Samos is a Greek island in the eastern Aegean Sea, south of Chios, north of Patmos and the Dodecanese, off the coast of Asia Minor, from which it is separated by the 1.6-kilometre -wide Mycale Strait. It is a separate regional unit of the North Aegean region, the only municipality of the regional unit. In ancient times Samos was an rich and powerful city-state known for its vineyards and wine production, it is home to Pythagoreion and the Heraion of Samos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes the Eupalinian aqueduct, a marvel of ancient engineering. Samos is the birthplace of the Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras, after whom the Pythagorean theorem is named, the philosopher Epicurus, the astronomer Aristarchus of Samos, the first known individual to propose that the Earth revolves around the sun. Samian wine was well known in antiquity, is still produced on the island; the island was governed by the semi-autonomous Principality of Samos under Ottoman suzerainty from 1835 until it joined Greece in 1912.
Strabo derived the name from the Phoenician word sama meaning "high". The area of the island is 477.395 km2, it is 43 km long and 13 km wide. It is separated from Anatolia by the 1-mile-wide Mycale Strait. While mountainous, Samos has several large and fertile plains. A great portion of the island is covered with vineyards; the most important plains except the capital, Vathy, in the northeast, are that of Karlovasi, in the northwest, Pythagoreio, in the southeast, Marathokampos in the southwest. The island's population is 33,814, the 9th most populous of the Greek islands; the Samian climate is Mediterranean, with mild rainy winters, warm rainless summers. Samos' relief is dominated by two large mountains and Kerkis; the Ampelos massif is the larger of the two and occupies the center of the island, rising to 1,095 metres. Mt. Kerkis, though smaller in area is the taller of the two and its summit is the island's highest point, at 1,434 metres; the mountains are a continuation of the Mycale range on the Anatolian mainland.
According to Strabo, the name Samos is from Phoenician meaning "rise by the shore". Samos is home to many surprising species including the golden jackal, stone marten, wild boar and monk seal. Samos is one of the sunniest places in Europe with 3300 hours of sunshine annually or 74% of the day time, its climate is wet in winter and dry in summer. In classical antiquity the island was a center of Ionian culture and luxury, renowned for its Samian wines and its red pottery, its most famous building was the Ionic order archaic Temple of goddess Hera—the Heraion. Concerning the earliest history of Samos, literary tradition is singularly defective. At the time of the great migrations it received an Ionian population which traced its origin to Epidaurus in Argolis: Samos became one of the twelve members of the Ionian League. By the 7th century BC it had become one of the leading commercial centers of Greece; this early prosperity of the Samians seems due to the island's position near trade-routes, which facilitated the importation of textiles from inner Asia Minor, but the Samians developed an extensive oversea commerce.
They helped to open up trade with the population that lived around the Black Sea as well as with Egypt, Cyrene and Chalcis. This caused them to become bitter rivals with Miletus. Samos was able to become so prominent despite the growing power of the Persian empire because of the alliance they had with the Egyptians and their powerful fleet; the Samians are credited with having been the first Greeks to reach the Straits of Gibraltar. The feud between Miletus and Samos broke out into open strife during the Lelantine War, with which we may connect a Samian innovation in Greek naval warfare, the use of the trireme; the result of this conflict was to confirm the supremacy of the Milesians in eastern waters for the time being. About 535 BC, when the existing oligarchy was overturned by the tyrant Polycrates, Samos reached the height of its prosperity, its navy not only ruled supreme in Aegean waters. The city was beautified with public works, its school, of sculptors, metal-workers and engineers achieved high repute.
In the 6th century BC Samos was ruled by the famous tyrant Polycrates. During his reign, two working groups under the lead of the engineer Eupalinos dug a tunnel through Mount Kastro to build an aqueduct to supply the ancient capital of Samos with fresh water, as this was of the utmost defensive importance. Eupalinos' tunnel is notable because it is the second earliest tunnel in history to be dug from both ends in a methodical manner. With a length of over 1 km, Eupalinos' subterranean aqueduct is today regarded as one of the masterpieces of ancient engineering; the aqueduct is now part of the Pythagoreion. After Polycrates' death Samos suffered a severe blow when the Persian Achaemenid Empire conquered and depopulated the island, it had regained much of its power when in 499 BC it joined the general revolt of the Ionian city-states against Persia.
