Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian, born in Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire. He is known for having written the book The Histories, a detailed record of his "inquiry" on the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars, he is considered to have been the first writer to have treated historical subjects using a method of systematic investigation—specifically, by collecting his materials and critically arranging them into an historiographic narrative. On account of this, he is referred to as "The Father of History", a title first conferred on him by the first-century BC Roman orator Cicero. Despite Herodotus's historical significance, little is known about his personal life, his Histories deals with the lives of Croesus, Cambyses, Smerdis and Xerxes and the battles of Marathon, Artemisium, Salamis and Mycale. Herodotus has been criticized for the fact that his book includes a large number of obvious legends and fanciful accounts. Many authors, starting with the late fifth-century BC historian Thucydides, have accused him of making up stories for entertainment.
Herodotus, states that he is reporting what he has been told. A sizable portion of the information he provides has since been confirmed by historians and archaeologists. Herodotus announced the purpose and scope of his work at the beginning of his Histories as such: Here are presented the results of the enquiry carried out by Herodotus of Halicarnassus; the purpose is to prevent the traces of human events from being erased by time, to preserve the fame of the important and remarkable achievements produced by both Greeks and non-Greeks. His record of the achievements of others was an achievement in itself, though the extent of it has been debated. Herodotus's place in history and his significance may be understood according to the traditions within which he worked, his work is the earliest Greek prose. However, Dionysius of Halicarnassus, a literary critic of Augustan Rome, listed seven predecessors of Herodotus, describing their works as simple, unadorned accounts of their own and other cities and people, Greek or foreign, including popular legends, sometimes melodramatic and naïve charming – all traits that can be found in the work of Herodotus himself.
Modern historians regard the chronology as uncertain, but according to the ancient account, these predecessors included Dionysius of Miletus, Charon of Lampsacus, Hellanicus of Lesbos, Xanthus of Lydia and, the best attested of them all, Hecataeus of Miletus. Of these, only fragments of Hecataeus's works survived, the authenticity of these is debatable, but they provide a glimpse into the kind of tradition within which Herodotus wrote his own Histories. In his introduction to Hecataeus's work, Genealogies: Hecataeus the Milesian speaks thus: I write these things as they seem true to me; this points forward to the "international" outlook typical of Herodotus. However, one modern scholar has described the work of Hecataeus as "a curious false start to history", since despite his critical spirit, he failed to liberate history from myth. Herodotus mentions Hecataeus in his Histories, on one occasion mocking him for his naive genealogy and, on another occasion, quoting Athenian complaints against his handling of their national history.
It is possible that Herodotus borrowed much material from Hecataeus, as stated by Porphyry in a quote recorded by Eusebius. In particular, it is possible that he copied descriptions of the crocodile and phoenix from Hecataeus's Circumnavigation of the Known World misrepresenting the source as "Heliopolitans", but Hecataeus did not record events that had occurred in living memory, unlike Herodotus, nor did he include the oral traditions of Greek history within the larger framework of oriental history. There is no proof that Herodotus derived the ambitious scope of his own work, with its grand theme of civilizations in conflict, from any predecessor, despite much scholarly speculation about this in modern times. Herodotus claims to be better informed than his predecessors by relying on empirical observation to correct their excessive schematism. For example, he argues for continental asymmetry as opposed to the older theory of a circular earth with Europe and Asia/Africa equal in size. However, he retains idealizing tendencies, as in his symmetrical notions of the Nile.
His debt to previous authors of prose "histories" might be questionable, but there is no doubt that Herodotus owed much to the example and inspiration of poets and story-tellers. For example, Athenian tragic poets provided him with a world-view of a balance between conflicting forces, upset by the hubris of kings, they provided his narrative with a model of episodic structure, his familiarity with Athenian tragedy is demonstrated in a number of passages echoing Aeschylus's Persae, including the epigrammatic observation that the defeat of the Persian navy at Salamis caused the defeat of the land army. The debt may have been repaid by Sophocles because there appear to be echoes of The Histories in his plays a passage in Antigone that resembles Herodotus's account of the death of Intaphernes. However, this point is one of the most contentious
Zoroastrianism, or Mazdayasna, is one of the world's oldest religions that remains active. It is a monotheistic faith, centered in a dualistic cosmology of good and evil and an eschatology predicting the ultimate destruction of evil. Ascribed to the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster, it exalts a deity of wisdom, Ahura Mazda, as its Supreme Being. Major features of Zoroastrianism, such as messianism, judgment after death and hell, free will may have influenced other religious systems, including Second Temple Judaism, Christianity and Buddhism. With possible roots dating back to the second millennium BCE, Zoroastrianism enters recorded history in the 5th century BCE. Along with a Mithraic Median prototype and a Zurvanist Sassanid successor, it served as the state religion of the pre-Islamic Iranian empires for more than a millennium, from around 600 BCE to 650 CE. Zoroastrianism was suppressed from the 7th century onwards following the Muslim conquest of Persia of 633–654. Recent estimates place the current number of Zoroastrians at around 190,000, with most living in India and in Iran.
