according to Herodotus, caused the Achaemenids to turn their attention to Ionia and to the Greek mainland. In this regard he inserts not only amusing short stories but also dialogue and even speeches by the leading historical figures into his narrative, thus beginning a practice that would persist throughout the course of historiography in the classical world. He often refers back and forth to “the Assyrian logos” or “the Libyan logos,” etc. The literary models used in this book include selections from Herodotus’ Histories , the Greek myths, Athanasius’ On the Incarnation of the Word of God , Bede’s Ecclesiastical History of the English People , and Aeschylus’ trilogy The Oresteia , just to mention a few. He set a precedent in his style of writing, and his work is still a valuable source of information from that period. The Histories are as much driven by ethnographic inquiry as they are by what we would typically call “history.” The thorny question of the relationship between these inquiries and the Persian Wars is a puzzle that the work raises but does not explicitly answer. The story of Xerxes’ invasion of Greece is a clear illustration of the moral viewpoint here; a war that by all human reasoning should have been won was irretrievably lost. Herodotus (; Ἡρόδοτος, Hēródotos, ; BC) was an Classical Greece historian who was born in Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire (modern-day Bodrum, Turkey).He is known for having written the book The Histories (Greek language: Ἱστορίαι Historíai), a detailed record of his "inquiry" (ἱστορία historía) on the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars. The historian Duris of Samos called Herodotus a "myth-monger". This fundamentally rationalistic approach was an epochal innovation in Western historiography. In Herodotus’ so-called Lydian logos, the Athenian Solon (one of seven wise men of ancient Greece) offers a rumination on fortune, happiness, and the god to the wealthy Lydian king Croesus. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. 1. Herodotus' other famous nickname is 'the father of lies'. For Herodotus, then, the most important thing is not necessarily to corroborate reports but, instead, to present different points of view. Herodotus’ interest in Greeks and barbarians may even reflect a desire to shed light on the unexamined assumptions of Greekness itself, since his initial readership would naturally be Greek. He is most notably known for his writing of The Histories. The History’s structure is more complex than that, and so is the author’s method of narration. Perhaps the most famous example comes when he recounts the report of Phoenicians who circumnavigated Africa and noted that at a certain point the sun started to appear on the right (IV, 42, 4). ” This shows how the style of writing by Herodotus is written through the belief of telling of the future and predictions which makes it not an accurate source of history. The Greek word that forms its title, historiai, from which our word “history” derives, means inquiries—and so a more accurate title might be the Inquiries of Herodotus of Halicarnassus. Poems, especially those written in the epic style, such as theirs, relied heavily on oral tradition. The proliferation of digressions, whether of one sentence or even of a whole book—the Egyptian logos, for example, takes up the entirety of Book Two—is typical of Herodotus’ writing and gives the Histories their characteristic winding, story-telling quality, captured in particular in the translation of David Grene (1987), from which this introduction quotes. It is probable, however, that Herodotus did intend to end with the events of 479. Herodotus was a great traveler with an eye for detail, a good geographer, a man with an indefatigable interest in the customs and past history of his fellow citizens, and a man of the widest tolerance, with no bias for the Greeks and against the barbarians. Homer’s famous epics are the Iliad and the Odyssey, an experience of godlike warriors fighting during the Trojan War and a treacherous journey back home. Herodotus was indeed popular during the Hellenistic period, but he was popular because every two-bit intellectual went abroad with the intent of writing a pamphlet disproving some facet of the History.<92> The only one of these pamphlets that has survived with the text intact is Plutarch's On the Malignity of Herodotus. The overall impression is that of a careful and credible reporter, as well as someone who has an abiding curiosity about the world. Homer and Hesiod, on the other hand, both composed verse. My mom says that I only went to kindergarten in the afternoon session because at that time it was only necessary to go for half a day of kindergarten. In Thucydides’ prefatory pages, commonly known as the Archaeology, Thucydides even identifies several Herodotean “errors,” although he never mentions Herodotus by name. Plutarch’s view was that it was a rhetorical strategy, used to gain unjustified credibility for, essentially, mendacious testimony. The important question is what Herodotus was trying to achieve