De origine actibusque Getarum, or the Getica, written in Late Latin by Jordanes in or shortly after 551 AD, claims to be a summary of a voluminous account by Cassiodorus of the origin and history of the Gothic people, now lost. However, the extent to which Jordanes used the work of Cassiodorus is unknown, it is significant as the only remaining contemporaneous resource that gives the full story of the origin and history of the Goths. Another aspect of this work is the customs of Slavs; the Getica begins with a geography/ethnography of the North of Scandza. He lets the history of the Goths commence with the emigration of Berig with three ships from Scandza to Gothiscandza, in a distant past. In the pen of Jordanes, Herodotus' Getian demi-god Zalmoxis becomes a king of the Goths. Jordanes tells how the Goths sacked "Troy and Ilium" just after they had recovered somewhat from the war with Agamemnon, they are said to have encountered the Egyptian pharaoh Vesosis. The less-fictional part of Jordanes' work begins when the Goths encounter Roman military forces in the 3rd century AD.
The work concludes with the defeat of the Goths by the Byzantine general Belisarius. Jordanes concludes the work by stating that he writes to honour those who were victorious over the Goths after a history of 2030 years; because the original work of Cassiodorus has not survived, the work of Jordanes is one of the most important sources for the period of the migration of the European tribes, the Ostrogoths and Visigoths in particular, from the 3rd century CE. Cassiodorus had claimed to have the Gothic "folk songs" — carmina prisca — as an important source, its main purpose was to give the Gothic ruling class a glorious past, to match the past of the senatorial families of Roman Italy. Jordanes stated. A controversial passage identifies the ancient people of Venedi mentioned by Tacitus, Pliny the Elder and Ptolemy, with the Slavs of the 6th century; as early as 1844, it has been used by eastern European scholars to support the idea of the existence of a Slavic ethnicity long before the last phase of the Late Roman period.
Others have rejected this view, based on the absence of concrete archaeological and historiographical data. The book is important to some medieval historians because it mentions the campaign in Gaul of one Riothamus, "King of the Brettones,", a possible source of inspiration for the early stories of King Arthur. One of the major questions concerning the historicity of the work is whether the identities mentioned are as ancient as stated or date from a time; the evidence allows a wide range of views, the most skeptical being that the work is mythological, or if Jordanes did exist and is the author, that he describes peoples of the 6th century only. According to the latter, his main source's credibility is questionable for a number of reasons. First, the originality of his main source, Cassiodorus, is debatable because large part of it consists of culling of ancient Greek and Latin authors for descriptions of peoples who might have been Goths. Not only that but it seems that Jordanes has distorted Cassiodorus's narrative by presenting us a cursory abridgement of the latter, mixed with 6th century ethnic names.
Some scholars claim, that while acceptance of Jordanes at face value may be too naive, a skeptical view is not warranted. For example, Jordanes says that the Goths originated in Scandinavia 1490 BC. Austrian historian Herwig Wolfram, believes that there might be a kernel of truth in that claim, if we assume that a clan of the Gutae left Scandinavia long before the establishment of the Amali in the leadership of the Goths; this clan might have contributed to the ethnogenesis of the Gutones in east Pomerania. Another example is the name of the king Cniva which David S. Potter thinks is genuine because, since it doesn't appear in the fictionalized genealogy of Gothic kings given by Jordanes, he must have found it in a genuine 3rd-century source. Danish scholar Arne Søby Christensen on the other hand claims that the Getica was an fabricated account, that the origin of the Goths in the book is a construction based on popular Greek and Roman myths as well as a misinterpretation of recorded names from Northern Europe.
The purpose of this fabrication, according to Christensen, was to establish a glorious identity for the peoples that had gained power in post-Roman Europe. Canadian scholar Walter Goffart suggests another incentive: Getica was part of a conscious plan by emperor Justinian and the propaganda machine at his court, he wanted to affirm that Goths did not belong to the Roman world, thus justifying the claims of the Eastern Roman Empire to the western part of the latter. The migration of the Goths from Scandinavia however bears some similarities with the story of the Gutasaga, which tells of an emigration, associated with the historical migration of the Goths during the Migration period: This Thielvar had a son called Hafthi, and Hafthi's wife was called Whitestar. Those two were the first to settle on Gotland; the first night they slept together. And it seemed to her, she told this dream to her husband Hafthi. He interpreted it thus: "All is bound with bangles, it will be inhabited, this land, we shall have three sons."