However, in 2015, there were reports of up to 100,000 converts in Iraqi Kurdistan. Besides the Zoroastrian diaspora, the older Mithraic faith Yazdânism is still practised amongst Kurds; the most important texts of the religion are those of the Avesta, which includes the writings of Zoroaster known as the Gathas, enigmatic poems that define the religion's precepts, the Yasna, the scripture. The full name by which Zoroaster addressed the deity is: Ahura, The Lord Creator, Mazda, Supremely Wise; the religious philosophy of Zoroaster divided the early Iranian gods of Proto-Indo-Iranian tradition, but focused on responsibility, did not create a devil per se. Zoroaster proclaimed that there is only one God, the singularly creative and sustaining force of the Universe, that human beings are given a right of choice; because of cause and effect, they are responsible for the consequences of their choices. The contesting force to Ahura Mazda was called angry spirit. Post-Zoroastrian scripture introduced the concept of Ahriman, the Devil, a personification of Angra Mainyu.
Zoroastrianism's creator Ahura Mazda, through the Spenta Mainyu is an all-good "father" of Asha, in opposition to Druj and no evil originates from "him". "He" and his works are evident to humanity through the six primary Amesha Spentas and the host of other Yazatas, through whom worship of Mazda is directed. Spenta Mainyu adjoined unto "truth", oppose the Spirit's opposite, Angra Mainyu and its forces born of Akəm Manah. Zoroastrianism has no major theological divisions. In Zoroastrianism, the purpose in life is to "be among those who renew the world...to make the world progress towards perfection". Its basic maxims include: Humata, Huvarshta, which mean: Good Thoughts, Good Words, Good Deeds. There is only one path and, the path of Truth. Do the right thing because it is the right thing to do, all beneficial rewards will come to you also; the name Zoroaster is a Greek rendering of the name Zarathustra. He is known as Zardosht in Persian and Zaratosht in Gujarati; the Zoroastrian name of the religion is Mazdayasna, which combines Mazda- with the Avestan language word yasna, meaning "worship, devotion".
In English, an adherent of the faith is called a Zoroastrian or a Zarathustrian. An older expression still used today is Behdin, meaning "The best Religion | Beh < Middle Persian Weh + Din < Middle Persian dēn < Avestan Daēnā". In Zoroastrian liturgy the term is used as a title for an individual, formally inducted into the religion in a Navjote ceremony; the term Mazdaism is a typical 19th century construct, taking Mazda- from the name Ahura Mazda and adding the suffix -ism to suggest a belief system. The March 2001 draft edition of the Oxford English Dictionary records an alternate form, Mazdeism derived from the French Mazdéisme, which first appeared in 1871. Zoroastrian philosophy is identified as having been known to Italian Renaissance Europe through an image of Zoroaster in Raphael's "School of Athens" by Giorgio Vasari in 1550; the first surviving reference to Zoroaster in English scholarship is attributed to Thomas Browne, who refers to the prophet in his 1643 Religio Medici, followed by the Oxford English Dictionary's record of the 1743.
