Talk:Herodotus

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Father of Lies[edit]

Oh yes, he was the Baba Gee of lies, maybe something in their can be written on the extent of lies he told about the persians, one which can be fully proven to be false is the number of the Persian army under xerxes... who traveled into Greece.... he said with confidence that that number was more than 1.7 million which is a lie, an article in iranchamber.com (podium section) gathers this information and cites modern historians claiming it to be around 100,000 (these are only the conservative ones) others believe the number to be 40,000 .... this is proven by analysing the capacity of the ships xerxes sent to Greece, and accounts about how long it took the army to march over the bridge they built.

this shoudl be included as it is seen in history as one of the biggest fabrication created thanks to herodotus's extreme bias!


Dude, the sheer amount of misspellings and poor grammer (as well as your terrible writing style) don't exactly help your cause. Out of curiousity, why are you so pissed off at a guy who was dead roughly 2300 years before you were born? Sure Herodotus had some false information, but what leads you to believe that INCREASING the size of the invading force is evidence of bias. Leaving aside the fact that you seem to pick and choose ancient accounts to believe, how is a miscount tantamount to delibrite fabrication? There are plenty of arguments to be made against Herodotus, this one sucks ass.

You spelt "grammar" wrong, lol.

Herodotus has always mentioned Persia as a group of evil, crazy, lunatics. He has said that they were cruel beings that enslaved much of the world. And that the Greeks were great people who's way of democracy was the perfect form of government. Now, here's a question, why did Herodotus choose to live in Persia rather than Greece? A possible answer defending him - he sacrificed his life trying live in an evil nation to write about them and tell the rest of the world and the people of the future about the cruelty of Persia. Well then why didn't Persia enslave him, sentence him to death, or even imprison him?

Response to above: I am sorry, but have you actually READ the Histories? Herodotus is not generally considered to have been "biased" or "racist" against the Persians - in fact, a lot of his fellow Greeks denigrated him because they thought that he had depicted the Persians TOO WELL... They would call him "philo-barbarian" - a "lover of barbarians" - because he seemed to respect and admire other cultures and civilizations too much. In other words, many Greeks felt he was too "internationlist" and not "patriotic" enough. I would highly suggest that before you post such claims again, you should actually READ the Histories. You will be plesantly surprised I think to find that some of the most interesting, most noble, most intelligent, and most wise characters in the Histories are not Greeks, but Persians.... look up the names "Artabanus" (also spelled "Artabanos") or "Otanes" - these two Persians present speeches that form a crucial thematic core for the Histories, and they are definitely described in very glowing terms by Herodotus. Or, just turn to the last page of the text and read the final speech that Cyrus gives to the Persians - it basically encapsulates Herodotus' view of the Persian Empire, and you will find that is not what you may have thought!

More on Herodotus' biography: To try to rectify the record, Herodotus was born in Halicarnassus around 484 BCE (the modern-day city of Bodrum in Turkey), which was indeed at the time part of the Persian Empire. However, it is believed that he left following a failed rebellion against Persian rule in 457 BCE (in which a relative of his, Panyassis, took part - perhaps Herodotus himself was also involved in the uprising, or at least supportive of it?). It seems that he spent the next ten years doing most of the travels that would supply the core of his information for the Histories (the topic of exactly where he went and when, and who he talked to, is another matter altogether).

Anyway, around 447 BCE, he arrived in Athens, where he seems to have associated with the intellectual elite centered on its leader, Pericles - including such figures as the orator Antiphon, the musician Damon, the philosophers Protagoras and Zeno, and the playwrights Euripides (author of Medea and the Bacchae among others) and Sophocles (of Oedipus Rex-fame). However, since it was very difficult to become a citizen of Athens, he left Athens in 443 BCE to join a group of colonists in founding the city of Thurii in southern Italy (he thereby would have become a citizen of Thurii since he was one of the "founding fathers"). He died in Thurii in either 425 or 414 BCE (there is some disagreement among the sources).

All of this information can be found in the "Barnes & Noble Classics" edition of the Histories; it is translated by G.C. Macaulay and has an excellent introduction by Donald Lateiner (from which introduction by Lateiner the above bio has been written).