While still unborn, he gave them all names: "Guti will own Gotland, Graip will be the second, Gunfiaun third." These divided Gotland into three pa
Orthodoxy is adherence to correct or accepted creeds in religion. In the Christian sense the term means "conforming to the Christian faith as represented in the creeds of the early Church." The first seven ecumenical councils were held between the years of 325 and 787 with the aim of formalizing accepted doctrines. In some English-speaking countries, Jews who adhere to all the traditions and commandments as legislated in the Talmud are called Orthodox Jews, although the term "orthodox" first described Christian beliefs; the historical Buddha was known to denounce mere attachment to scriptures or dogmatic principles, as it was mentioned in the Kalama Sutta. Moreover, the Theravada school of Buddhism follows strict adherence to the Pāli Canon and the commentaries such as the Visuddhimagga. Hence, the Theravada school came to be considered the most orthodox of all Buddhist schools, as it is known to be conservative within the discipline and practice of the Vinaya. In classical Christian usage, the term orthodox refers to the set of doctrines which were believed by the early Christians.
A series of ecumenical councils were held over a period of several centuries to try to formalize these doctrines. The most significant of these early decisions was that between the Homoousian doctrine of Athanasius and Eustathius and the Heteroousian doctrine of Arius and Eusebius; the Homoousian doctrine, which defined Jesus as both God and man with the canons of the 431 Council of Ephesus, won out in the Church and was referred to as orthodoxy in most Christian contexts, since this was the viewpoint of previous Christian Church Fathers and was reaffirmed at these councils.. Following the 1054 Great Schism, both the Western Church and Eastern Church continued to consider themselves uniquely orthodox and catholic. Augustine wrote in On True Religion: “Religion is to be sought... only among those who are called Catholic or orthodox Christians, that is, guardians of truth and followers of right.” Over time, the Western Church identified with the "Catholic" label, people of Western Europe associated the "Orthodox" label with the Eastern Church.
This was in note of the fact that both Catholic and Orthodox were in use as ecclesiastical adjectives as early as the 2nd and 4th centuries respectively. Much earlier, Oriental Orthodoxy had split from Chalcedonian Christianity after the Council of Chalcedon, because of several christological differences. Since Oriental Orthodox Churches are maintaining the orthodox designation as a symbol of their theological traditions. Orthodox Hinduism refers to the religious teachings and practices of Sanātanī, one of the traditionalist branches of Hinduism. Sunni Islam is sometimes referred to as "orthodox Islam"; as of 2009, Sunni Muslims constituted 87–90% of the world's Muslim population. However, other scholars of Islam, such as John Burton believe that there is no such thing as "orthodox Islam". Orthodox Judaism is a collective term for the traditionalist branches of Judaism, which seek to maintain the received Jewish beliefs and observances and which coalesced in opposition to the various challenges of modernity and secularization.
Theologically, it is chiefly defined by regarding the Torah, both Written and Oral, as revealed by God on biblical Mount Sinai and faithfully transmitted since. The movement advocates a strict observance of Jewish Law, or Halakha, to be interpreted only according to received methods due to its divine character. Orthodoxy considers Halakha as eternal and beyond historical influence, being applied differently to changing circumstances but unchangeable in itself. Orthodox Judaism is not a centralized denomination. Relations between its different subgroups are sometimes strained and the exact limits of Orthodoxy are subject to intense debate, it may be divided between Ultra-Orthodox or "Haredi", more conservative and reclusive, Modern Orthodox Judaism, open to outer society. Each of those is itself formed of independent streams, they are uniformly exclusionist, regarding Orthodoxy as the only authentic form of Judaism and rejecting all competing non-Orthodox interpretations as illegitimate. While adhering to traditional beliefs, the movement is a modern phenomenon.
It arose as a result of the breakdown of the autonomous Jewish community since the 18th Century and was much shaped by a conscious struggle against rival alternatives. Kemetic Orthodoxy is a Kemetic denomination, a reform reconstruction of Egyptian polytheism for modern followers, it claims to derive a spiritual lineage from the Ancient Egyptian religion. There are organizations of Slavic Native Faith which characterize the religion as Orthodoxy, by other terms. Orthodoxy is opposed to heresy. People who deviate from orthodoxy by professing a doctrine considered to be false are called heretics, while those who without professing heretical beliefs, break from the perceived main body of believers are called schismatics; the term employed sometimes depends on the aspect most in view: if one is addressing corporate unity, the emphasis may be on schism. A deviation lighter than heresy is called error, in the sense of not being grave enough to cause total estrangement, while yet affecting communion.