The Oxford English Dictionary records use of the term Zoroastrianism in 1874 in Archibald Sayce's Principles of Comparative Philology. Zoroastrians believe that there is one universal, supreme God, Ahura Mazda, or the "Wise Lord".. Zoroaster keeps the two attributes separate as two different concepts in most of the Gathas and consciously uses a masculine word for one concept and a feminine for the other, as if to distract from an anthropomorphism of his divinity. Zoroaster claimed. Other scholars assert that since Zoroastrianism's divinity covers both being and mind as immanent entities, it is better described as a belief in an immanent self-creating universe with consciousness as its special attribute, thereby putting Zoroastrianism in the pantheistic fold where it can be traced to i
The Achaemenid Empire called the First Persian Empire, was an empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Great. Ranging at its greatest extent from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, it was larger than any previous empire in history, spanning 5.5 million square kilometers. Incorporating various peoples of different origins and faiths, it is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, the development of civil services and a large professional army; the empire's successes inspired similar systems in empires. By the 7th century BC, the Persians had settled in the south-western portion of the Iranian Plateau in the region of Persis, which came to be their heartland. From this region, Cyrus the Great advanced to defeat the Medes and the Neo-Babylonian Empire, establishing the Achaemenid Empire.
Alexander the Great, an avid admirer of Cyrus the Great, conquered most of the empire by 330 BC. Upon Alexander's death, most of the empire's former territory came under the rule of the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Seleucid Empire, in addition to other minor territories which gained independence at that time; the Iranian elites of the central plateau reclaimed power by the second century BC under the Parthian Empire. The Achaemenid Empire is noted in Western history as the antagonist of the Greek city-states during the Greco-Persian Wars and for the emancipation of the Jewish exiles in Babylon; the historical mark of the empire went far beyond its territorial and military influences and included cultural, social and religious influences as well. Despite the lasting conflict between the two states, many Athenians adopted Achaemenid customs in their daily lives in a reciprocal cultural exchange, some being employed by or allied to the Persian kings; the impact of Cyrus's edict is mentioned in Judeo-Christian texts, the empire was instrumental in the spread of Zoroastrianism as far east as China.
The empire set the tone for the politics and history of Iran. The term Achaemenid means "of the family of the Achaemenis/Achaemenes". Achaemenes was himself a minor seventh-century ruler of the Anshan in southwestern Iran, a vassal of Assyria. Astronomical year numbering Dates are approximate, consult particular article for details The Persian nation contains a number of tribes as listed here....: the Pasargadae and Maspii, upon which all the other tribes are dependent. Of these, the Pasargadae are the most distinguished. Other tribes are the Panthialaei, Germanii, all of which are attached to the soil, the remainder -the Dai, Dropici, being nomadic; the Achaemenid Empire was created by nomadic Persians. The name "Persia" is a Greek and Latin pronunciation of the native word referring to the country of the people originating from Persis; the Persians were an Iranian people who arrived in what is today Iran c. 1000 BC and settled a region including north-western Iran, the Zagros Mountains and Persis alongside the native Elamites.
For a number of centuries they fell under the domination of the Neo-Assyrian Empire, based in northern Mesopotamia. The Persians were nomadic pastoralists in the western Iranian Plateau and by 850 BC were calling themselves the Parsa and their shifting territory Parsua, for the most part localized around Persis; the Achaemenid Empire was not the first Iranian empire, as the Medes, another group of Iranian peoples, established a short-lived empire and played a major role in the overthrow of the Assyrian. The Achaemenids were rulers of the Elamite city of Anshan near the modern city of Marvdasht. There are conflicting accounts of the identities of the earliest Kings of Anshan. According to the Cyrus Cylinder the kings of Anshan were Teispes, Cyrus I, Cambyses I and Cyrus II known as Cyrus the Great, who created the empire. In Herodotus' Histories, he writes that Cyrus the Great was the son of Cambyses I and Mandane of Media, the daughter of Astyages, the king of the Median Empire. Cyrus revolted against the Median Empire in 553 BC, in 550 BC succeeded in defeating the Medes, capturing Astyages and taking the Median capital city of Ecbatana.
