Primary Source Analysis: The History Of Herodotus

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Primary Source Analysis: The History of Herodotus; Book I: Clio The Histories, by Herodotus, is a detailed account of the aggression and later violence between the Greeks and Persians, and was the first ever written record of a historical event. It was due to its name and example that history has even been continuously recorded, and how Herodotus earned his nickname “The Father of History”. Because of it was separated into nine books, each named after one of the nine Muses, the focus of this analysis will be of Book I, Clio, which tells the beginning of the transgressions between the Greeks and the Persians. Herodotus first starts with how the Persians believed that the Phoenicians started the conflict by abducting and raping the princess…show more content…
Instead of stopping them, the king of Lydia’s failed attempt of war led to his defeat and eventual capture by the king of Persia Cyrus. Slated for execution by being burned on a pyre, Croesus is saved by the intervention of his god Apollo, which caused Cyrus to believe that the gods protected him, and decided to make the former king his royal advisor as the Persian king conquers all of Lydia’s lands. Herodotus takes the rest of Clio to tell of Cyrus’ own history, of his rise to power including leading Persia against their enemies the Medians and conquering their empire, and later his conquering of Lydia. Later, after crushing rebellion from his Lydian subjects, Cyrus goes on to conquer Babylonia and began plans to conquer the Massagetai. He first attempted to convince the queen Tomyris that he wished her for a wife, but she knew he wanted to marry the kingdom to his own, and denied him, causing him to prepare yet again for war. However, his royal advisor Croesus tried to convince him otherwise, saying to instead make allies out of their two peoples, not more war. But Cyrus ignored his advisor’s wise council and led his army against Queen Tomyris and her forces, and lost his life in the battle. This is where Clio ends, and where Book II, Euterpe begins, and where the Persian War starts to fully form as a massive conflict between the Greeks and…show more content…
Written in Classical Greek, it has been translated into dozens of languages, including Old English and modern English, and kept the ancient traditions, morality, and stories alive centuries after the author’s passing. As the “Father of History”, Herodotus holds a status of academic immortality, and through his work we have a foundation for how to keep record of history for future generations to know and almost place themselves in those times. What reading Clio has reminded me of is the importance of history to the world, and how this book and its eight brethren were the blueprints for all future historical writings. It shows how well recordkeeping can stand the test of time, and how keeping information and knowledge of the past can continue to teach and shape the
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