Herodotus

(3286 words)
  • Rosaria Vignolo Munson (Swarthmore College)

1. Life and times

The opening words of Herodotus' Histories announce that he is a Greek of the periphery. In the manuscript tradition he is Herodotus of Halicarnassus (modern Bodrum, in today's Turkey), a Dorian city with a strong Carian element. But in an equally authentic variant of the same passage quoted by Aristotle (Rhetoric 3.9), the author identifies himself instead as Herodotus of Thurii: this was the pan-Hellenic colony in southern Italy sponsored by Athens in 444 BCE, which he joined as a settler. Born on the eastern fringe of the Greek world, Herodotus became a citizen in a brand new community in the extreme West. By then he had traveled extensively—to Egypt, the Black Sea area, …

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Citation:
Munson, Rosaria Vignolo. "Herodotus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 August 2009
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2109, accessed 23 July 2014.]