Herodotus the Greek Epic Historian: First Globetrotter to Persia

  November 21, 2020   Read time 1 min
Herodotus the Greek Epic Historian: First Globetrotter to Persia
Herodotus is the first professional globetrotter who recorded his experiences in the form of a travelogue. His travelogue contains his experiences of the Ancient Persia. His "History of the Persian Wars" represents a monumental work containing key ideas of the past of Persia.

Herodotus (484-425 BCE) the Greek historian who wrote extensively on the Persian Empire, here describes Persian customs as they would have been practiced around the year 430 BCE at Susa and other Persian communities. The passage, from Book I of his Histories, is interesting in the way Herodotus contrasts the behavior and values of the Persians with those of the Greeks, with the Persians seeming to come off more favorably. By the fifth century b.c.e., geographical and ethnographical writings were taking a newer, more scientific turn, in which real information about distant lands was prized, not just bizarre traveler’s tales. Herodotus of Halicarnassus was an early ethnographer and travel writer, a wealthy and well-educated man. He had much curiosity and interest in the affairs of countries outside Greece, especially in matters concerning religion. His History of the Persian Wars includes a description of the physical geography of different lands, as well as plentiful ethnography which, while not always accurate, serves in the tradition of such writing to refresh the reader and add intriguing information about the region in question.Besides providing new information about the customs of different peoples of the inhabited world, Herodotus subjected known geography to a detailed reexamination. He rejected, for instance, the old ideas about Ocean (“I know of no river called Ocean and I think that Homer or some other of the early poets invented the name and inserted it into his poetry”), which represented a dramatic shift from earlier authors, who assumed as a matter of course the existence of this vast river (Source: Encyclopedia).


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