A Roman copy (2nd century AD) of a Greek bust of Herodotus from the first half of the 4th century BC
|Born||c. 484 BC
Halicarnassus, Caria, Asia Minor
|Died||c. 425 BC (aged approximately 60)
Thurii, Calabria or Pella, Macedon
|Notable work(s)||The Histories|
Herodotus (//; Ancient Greek: Ἡρόδοτος Hēródotos) was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria (modern-day Bodrum, Turkey) and lived in the fifth century BC (c. 484–425 BC). He has been called "The Father of History" (first conferred by Cicero), as well as "The Father of Lies" (first conferred by Voltaire). He was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent, and arrange them in a well-constructed and vivid narrative. The Histories—his masterpiece and the only work he is known to have produced—is a record of his "inquiry" (or ἱστορία historía, a word that passed into Latin and acquired its modern meaning of "history"), being an investigation of the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars and including a wealth of geographical and ethnographical information. Although some of his stories were fanciful and others inaccurate, he claimed he was reporting only what had been told to him. Little is known of his personal history.
Place in history
Herodotus announced the size and scope of his work at the beginning of his Researches or Histories:
Ἡροδότου Ἁλικαρνησσέος ἱστορίης ἀπόδεξις ἥδε, ὡς μήτε τὰ γενόμενα ἐξ ἀνθρώπων τῷ χρόνῳ ἐξίτηλα γένηται, μήτε ἔργα μεγάλα τε καὶ θωμαστά, τὰ μὲν Ἕλλησι, τὰ δὲ βαρβάροισι ἀποδεχθέντα, ἀκλεᾶ γένηται, τὰ τε ἄλλα καὶ δι' ἣν αἰτίην ἐπολέμησαν ἀλλήλοισι.
Herodotus of Halicarnassus, his Researches are here set down to preserve the memory of the past by putting on record the astonishing achievements of both the Greeks and the Barbarians; and more particularly, to show how they came into conflict.
His record of the achievements of others was an achievement in itself, though the extent of it has been debated. His place in history and his significance may be understood according to the traditions within which he worked. His work is the earliest Greek prose to have survived intact. 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 naive, often charming—all traits that can be found in the work of Herodotus himself. Modern historians regard the chronology as uncertain. 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. Only fragments of the latter's work survive (and the authenticity of these is debatable) yet they allow us glimpses into the kind of tradition within which Herodotus wrote his own Histories, as in the introduction to Hecataeus's work, Genealogies:
Hecataeus the Milesian speaks thus: I write these things as they seem true to me; for the stories told by the Greeks are various and in my opinion absurd.
This points forward to the 'folksy' yet 'international' outlook typical of Herodotus. Yet, one modern scholar has described the work of Hecataeus as "a curious false start to history" because, despite its critical spirit, it 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, hippopotamus and phoenix from Hecataeus's 'Circumnavigation of the Known World' (Periegesis/Periodos ges), even mis-representing the source as 'Heliopolitans' (Histories 2.73). But unlike Herodotus, Hecataeus did not record events that had occurred in living memory, 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, relying on empirical observation to correct their excessive schematism. For example, he argues for continental asymmetry as opposed to the older theory of a perfectly circular earth with Europe and Asia/Africa equal in size (Hist. 4.36 and 4.42). Yet, he retains idealising tendencies, as in his symmetrical notions of the Danube and Nile.
His debt to previous authors of prose 'histories' might be questionable but there is no doubt that he 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, and 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 (Hist. 8.68 ~ Persae 728). The debt may have been repaid by Sophocles because there appear to be echoes of The Histories in his plays, especially a passage in Antigone that resembles Herodotus's account of the death of Intaphernes (Histories 3.119 ~ Antigone 904-20)—this however is one of the most contentious issues in modern scholarship.
Just as Homer drew extensively on a tradition of oral poetry, sung by wandering minstrels, so Herodotus appears to have drawn on an Ionian tradition of story-telling, collecting and interpreting the oral histories he chanced upon in his travels. These oral histories often contained folk-tale motifs and demonstrated a moral, yet they also contained substantial facts relating to geography, anthropology and history, all compiled by Herodotus in an entertaining style and format. It is on account of the many strange stories and the folk-tales he reported that his critics in early modern times branded him 'The Father of Lies'. Even his own contemporaries found reason to scoff at his achievement. In fact one modern scholar has wondered if Herodotus left his home in Asiatic Greece, migrating westwards to Athens and beyond, because his own countrymen had ridiculed his work, a circumstance possibly hinted at in an epitaph said to have been dedicated to Herodotus at Thuria (one of his three supposed resting places):
Herodotus the son of Sphynx
Lies; in Ionic history without peer;
A Dorian born, who fled from Slander's brand
And made in Thuria his new native land.