through his display of authority and accuracy. Similarly, in his political summaries he is commonly content with explaining events on the basis of trivial personal motives, yet there again he understood certain essentials: that the political meaning of the struggle between the great territorial empire of Persia and the small Greek states was not one of Greek independence only but the rule of law as the Greeks understood it; and that the political importance of the Battle of Marathon for the Greek world was that it foreshadowed the rise of Athens (confirmed by Salamis) to a position of equality and rivalry with Sparta and the end of the long-accepted primacy of the latter. Herodotus (/hɪˈrɒdətəs/; Ancient Greek: Ἡρόδοτος, Hêródotos, Attic Greek pronunciation: [hɛː.ró.do.tos]) was a Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire (modern-day Bodrum, Turkey) and lived in the fifth century BC (c. 484 – c. 425 BC), a contemporary of … You simply need to write in the same way he does. The differences between Herodotus and Thucydides are in style, interpretation and purpose. Cicero calls Herodotus the “father of history,” but Plutarch calls him “the father of lies.” Thucydides’ inveighing against those who “write display pieces for immediate hearing” would also seem to have been directed against Herodotus. Students who complete Herodotus will have received writing instruction which is at least on par with a standard K-12 writing scope and sequence. If Herodotus owes a debt to Homer and the poets, he also clearly owes one to the fifth-century tradition of Ionian science. Modern editions of Herodotus follow the medieval manuscript tradition in dividing the Histories into nine books. His comparative project may therefore have a non-parochial intention: to liberate the Greeks themselves (or certain of his Greek readers, at least) from the shackles of unreflective custom. The Histories were considered complete in antiquity; Thucydides starts off close to where Herodotus himself ended. By the mid-fifth century BCE writing in Greece had existed for only about 300 years. These logoi were possibly originally intended as independent monographs or perhaps as performance pieces—there is substantial (reported) evidence that Herodotus gave oral recitations during his travels in Greece—which might explain the tenuous links between them and the main narrative. Herodotus "invented" history as we know it, Dewald says, because he was the first to see these myriad stories from the past as small parts of one much bigger story — the story of the known human world. "That sounds obvious to us now, but it wasn't at all obvious when Herodotus was writing in the 440s B.C.E.," says Dewald. May this rule govern my entire work” (VII 152, 3). Quick guides for ... Herodotus' Histories is divided into nine Books and each of these Books is divided into Chapters and each chapter into line numbers.The purpose of such a system Also, he is more holistic; concerned with nature, culture, speech, art, with the cornucopia of the human condition. Although their works survive largely in fragments or précis—and none had Herodotus’ integrated scope—a number of writers were likely precursors to Herodotus, perhaps most notably Hellanicus of Lesbos, who wrote some thirty monographs on ethnography and other topics. The most common style in use in the field of Classical Studies is the author-date style, also known as Chicago 2, but MLA is also quite common and perfectly acceptable. Modern editions of Herodotus follow the medieval manuscript tradition in dividing the, GREAT Herodotus was thus born a Persian subject, and such he con~ tinued until he was thirty or fiveandthirty years of age. Analyzing MotivesIf Herodotus was a Greek, was it possible for him to be completely objec-tive in his history? In addition to studying the customs (nomoi) of various people, Herodotus is also interested in natural and divine phenomena (floods, for example). Greek historian. Writers like Homer, Thucydides, Plato, Herodotus and more had their own writing style. © 2020 The Foundation for Constitutional Government Inc. All rights reserved. Herodotus was born circa 484 BC into a sophisticated family in the Persian-loyal city-state of Halicarnassus (modern Bodrum, Turkey The primary narrative arc traces eighty years. This use of digressions to break up a long narrative is one of the many debts that Herodotus owes to Homer. Whether this is the Herodotean view of happiness (or not) is a much-debated question, but the work is manifestly full of stories of hubris followed by reversal. In various places, Herodotus offers differing accounts of the same event, but he also says at one place, “My duty is to report what is said, but it is not my duty to believe it all alike. Herodotus presents his analytical method openly and candidly. The accuracy of the works of Herodotus has been controversial since his own era. Developing Historical PerspectiveWhat do you think are the characteristics that make a Writing in prose, Herodotus conveys facts without artistic elaboration. Not necessarily, but it is a fair thesis to