Anyone noticed that in the article, it said that Herodotus "actually criticized Aristotle and other poets who wrote about the past for distorting it"? Isn't Aristotle after Herodotus' time?

Sahara sandstorm[edit]

The History Channel recently aired a program called The Sahara (9/23/06). They said Herodotus reported a Saharan sandstorm that killed 40,000 people, though modern historians do not believe it. Do you know where that might be found in his writings? (I tried to navigate The History Channel's website to ask this questions but without success.)

citations[edit]

people keep asking for citations for passages in the book! you wouldnt do that in harry potter would you


?? Liar ??[edit]

Did Herodotus say anything that Christian church does not like? If yes, then he will be called by all bad names by Christian historians.

slave labor & pyramids[edit]

Where does H say that slaves built the pyramids? I searched the Gutenberg eText (maccauley translation) of Vol. 2 for the word "slaves" and also for "pyramid." I got no hits for the former. The discussions of pyramids include the following:

"he then bade all the Egyptians work for him. So some were appointed to draw stones from the stone-quarries in the Arabian mountains to the Nile, and others he ordered to receive the stones after they had been carried over the river in boats, and to draw them to those which are called the Libyan mountains; and they worked by a hundred thousand men at a time, for each three months continually. Of this oppression there passed ten years while the causeway was made by which they drew the stones, which causeway they built, and it is a work not much less, as it appears to me, than the pyramid; for the length of it is five furlongs and the breadth ten fathoms and the height, where it is highest, eight fathoms, and it is made of stone smoothed and with figures carved upon it. For this they said, the ten years were spent, and for the underground he caused to be made as sepulchral chambers for himself in an island, having conducted thither a channel from the Nile. For the making of the pyramid itself there passed a period of twenty years;"

"On the pyramid it is declared in Egyptian writing how much was spent on radishes and onions and leeks for the workmen, and if I rightly remember that which the interpreter said in reading to me this inscription, a sum of one thousand six hundred talents of silver was spent; and if this is so, how much besides is likely to have been expended upon the iron with which they worked, and upon bread and clothing for the workmen, seeing that they were building the works for the time which has been mentioned and were occupied for no small time besides, as I suppose, in the cutting and bringing of the stones and in working at the excavation under the ground? Cheops moreover came, they said, to such a pitch of wickedness, that being in want of money he caused his own daughter to sit in the stews, and ordered her to obtain from those who came a certain amount of money (how much it was they did not tell me): and she not only obtained the sum appointed by her father, but also she formed a design for herself privately to leave behind her a memorial, and she requested each man who came in to give her one stone upon her building: and of these stones, they told me, the pyramid was built which stands in front of the great pyramid in the middle of the three, each side being one hundred and fifty feet in length."

Original research[edit]

I have removed the original research once again. Although I applaud the attempt at compromise by MinisterForBadTimes, the rules concerning WP:OR are strict and for very good reason. Wikipedia is not a publisher of original thought. It is also not a democracy. There is no provision that allows the inclusion of original research based on any type of compromise. And the rule applies to history as well as the sciences as per Mr. Wales' statement here: [1].

The OR violations are these:

1.The improper use of a primary source. The foundation of this edit is a primary source. The rule states:

Primary sources that have been reliably published (for example, by a university press or mainstream newspaper) may be used in Wikipedia, but only with care, because it is easy to misuse them. Any interpretation of primary source material requires a reliable secondary source for that interpretation. Without a secondary source, a primary source may be used only to make descriptive claims, the accuracy of which is verifiable by a reasonable, educated person without specialist knowledge. For example, an article about a novel may cite passages from the novel to describe the plot, but any interpretation of those passages needs a secondary source. Do not make analytic, synthetic, interpretive, explanatory, or evaluative claims about information found in a primary source.

The edit constitutes an interpretation not backed by any secondary source. The secondary sources provided only allude to the primary—they in no way endorse the statement.

2. The use of an original translation where a published one exists. The rule is clear: "Where English translations of non-English material are unavailable, Wikipedia editors may supply their own." Since there is a translation published by tertullian.org which can be found here: [2], any original translation is not allowed.

This is enough to close the matter right here. But since I ordered the sources and have taken a careful look at them, I'll post my findings in the following section. My reason for doing this is to clearly separate and differentiate the two discussions.