Once in control of Ecbatana, Cyrus styled himself as the successor to Astyages and assumed control of the entire empire. By inheriting Astyages' empire, he inherited the territorial conflicts the Medes had had with both Lydia and the Neo-Babylonian Empire. King Croesus of Lydia sought to take advantage of the new international situation by advancing into what had been Median territory in Asia Minor. Cyrus led a counterattack which not only fought off Croesus' armies, but led to the capture of Sardis and the fall of the Lydian Kingdom in 546 BC. Cyrus placed Pactyes in charge of collecting tribute in Lydia and left, but once Cyrus had left Pactyes instigated a rebellion against Cyrus. Cyrus sent the Median general Mazares to deal with the rebellion, Pactyes was captured. Mazares, aft
The Ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BCE to the 6th century CE. It is roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, Hellenistic period, it is succeeded by medieval Greek. Koine is regarded as a separate historical stage of its own, although in its earliest form it resembled Attic Greek and in its latest form it approaches Medieval Greek. Prior to the Koine period, Greek of the classic and earlier periods included several regional dialects. Ancient Greek was the language of Homer and of fifth-century Athenian historians and philosophers, it has contributed many words to English vocabulary and has been a standard subject of study in educational institutions of the Western world since the Renaissance. This article contains information about the Epic and Classical periods of the language. Ancient Greek was a pluricentric language, divided into many dialects; the main dialect groups are Attic and Ionic, Aeolic and Doric, many of them with several subdivisions.
Some dialects are found in standardized literary forms used in literature, while others are attested only in inscriptions. There are several historical forms. Homeric Greek is a literary form of Archaic Greek used in the epic poems, the "Iliad" and "Odyssey", in poems by other authors. Homeric Greek had significant differences in grammar and pronunciation from Classical Attic and other Classical-era dialects; the origins, early form and development of the Hellenic language family are not well understood because of a lack of contemporaneous evidence. Several theories exist about what Hellenic dialect groups may have existed between the divergence of early Greek-like speech from the common Proto-Indo-European language and the Classical period, they differ in some of the detail. The only attested dialect from this period is Mycenaean Greek, but its relationship to the historical dialects and the historical circumstances of the times imply that the overall groups existed in some form. Scholars assume that major Ancient Greek period dialect groups developed not than 1120 BCE, at the time of the Dorian invasion—and that their first appearances as precise alphabetic writing began in the 8th century BCE.
The invasion would not be "Dorian" unless the invaders had some cultural relationship to the historical Dorians. The invasion is known to have displaced population to the Attic-Ionic regions, who regarded themselves as descendants of the population displaced by or contending with the Dorians; the Greeks of this period believed there were three major divisions of all Greek people—Dorians and Ionians, each with their own defining and distinctive dialects. Allowing for their oversight of Arcadian, an obscure mountain dialect, Cypriot, far from the center of Greek scholarship, this division of people and language is quite similar to the results of modern archaeological-linguistic investigation. One standard formulation for the dialects is: West vs. non-west Greek is the strongest marked and earliest division, with non-west in subsets of Ionic-Attic and Aeolic vs. Arcadocypriot, or Aeolic and Arcado-Cypriot vs. Ionic-Attic. Non-west is called East Greek. Arcadocypriot descended more from the Mycenaean Greek of the Bronze Age.
Boeotian had come under a strong Northwest Greek influence, can in some respects be considered a transitional dialect. Thessalian had come under Northwest Greek influence, though to a lesser degree. Pamphylian Greek, spoken in a small area on the southwestern coast of Anatolia and little preserved in inscriptions, may be either a fifth major dialect group, or it is Mycenaean Greek overlaid by Doric, with a non-Greek native influence. Most of the dialect sub-groups listed above had further subdivisions equivalent to a city-state and its surrounding territory, or to an island. Doric notably had several intermediate divisions as well, into Island Doric, Southern Peloponnesus Doric, Northern Peloponnesus Doric; the Lesbian dialect was Aeolic Greek. All the groups were represented by colonies beyond Greece proper as well, these colonies developed local characteristics under the influence of settlers or neighbors speaking different Greek dialects; the dialects outside the Ionic group are known from inscriptions, notable exceptions being: fragments of the works of the poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos, in Aeolian, the poems of the Boeotian poet Pindar and other lyric poets in Doric.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE, a new international dialect known as Koine or Common Greek developed based on Attic Greek, but with influence from other dialects. This dialect replaced most of the older dialects, although Doric dialect has survived in the Tsakonian language, spoken in the region of modern Sparta. Doric has passed down its aorist terminations into most verbs of Demotic Greek. By about the 6th century CE, the Koine had metamorphosized into Medieval Greek. Ancient Macedonian was an Indo-European language at least related to Greek, but its exact relationship is unclear because of insufficient data: a dialect of Greek; the Macedonian dialect (or l
Ancient Greece was a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Three centuries after the Late Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece, Greek urban poleis began to form in the 8th century BC, ushering in the Archaic period and colonization of the Mediterranean Basin; this was followed by the period of Classical Greece, an era that began with the Greco-Persian Wars, lasting from the 5th to 4th centuries BC. Due to the conquests by Alexander the Great of Macedon, Hellenistic civilization flourished from Central Asia to the western end of the Mediterranean Sea; the Hellenistic period came to an end with the conquests and annexations of the eastern Mediterranean world by the Roman Republic, which established the Roman province of Macedonia in Roman Greece, the province of Achaea during the Roman Empire. Classical Greek culture philosophy, had a powerful influence on ancient Rome, which carried a version of it to many parts of the Mediterranean Basin and Europe.