Sometimes error is used to cover both full heresies an
Trajan was Roman emperor from 98 to 117. Declared by the Senate optimus princeps, Trajan is remembered as a successful soldier-emperor who presided over the greatest military expansion in Roman history, leading the empire to attain its maximum territorial extent by the time of his death, he is known for his philanthropic rule, overseeing extensive public building programs and implementing social welfare policies, which earned him his enduring reputation as the second of the Five Good Emperors who presided over an era of peace and prosperity in the Mediterranean world. Trajan was born in the city of an Italic settlement in the province of Hispania Baetica. Although misleadingly designated by some writers as a provincial, his family came from Umbria and he was born a Roman citizen. Trajan rose to prominence during the reign of emperor Domitian. Serving as a legatus legionis in Hispania Tarraconensis, in 89 Trajan supported Domitian against a revolt on the Rhine led by Antonius Saturninus. In September 96, Domitian was succeeded by Marcus Cocceius Nerva, an old and childless senator who proved to be unpopular with the army.
After a brief and tumultuous year in power, culminating in a revolt by members of the Praetorian Guard, Nerva was compelled to adopt the more popular Trajan as his heir and successor. He was succeeded by his adopted son without incident; as a civilian administrator, Trajan is best known for his extensive public building program, which reshaped the city of Rome and left numerous enduring landmarks such as Trajan's Forum, Trajan's Market and Trajan's Column. Early in his reign, he annexed the Nabataean Kingdom, his conquest of Dacia enriched the empire as the new province possessed many valuable gold mines. Trajan's war against the Parthian Empire ended with the sack of the capital Ctesiphon and the annexation of Armenia and Mesopotamia, his campaigns expanded the Roman Empire to its greatest territorial extent. In late 117, while sailing back to Rome, Trajan fell ill and died of a stroke in the city of Selinus, he was deified by the Senate and his ashes were laid to rest under Trajan's Column. He was succeeded by his adopted son Hadrian.
As an emperor, Trajan's reputation has endured – he is one of the few rulers whose reputation has survived nineteen centuries. Every new emperor after him was honoured by the Senate with the wish felicior Augusto, melior Traiano. Among medieval Christian theologians, Trajan was considered a virtuous pagan. In the Renaissance, speaking on the advantages of adoptive succession over heredity, mentioned the five successive good emperors "from Nerva to Marcus" – a trope out of which the 18th-century historian Edward Gibbon popularized the notion of the Five Good Emperors, of whom Trajan was the second; as far as ancient literary sources are concerned, an extant continuous account of Trajan's reign does not exist. An account of the Dacian Wars, the Commentarii de bellis Dacicis, written by Trajan himself or a ghostwriter and modelled after Caesar's Commentarii de Bello Gallico, is lost with the exception of one sentence. Only fragments remain of a book by Trajan's personal physician Titos Statilios Kriton.
The Parthiká, a 17-volume account of the Parthian Wars written by Arrian, has met a similar fate. Book 68 in Cassius Dio's Roman History, which survives as Byzantine abridgments and epitomes, is the main source for the political history of Trajan's rule. Besides this, Pliny the Younger's Panegyricus and Dio of Prusa's orations are the best surviving contemporary sources. Both are adulatory perorations, typical of the late Roman era, that describe an idealized monarch and an idealized view of Trajan's rule, concern themselves more with ideology than with actual fact; the tenth volume of Pliny's letters contains his correspondence with Trajan, which deals with various aspects of imperial Roman government, but this correspondence is neither intimate nor candid: it is an exchange of official mail, in which Pliny's stance borders on the servile. It is certain that much of the text of the letters that appear in this collection over Trajan's signature was written and/or edited by Trajan's Imperial secretary, his ab epistulis.
Therefore, discussion of Trajan and his rule in modern historiography cannot avoid speculation, as well as recourse to non-literary sources such as archaeology and epigraphy. Marcus Ulpius Traianus was born on 18 September 53 AD in the Roman province of Hispania Baetica, in the city of Italica. Although designated the first provincial emperor, dismissed by writers such as Cassius Dio as "an Iberian, neither an Italian nor an Italiot", Trajan appears to have hailed on his father's side from the area of Tuder in Umbria, at the border with Etruria, on his mother's side from the Gens Marcia, of an Italic family of Sabine origin. Trajan's birthplace of Italica was founded as a Roman military colony of Italian settlers in 206 BC, though it is unknown when the Ulpii arrived there, it is possible, but cannot be substantiated, that Trajan's ancestors married local women and lost their citizenship at some point, but they recovered their status when the city became a municipium with Latin citizenship in the mid-1st century BC.