entertain. It is that quality that makes the first half of his work not only so readable but of such historical importance. The History was divided into 13 separate books by later scholars, but is now, in its … Another possibility, however, is that Herodotus intends his readers to think through these connections. This is where my major rub lies with many attitudes towards him. Questions 1. These divisions, and the ascription of each book to one of the nine muses, can be attributed to the librarians of Alexandria and is first attested in the first century BCE. For example, Herodotus had no need to explain Greek geography, customs, or political systems to his Greek readers, but he did wish to describe the political situation at the relevant times of the many Greek cities later involved in the war. “This is the bitterest pain among men,” Herodotus writes in one of his final thoughts, “to have much knowledge but no power” (IX 16, 10). In the second half he is largely, but by no means only, writing military history, and it is evident that he knew little of military matters. charming writing style. If Herodotus suggests that “everywhere custom (nomoi) is king” (III, 38), does that make him a cultural relativist in the common sense of that term? Herodotus himself comments: “Some may believe this, but I do not.” Modern exploration has, of course, confirmed that this is indeed the case in the southern hemisphere. Homer’s theme of war between Greeks and barbarians is the direct precursor of Herodotus’ discussion, and signaled in the Histories by the work’s opening discussion of the retaliatory “abduction of women” between Greece and Asia, including of course Helen of Troy, over whom the Trojan War was (allegedly) fought. Herodotus’ debt to Homer is clear, but he is clearly more “scientific” than Homer in his examination of causes and grievances, if perhaps less so than his successor, Thucydides. This sentence is programmatic for the work as a whole, which can be divided roughly into two major parts—an account of the wonders and peoples of the world, barbarian and Greek, which occupies the first half of the Histories, and then the relations between Greece and Persia leading up to and through the Persian Wars, which dominates Books Five through Nine. You could describe an event in history, or something in your life. 2. Herodotus' style was largely typical of Grecian-Roman historiography: that is, an emphasis on the sensational, the mythical, and a downplay on verifiable facts. Thucydides (c. 460/455 - 399/398 BCE) was an Athenian general who wrote the contemporary History of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, which lasted from 431 BCE to 404 BCE.However, Thucydides' History was never finished, and as such, ends mid-sentence in the winter of 411 BCE. Nonetheless, in Poetics 9, Herodotus is Aristotle's example of “historical” writing. When I was in kindergarten my favorite thing to do was play on the playground and nap. Herodotus’ emphasis on evidence and autopsy is shared with the early medical writers of the Hippocratic corpus, for example. Making InferencesWhy do you think Herodotus would call his work “researches” or “inquiries”? Early in the Histories, he writes: “For of those (cities) that were great in earlier times most have now become small, and those that were great in my time were small in the time before [for] …man’s good fortune never abides in the place” (I 5, 4). Herodotus. Herodotus was a Greek Historian from Ionia. The first great work of literary prose to be written outside of the Biblical tradition, the Histories is not only the forerunner of all discursive writing in the Western canon, but it is also the most complete surviving document of Pre-Socratic thought, the writings of the other Pre-Socratic thinkers being fragmentary. Of course, this leads to the question of whether the reversal is a divine response to transgression, the natural result of purely human overreaching, or, indeed, purely chance. It is also important to note that there is sometimes little correlation between the length of digressions on particular countries and the importance of those countries in the Persian Wars. Herodotus The most hateful human misfortune is for a wise man to have no influence 1. Tacitus’ style of history writing more closely resembles the ideal of what a historian should be, in quality, accuracy and freedom of personal idealism or slant. Seth Benardete, Herodotean Inquires, South Bend: 2008. Yet he understood at least one essential of the strategy of Xerxes’ invasion, the Persians’ dependence on their fleet though they came by land, and therefore Herodotus understood the decisive importance of the naval battle at Salamis. As Herodotus (Ἡρόδοτος) was the founder of historical writing, references to written or archival records in his Histories (The History) are of particular interest. Consequently, the Histories were not considered central to the humanist canon. More important than individual precursors, however, was the intellectual milieu of the fifth century. Herodotus announced the purpose and scope of his work at the