For this reason, Classical Greece is considered to be the seminal culture which provided the foundation of modern Western culture and is considered the cradle of Western civilization. Classical Greek culture gave great importance to knowledge. Science and religion were not separate and getting closer to the truth meant getting closer to the gods. In this context, they understood the importance of mathematics as an instrument for obtaining more reliable knowledge. Greek culture, in a few centuries and with a limited population, managed to explore and make progress in many fields of science, mathematics and knowledge in general. Classical antiquity in the Mediterranean region is considered to have begun in the 8th century BC and ended in the 6th century AD. Classical antiquity in Greece was preceded by the Greek Dark Ages, archaeologically characterised by the protogeometric and geometric styles of designs on pottery. Following the Dark Ages was the Archaic Period, beginning around the 8th century BC.
The Archaic Period saw early developments in Greek culture and society which formed the basis for the Classical Period. After the Archaic Period, the Classical Period in Greece is conventionally considered to have lasted from the Persian invasion of Greece in 480 until the death of Alexander the Great in 323; the period is characterized by a style, considered by observers to be exemplary, i.e. "classical", as shown in the Parthenon, for instance. Politically, the Classical Period was dominated by Athens and the Delian League during the 5th century, but displaced by Spartan hegemony during the early 4th century BC, before power shifted to Thebes and the Boeotian League and to the League of Corinth led by Macedon; this period saw the Greco-Persian Wars and the Rise of Macedon. Following the Classical period was the Hellenistic period, during which Greek culture and power expanded into the Near and Middle East; this period ends with the Roman conquest. Roman Greece is considered to be the period between Roman victory over the Corinthians at the Battle of Corinth in 146 BC and the establishment of Byzantium by Constantine as the capital of the Roman Empire in AD 330.
Late Antiquity refers to the period of Christianization during the 4th to early 6th centuries AD, sometimes taken to be complete with the closure of the Academy of Athens by Justinian I in 529. The historical period of ancient Greece is unique in world history as the first period attested directly in proper historiography, while earlier ancient history or proto-history is known by much more circumstantial evidence, such as annals or king lists, pragmatic epigraphy. Herodotus is known as the "father of history": his Histories are eponymous of the entire field. Written between the 450s and 420s BC, Herodotus' work reaches about a century into the past, discussing 6th century historical figures such as Darius I of Persia, Cambyses II and Psamtik III, alluding to some 8th century ones such as Candaules. Herodotus was succeeded by authors such as Thucydides, Demosthenes and Aristotle. Most of these authors were either Athenian or pro-Athenian, why far more is known about the history and politics of Athens than those of many other cities.
Their scope is further limited by a focus on political and diplomatic history, ignoring economic and social history. In the 8th century BC, Greece began to emerge from the Dark Ages which followed the fall of the Mycenaean civilization. Literacy had been lost and Mycenaean script forgotten, but the Greeks adopted the Phoenician alphabet, modifying it to create the Greek alphabet. Objects with Phoenician writing on them may have been available in Greece from the 9th century BC, but the earliest evidence of Greek writing comes from graffiti on Greek pottery from the mid-8th century. Greece was divided into many small self-governing communities, a pattern dictated by Greek geography: every island and plain is cut off from its neighbors by the sea or mountain ranges; the Lelantine War is the earliest documented war of the ancient Greek period. It was fought between the important poleis of Chalcis and Eretria over the fertile Lelantine plain of Euboea. Both cities seem to have suffered a decline as result of the long war, though Chalcis was the nominal victor.
