Herodotus

Rosaria Vignolo Munson (Swarthmore College)
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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, Babylon and all over Greece.

The opening words of Herodotus'

Histories

announce that he is a…

3286 words

Citation: Munson, Rosaria Vignolo. "Herodotus". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 August 2009 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=2109, accessed 12 June 2024.]

2109 Herodotus 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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