Trajan was the son of Marcia, a Roman noblewoman and sister-in-law of the second Flavian Emperor Titus, Marcus Ulpius Traianus, a prominent senator and general f
Saxo Grammaticus known as Saxo cognomine Longus, was a Danish historian and author. He is thought to have been a clerk or secretary to Absalon, Archbishop of Lund, the main advisor to Valdemar I of Denmark, he is the author of the Gesta Danorum, the first full history of Denmark, from which the legend of Amleth would come to inspire the story of Hamlet by Shakespeare. The Jutland Chronicle gives evidence, it is unlikely he was born before 1150 and it is supposed that his death could have occurred around 1220. His name Saxo was a common name in medieval Denmark; the name Grammaticus was first given to him in the Jutland Chronicle and the Sjælland Chronicle makes reference to Saxo cognomine Longus. He lived in a period of warfare and Danish expansion, led by the Valdemars; the Danes were being threatened by the Wends who were making raids across the border and by sea. Valdemar I had just won a civil war and Valdemar II led an expedition across the Elbe to invade Holstein. Sven Aggesen, a Danish nobleman and author of a earlier history of Denmark than Saxo's, describes his contemporary, Saxo, as his contubernalis meaning tent-comrade.
This gives evidence that Saxo and Sven might have soldiered in the Hird or royal guard since Sven used the word contubernium in reference to them. There is a Saxo to be found on a list of clergy at Lund, where there was a Sven recorded as Archdeacon. There is Dean Saxo who died in 1190. Both arguments, for a secular or religious Saxo, would confirm that he was well educated, as clergy he would have received training in Latin and sons of great men were sent to Paris. Saxo writes that he is himself committed to being a soldier, he tells us that he follows "the ancient right of hereditary service," and that his father and grandfather "were recognized frequenters of your renowned sire's war camp."Saxo's education and ability support the idea that he was educated outside Denmark. Some suggest the title "Grammaticus" refers not to his education but rather his elaborate Latin style. We know from his writing that he was in the retinue and received the patronage of Absalon, Archbishop of Lund, the foremost adviser to King Valdemar I.
In his will Absalon forgives his clerk Saxo a small debt of two and a half marks of silver and tells him to return two borrowed books to the monastery of Sorø. The legacy of Saxo Grammaticus is the sixteen book. In the preface to the work, Saxo writes that his patron Absalon, Archbishop of Lund had encouraged him to write a heroic history of the Danes; the history is thought to have been started about 1185. The goal of Gesta Danorum was as Saxo writes "to glorify our fatherland," which he accomplishes on the model of the Aeneid by Vergil. Saxo may have owed much to Plato, Cicero and to more contemporary writers like Geoffrey of Monmouth. Saxo's history of the Danes was compiled from sources that are of questionable historical value but were to him the only ones extant, he drew on oral tales of the Icelanders, ancient volumes, letters carved on rocks and stone, the statements of his patron Absalon concerning the history of which the Archbishop had been a part. Saxo's work was not a history or a simple record of old tales, rather it was, in the parlance of Friis-Jensen, "a product of Saxo's own mind and times,".
The history is composed of sixteen books and extends from the time of the founders of the Danish people, Dan I of Denmark and Angul into about the year 1187. The first four are concerned with the history of the Danes before Christ, the next four with the history after Christ, books 9-12 Christian Denmark and 13-16 promote Lund and the exploits early before and during Saxo's own lifetime, it is assumed that the last eight books were written first, as Saxo drew on the work of Absalon for evidence of the age of Saint Canute and Valdemar I. The first eight volumes share a likeness with the works of Saxo's contemporary Snorri Sturluson, they deal with mythical elements such as the Scandinavian pantheon of gods. Saxo tells of Dan the first king of Denmark who had a brother named Angul who gave his name to the Angles, he tells the stories of various other Danish heroes, many who interact with the Scandinavian gods. Saxo's "heathen" gods however were not always good characters, they were sometimes treacherous such as in the story of Harald, legendary king of the Danes, taught the ways of warfare by Odinn and was betrayed and killed by the god who brought him to Valhalla.
Saxo's world is seen to have had warlike values. He glorifies the heroes, his view of the period of peace under King Frode was low and was only satisfied when King Knut brought back the ancestral customs. Saxo's chronology of kings extends up to Saint Canute and his son Valdemar I. Saxo finished the history with the Preface, which he wrote last, about 1216 under the patronage of Anders Sunesen who replaced Absalon as Archbishop of Lund. Saxo included in the preface warm appreciation of both Archbishops and of the reigning King Valdemar II. Of particular interest for Shakespeare scholars is the story of Amleth, the first instance of the playwright's Hamlet. Saxo based the story on an oral tale of a son taking revenge for his murdered father. Christiern P
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
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