A mercantile class arose in the first half of the 7th century BC, shown by the introduction of coinage in about 680 BC. This
The Scythians known as Scyth, Sakae, Iskuzai, or Askuzai, were Eurasian nomads mostly using Eastern Iranian languages, who were mentioned by the literate peoples to their south as inhabiting large areas of the western and central Eurasian Steppe from about the 9th century BC up until the 4th century AD. The "classical Scythians" known to ancient Greek historians, agreed to be Iranian in origin, were located in the northern Black Sea and fore-Caucasus region. Other Scythian groups documented by Assyrian and Chinese sources show that they existed in Central Asia, where they were referred to as the Iskuzai/Askuzai and Sai, respectively; the relationships between the peoples living in these separated regions remains unclear, the term is used in both a broad and narrow sense. The term "Scythian" is used by modern scholars in an archaeological context for finds perceived to display attributes of the wider "Scytho-Siberian" culture without implying an ethnic or linguistic connotation; the term Scythic may be used in a similar way, "to describe a special phase that followed the widespread diffusion of mounted nomadism, characterized by the presence of special weapons, horse gear, animal art in the form of metal plaques".
Their westernmost territories during the Iron Age were known to classical Greek sources as Scythia, in the more narrow sense "Scythian" is restricted to these areas, where the Scythian languages were spoken. Different definitions of "Scythian" have been used; the Scythians were among the earliest peoples to master mounted warfare. They kept herds of horses and sheep, lived in tent-covered wagons and fought with bows and arrows on horseback, they developed a rich culture characterised by opulent tombs, fine metalwork and a brilliant art style. In the 8th century BC, they raided Zhou China. Soon after, they dislodged the Cimmerians from power on the Pontic Steppe. At their peak, Scythians came to dominate the entire steppe zone, stretching from the Carpathian Mountains in the west to central China and the south Siberia in the east, creating what has been called the first Central Asian nomadic empire, although there was little that could be called an organised state. Based in what is modern-day Ukraine, Southern European Russia and Crimea, the western Scythians were ruled by a wealthy class known as the Royal Scyths.
The Scythians established and controlled the Silk Road, a vast trade network connecting Greece, Persia and China contributing to the contemporary flourishing of those civilisations. Settled metalworkers made portable decorative objects for the Scythians; these objects survive in metal, forming a distinctive Scythian art. In the 7th century BC, the Scythians crossed the Caucasus and raided the Middle East along with the Cimmerians, playing an important role in the political developments of the region. Around 650–630 BC, Scythians dominated the Medes of the western Iranian Plateau, stretching their power to the borders of Egypt. After losing control over Media, the Scythians continued intervening in Middle Eastern affairs, playing a leading role in the destruction of the Assyrian Empire in the Sack of Nineveh in 612 BC; the Scythians subsequently engaged in frequent conflicts with the Achaemenid Empire. The western Scythians suffered a major defeat against Macedonia in the 4th century BC and were subsequently conquered by the Sarmatians, a related Iranian people from Central Asia.
The Eastern Scythians of the Asian Steppe were attacked by the Yuezhi and Xiongnu in the 2nd century BC, prompting many of them to migrate into South Asia, where they became known as Indo-Scythians. At some point as late as the 3rd century AD after the demise of the Han dynasty and the Xiongnu, Eastern Scythians crossed the Pamir Mountains and settled in the western Tarim Basin, where the Scythian Khotanese and Tumshuqese languages are attested in Brahmi scripture from the 10th and 11th centuries AD; the Kingdom of Khotan, at least Saka, was conquered by the Kara-Khanid Khanate, which led to the Islamisation and Turkification of Northwest China. In Eastern Europe, by the early Medieval Ages, the Scythians and their related Sarmatians were assimilated and absorbed by the Proto-Slavic population of the region. In the strict sense'Scythian' refers to the nomads north of the Black Sea and is distinguished from the similar Sarmatians who lived north of the Caspian and replaced the Scythians proper.
