Who Is The Father Of History?

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who is the father of History.

The Father of History is Herodotus. He was a Greek philosopher, writer and historian, famous for his knowledge and a series of books named  “The Histories”, based on the history of the Greco-Persian Wars, published in the 5th century BCE. He became the father of history because he was the first historian to gather, methodically record, and organize the timeline of events. Herodotus systematically documented and created an account of the events of the past, calling them history. In this blog, let us know more about who is the father of history in detail.

Father of History: Herodotus

Herodotus, the father of History was a Greek historian and writer, who invented the concept of history.  

  • He came from the city Halicarnassus, now known as Bodrum, Turkey and was born in 484 BCE. 
  • Halicarnassus was under the rule of the Persian Empire, making Herodotus a citizen of Persia from birth. 
  • His family was prosperous, allowing him to receive a comprehensive education in classical Greek literature, which included extensive reading.
  • At the age of about 30, his uncle Panyassis was executed for plotting against King Lygdamis II, leading to the family’s exile from Halicarnassus.
  •  It’s believed that Herodotus then moved and settled on the Greek island of Samos.
  • Herodotus embarked on a journey of exploration around the age of 20 and travelled across the world till the age of 37.
  • He later made his home in Athens, where his works gained widespread popularity and acclaim.
  • It is believed that he probably met Sophocles, one of the most renowned Greek playwrights, during this period. 

The title of “Father of History” was given to Herodotus by legendary Greek Writer – 
Marcus Tullius Cicero

In the early 450s BCE, Herodotus became involved in the establishment of a colony in Thurii, a Greek city in southern Italy. He dedicated his later years to his most important work in Thurii and passed away around 425 BCE.

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Herodotus Travel and Collection

Herodotus was on a journey of super curiosity and loved to travel. He went to faraway places like Egypt, Athens, and even beyond.

  • He talked to people everywhere he went and learned about their experiences. 
  • Having spent a long time travelling, he saw tons of places across the globe like Egypt, Susa, Babylonia, Libya, Lydia, Susa and Phrygia, again from Macedonia, Byzantium, Thrace and Scythia and even all the way to the Black Sea. 

Because he saw so much of the world himself, he was the perfect person to write about history. He noticed things carefully and wrote everything down in a way that helped create the modern way of studying history.

Herodotus’s Journey.

About “The Historian” by Herodotus

While wandering and gathering the documents of the past, he wrote his masterpiece about everything in a giant nine-book series called “The Histories.” Before him, people in Greece mostly wrote about myths, which mixed up real and fake stories with tales of gods and fantastical creatures. 

Herodotus continued writing about fascinating facts like – 

  •  Wars between Greece and Persia.
  • Background history leading to the wars.
  • The invasion of Persia in Greece and the victories of the Greeks at Platea, Mycale and Salamis.
  •  The rise of the Persian Empire.

While some of his historical details were debated from time to time, eventually, historians have found the details to be true.  


Herodotus Contribution

Herodotus made many important contributions to the field of history:

  • He provided important perspectives on the societies of Egypt, Assyria, Scythia, and Persia.
  • Herodotus carefully recorded all the information he gathered on his journeys, helping us know the details of the past.
  • His narratives included fascinating stories, like the tale of a man without a head in Libya and the discovery of ants that dig for gold in India, although their truthfulness is still questioned.

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Criticism of Herodotus 

The works of Herodotus although considered revolutionary, but were not immune to criticism. Here are some important points about his writings: 

  • Herodotus appeared to be biased as he showed his favouritism towards non-Greeks. 
  • His documents sometimes crossed the boundary between truth and myth, which led to doubts about their reliability. 
  • Today, experts generally approach his writings with a more nuanced perspective.
  • Herodotus was reputed for amending errors in his work before it was disseminated.
  • He questioned traditional myths, like the Trojan War, presenting alternative stories and perspectives.

Herodotus mostly wrote comprehensive details of battles, the lives of kings and queens, geographical topographies, etc.

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That is all about who is the father of history. If you want to know more about topics like this, then visit our general knowledge page! 

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