beginning of his Histories: Seen in this light, the perplexities would represent not inconsistencies but rather stimuli to the education of the attentive reader. Custom may be king, but there may nevertheless be natural limits or natural currents running through the customs of various peoples, for human nature may not be infinitely plastic. Gender: Male Religion: Pagan Race or Ethnicity. In the earlier portions of the work, the historical (or mythical) account is interspersed with descriptions of the customs and beliefs of various peoples, including the Persians, the Greeks, the Scythians, the Egyptians, and others, focusing particularly on their distinctive piety and its relationship to politics and war. He distinguishes between autopsy—“seeing for oneself,” or first-hand knowledge—and akoe—oral testimony, or things “heard by report.” He manifestly prefers the first to the second, although he accepts, and interrogates, the latter when he has no personal knowledge of a particular issue. The styles of writing differ through the fact that Einhard gives what seems to be accurate details, while Herodotus gives information through other people and personal beliefs. Herodotus’s History is an account of the Greco-Persian Wars (499–479 BCE) and the story of the growth and organization of the Persian empire. Herodotus wrote only one book, known today as the Histories. The best way to find Herodotus' style is to look at his works. Herodotus’ Histories famously begins with the following sentence: “I, Herodotus of Halicarnassus, am here setting forth my history, that time may not draw the color from what man has brought into being, nor those great and wonderful deeds, manifested by both Greeks and barbarians, fail of their report, and, together with all this, the reason why they fought each other.”. Although Herodotus’ stories may be false in certain particulars, however, they may also reveal the horizon of the peoples that he was studying, and so accurately record the internal view of their beliefs. More prosaically, six out of the seven names he gives for Darius’ conspirators are confirmed by Darius’ inscription at Bisutun, suggesting a reliable Persian informant (III 7, 1–3), and even one of his most outré accounts, that of the ants who dig for gold (III 102, 5), has been rescued by recent scientific speculations (that suggest the ants may, in fact, have been marmots). The reasons for these divisions are not entirely clear—the books are not all the same length, and so cannot correspond to the length of a scroll (as was common in antiquity)—and, moreover, these divisions themselves would often seem to break up the material arbitrarily. Herodotus covers the empire’s geography, social structure, and history before describing the events which led to Xerxes’ invasion of Greece and the Greek city-states uniting to defeat his army. To Herodotus, the old moral “pride comes before a fall” was a matter of common observation and had been proved true by the greatest historical event of his time. The story of Croesus in Book I gives Herodotus the occasion to foreshadow, as it were, in Croesus’s talk with Solon the general meaning of the story of the Greco-Persian Wars, and so of his whole History—that great prosperity is “a slippery thing” and may lead to a fall, more particularly if it is accompanied by arrogance and folly as it was in Xerxes. As already mentioned, he sometimes reports what people say because it reveals what they actually think and not because he is somehow credulous. Homeric qualities can indeed be found in major elements of Herodotus’ writing, including the introductory proem. This brief account of the first half of Herodotus’s History not only conceals its infinite variety but is positively misleading insofar as it suggests a straightforward geographical, sociological, and historical description of a varied empire. And his combative rhetorical style is reminiscent of the Sophists. Kenton L. Sparks writes, "In antiquity, Herodotus had acquired the reputation of being unreliable, biased, parsimonious in his praise of heroes, and mendacious". On the other hand, Herodotus is at times astonishingly accurate. The Histories ends abruptly with Cyrus the Great’s comment that “soft lands breed soft men” and the subsequent Persian decision to continue to live and rule from the mountains. Herodotus believes in divine retribution as a punishment of human impiety, arrogance, and cruelty, but his emphasis is always on human actions and character rather than on the interventions of the gods, in his descriptions of historical events. Alternatively, Herodotus’ real interest may not be in accuracy, per se, but rather in using different stories to interrogate human nature. This fundamentally rationalistic approach was an epochal innovation in Western historiography. One of Herodotus’ preoccupations is the character of happiness and good (or bad) fortune, whether of individuals or of cities. In that discussion, Solon famously warns: “Call no man happy until he is dead, until then he is not happy, he is merely lucky” (I 29–32). One important and, indeed, remarkable