The Persian term Saka is used for the Scythians in Central Asia. The Chinese used the term Sai, for Sakas who once inhabited the valleys of the Ili River and Chu River and moved into the Tarim Basin. Herodotus said. Iskuzai or Askuzai is an Assyrian term for raiders south of the Caucasus who were Scythian. A group of Scythians/Sakas gave their name to Sakastan. They, or a related group, became the Indo-Scythians. Near the end of this article is a list of peoples that have been called Scythians. Oswald Szemerényi studied the various words for Scythian and gave the following: Skuthes Σκύθης, Skudra and Saka; the first three descend from the Indo-European root *kewd-, meaning "propel, shoot". *skud- is the zero-grade form of the same root. Szemerényi restores the Scythians' self-name; this yields the ancient Greek Skuthēs Σκύ
The Histories of Herodotus is considered the founding work of history in Western literature. Written in 440 BC in the Ionic dialect of classical Greek, The Histories serves as a record of the ancient traditions, politics and clashes of various cultures that were known in Western Asia, Northern Africa and Greece at that time. Although not a impartial record, it remains one of the West's most important sources regarding these affairs. Moreover, it established the study of history in the Western world; the Histories stands as one of the first accounts of the rise of the Persian Empire, as well as the events and causes of the Greco-Persian Wars between the Achaemenid Empire and the Greek city-states in the 5th century BC. Herodotus portrays the conflict as one between the forces of slavery on the one hand, freedom on the other; the Histories was at some point divided into the nine books that appear in modern editions, conventionally named after the nine Muses. Herodotus claims to have traveled extensively around the ancient world, conducting interviews and collecting stories for his book all of which covers territories of the Persian Empire.
At the beginning of The Histories, Herodotus sets out his reasons for writing it: This is the showing-forth of the inquiry of Herodotus of Halicarnassus, so that neither what has come to be from man in time might become faded, nor that great and wondrous deeds, those shown forth by Greeks and those by barbarians, might be without their glory. The rapes of Io, Medea, which motivated Paris to abduct Helen; the subsequent Trojan War is marked as a precursor to conflicts between peoples of Asia and Europe. Colchis and Medea; the rulers of Lydia: Candaules, Ardys, Alyattes, Croesus How Candaules made his bodyguard, view the naked body of his wife. Upon discovery, she ordered Gyges to murder Candaules or face death himself How Gyges took the kingdom from Candaules The singer Arion's ride on the dolphin Solon's answer to Croesus's question that Tellus was the happiest person in the world Croesus's efforts to protect his son Atys, his son's accidental death by Adrastus Croesus's test of the oracles The answer from the Oracle of Delphi concerning whether Croesus should attack the Persians: If you attack, a great empire will fall.
Peisistratos' falls from power as tyrant of Athens The rise of Sparta The Battle of Halys. Rebellion fails and he seeks refuge from Mazares in Cyme The culture of Assyria the design and improvement of the city of Babylon and the ways of its people Cyrus's attack on Babylon, including his revenge on the river Gyndes and his famous method for entering the city Cyrus's ill-fated attack on the Massagetæ, leading to his death The proof of the antiquity of the Phrygians by the use of children unexposed to language The geography of Egypt Speculations on the Nile river The religious practices of Egypt as they differ from the Greeks The animals of Egypt: cats, crocodiles, otters, sacred serpents, winged snakes, ibises The culture of Egypt: medicine, funeral rites, boats The kings of Egypt: Menes, Nitocris, Mœris, Pheron, Proteus Helen and Paris's stay in Egypt, just before the Trojan War More kings of Egypt: Rhampsinit, Chephren, Asychis, Sethôs The line of priests The Labyrinth More kings of Egypt: the twelve, Necôs, Apries, Amasis II Cambyses II of Persia's attack on Egypt, the defeat of the Egyptian king Psammetichus III.
Cambyses's abortive attack on Ethiopia The madness of Cambyses The good fortune of Polycrates, king of Samos Periander, the king of Corinth and Corcyra, his obstinate son The revolt of the two Magi in Persia and the death of Cambyses The conspiracy of the seven to remove the Magi The rise of Darius I of Persia. The twenty satrapies The culture of India and their method of collecting gold The culture of Arabia and their method of collecting spices The flooded valley with five gates Orœtes's scheme against Polycrates The physician Democêdes The rise of Syloson governor of Samos The revolt of Babylon and its defeat by the scheme of Zopyrus The history of the Scythians The miraculous poet Aristeas The geography of Scythia The inhabitants of regions beyond Scythia: Sauromatae, Thyssagetae, Issedones, Hyperboreans A comparison of Libya and Europe The rivers of Scythia: the Ister, the Tyras, the Hypanis, the Borysthe