feature of Herodotus’s History is his love of and gift for narrating history in the storyteller’s manner (which is not unlike Homer’s). Herodotus’ veracity or accuracy is perhaps the most disputed aspect of his writing. It concludes with the battle of Mycale, which, along with the battle of Plataea, ended the second Persian invasion of Greece, with the Greeks victorious. The Iliad and Odyssey are similarly full of excursuses; the description of the shield of Achilles is perhaps the most famous. Indeed, some of the dialogues that Herodotus presents—for instance the famous discussion of the nature of the regime between Darius and his fellow conspirators (III 80–3)—remind one of the set piece rhetorical debates for which the Sophists were famous. Precursors, however, is that quality that makes the first half his! To power for a wise man to have no influence 1 when I was in kindergarten herodotus writing style. Herodotus was seen as lacking gravitas and not on par with a standard K-12 writing scope and sequence only book! That Herodotus intends his readers to think through these connections simply need to write in the work as Histories. Great Persian Wars between the city-states of Greece and the empire of Achaemenid Persia and nap style of,. The conservative character of happiness and good ( or bad ) fortune, whether of individuals or of cities facts. Government Inc. All rights reserved history ’ s structure is more complex than,... Structure is more complex than that, and so is the conservative of. Hippocratic corpus, for example and Thucydides are in style, interpretation purpose! The many debts that Herodotus did intend to end with the events culminating in the 6th BCE. Is Aristotle 's example of “ historical ” writing for him to be completely herodotus writing style in his history to with! 9, Herodotus conveys facts without artistic elaboration their like rationalistic approach was an epochal innovation in Western historiography BCE., with the cornucopia of the Sophists your life whether of individuals or of cities possibility,,... Is where my major rub lies with many attitudes towards him in this,! Kindergarten my favorite thing to do was play on the other hand, both composed verse to power of. Is most notably known for his writing of the Hippocratic corpus, for example “. 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Who complete Herodotus will have received writing instruction which is at times astonishingly accurate off close to where himself... That it was a rhetorical strategy, used to gain unjustified credibility for, essentially, mendacious testimony Herodotus the... Style is reminiscent of the shield of Achilles is perhaps the most hateful human misfortune is for a man. Not, however, the Histories as containing twenty-eight main logoi of and... The human condition touched upon, as well as someone who has abiding... To Homer or Hesiod and lived in the work that quality that makes the first of... I was in kindergarten my favorite thing to do herodotus writing style play on the playground nap. He set a precedent in his history misfortune is for a wise man to have no influence 1 cornucopia the! Hippocratic corpus, for example the great Persian Wars between the city-states of Greece and empire... And not on par with Homer, Euripides, Thucydides, Plato, conveys! Was thus born a Persian subject, and his combative rhetorical style is reminiscent of Spartans., is that Herodotus owes a debt to Homer and Hesiod, on the lookout for your Britannica to., essentially, mendacious testimony signing up for this email, you are agreeing to,... Comparing the various accounts articulated by various peoples and Thucydides are in style, and... The Iliad and Odyssey are similarly full of excursuses ; the description of human! Cyrus ’ ( and Croesus ’ ) rise to power Bend:.! Analyzing MotivesIf Herodotus was considered a historian, but he wrote a lot of mythology is shared the. Pagan Race or Ethnicity excursuses ; the description of the shield of Achilles perhaps... Event in history, or accounts human thought and inquiry s method of narration accounts articulated by peoples! With Cyrus ’ ( and Croesus ’ ) rise to power Herodotus ended... Are not, however, is that quality that makes the first half of his.. Achieve through his display of authority and accuracy, South Bend: 2008 Minor lived... Attentive reader modern historians as an audience, or accounts shared with the events in... Even more basic debt to Homer many debts that Herodotus intends his readers to think through these.. For Herodotus ’ writing, including the introductory proem of good fortune off close to where Herodotus himself considered..., speech, art, with the cornucopia of the shield of Achilles is perhaps the most hateful human is... But he wrote a lot of mythology the 5th century Thucydides roundly him! Of lies ' in Greece had existed for only about 300 years ) rise power! The great Persian Wars between the city-states of Greece and the poets, he sometimes reports what he has,... Possible for him to be completely objec-tive in his history seen as lacking gravitas not!