Yet it was in Athens where his most formidable contemporary critics could be found. In 425 BC, which is about the time that Herodotus is thought by many scholars to have died, the Athenian comic dramatist, Aristophanes, created The Acharnians, in which he blames The Peloponnesian War on the abduction of some prostitutes—a mocking reference to Herodotus, who reported the Persians' account of their wars with Greece, beginning with the rapes of the mythical heroines Io, Europa, Medea and Helen. Similarly, the Athenian historian Thucydides dismissed Herodotus as a 'logos-writer' or story-teller. Thucydides, who had been trained in rhetoric, became the model for subsequent prose-writers as an author who seeks to appear firmly in control of his material, whereas Herodotus with his frequent digressions appeared to minimize (or possibly disguise) his auctorial control. Moreover, Thucydides developed a historical topic more in keeping with the Greek lifestyle—the polis or city-state—whereas the interplay of civilizations was more relevant to Asiatic Greeks (such as Herodotus himself), for whom life under foreign rule was a recent memory.
Before the Persian crisis history had been represented among the Greeks only by local or family traditions. The Wars of Liberation had given to Herodotus the first genuinely historical inspiration felt by a Greek. These wars showed him that there was a corporate life, higher than that of the city, of which the story might be told; and they offered to him as a subject the drama of the collision between East and West. With him, the spirit of history was born into Greece; and his work, called after the nine Muses, was indeed the first utterance of Clio.
Modern scholars generally turn to Herodotus's own writing for reliable information about his life, supplemented with ancient yet much later sources, such as the Byzantine Suda:
The data are so few—they rest upon such late and slight authority; they are so improbable or so contradictory, that to compile them into a biography is like building a house of cards, which the first breath of criticism will blow to the ground. Still, certain points may be approximately fixed...
— George Rawlinson.
Typically modern accounts of his life go something like this: Herodotus was born at Halicarnassus around 484 BC. There is no reason to disbelieve the Suda's information about his family, that it was influential and that he was the son of Lyxes and Dryo, and the brother of Theodorus, and that he was also related to Panyassis, an epic poet of the time. The town was within the Persian empire at that time and maybe the young Herodotus heard local eye-witness accounts of events within the empire and of Persian preparations for the invasion of Greece, including the movements of the local fleet under the command of Artemisia. Inscriptions recently discovered at Halicarnassus indicate that her grandson Lygdamis negotiated with a local assembly to settle disputes over seized property, which is consistent with a tyrant under pressure, and his name is not mentioned later in the tribute list of the Athenian Delian League, indicating that there might well have been a successful uprising against him sometime before 454 BC. Herodotus reveals affection for the island of Samos (III,39–60) and this is an indication that he might have lived there in his youth. So it is possible that his family was involved in an uprising against Lygdamis, leading to a period of exile on Samos and followed by some personal hand in the tyrant's eventual fall.
As Herodotus himself reveals, Halicarnassus, though a Dorian city, had ended its close relations with its Dorian neighbours after an unseemly quarrel (I,144), and it had helped pioneer Greek trade with Egypt (II,178). It was therefore an outward-looking, international-minded port within the Persian Empire and the historian's family could well have had contacts in countries under Persian rule, facilitating his travels and his researches. His eye-witness accounts indicate that he travelled in Egypt probably sometime after 454 BC or possibly earlier in association with Athenians, after an Athenian fleet had assisted the uprising against Persian rule in 460–454 BC. He probably travelled to Tyre next and then down the Euphrates to Babylon. For some reason, probably associated with local politics, he subsequently found himself unpopular in Halicarnassus and, sometime around 447 BC, he migrated to Periclean Athens, a city for whose people and democratic institutions he declares his open admiration (V,78) and where he came to know not just leading citizens such as the Alcmaeonids, a clan whose history features frequently in his writing, but also the local topography (VI,137; VIII,52–5). According to Eusebius and Plutarch, Herodotus was granted a financial reward by the Athenian assembly in recognition of his work and there may be some truth in this. It is possible that he applied for Athenian citizenship—a rare honour after 451 BC, requiring two separate votes by a well-attended assembly—but was unsuccessful. In 443 BC, or shortly afterwards, he migrated to Thurium as part of an Athenian-sponsored colony. Aristotle refers to a version of The Histories written by 'Herodotus of Thurium' and indeed some passages in the Histories have been interpreted as proof that he wrote about southern Italy from personal experience there (IV,15,99; VI,127). Intimate knowledge of some events in the first years of the Peloponnesian War (VI,91; VII,133,233; IX,73) indicate that he might have returned to Athens, in which case it is possible that he died there during an outbreak of the plague. Possibly he died in Macedonia instead after obtaining the patronage of the court there or else he died back in Thurium. There is nothing in the Histories that can be dated with any certainty to later than 430, and it is generally assumed that he died not long afterwards, possibly before his sixtieth year.
Herodotus wrote his Histories in the Ionian dialect yet he was born in Halicarnassus, originally a Dorian settlement. According to the Suda (an 11th-century encyclopaedia of Byzantium which possibly took its information from traditional accounts), Herodotus learned the Ionian dialect as a boy living on the island of Samos, whither he had fled with his family from the oppressions of Lygdamis, tyrant of Halicarnassus and grandson of Artemisia I of Caria. The Suda also informs us that Herodotus later returned home to lead the revolt that eventually overthrew the tyrant. However, thanks to recent discoveries of some inscriptions on Halicarnassus, dated to about that time, we now know that the Ionic dialect was used there even in official documents, so there was no need to assume like the Suda that he must have learned the dialect elsewhere. Moreover, the fact that the Suda is the only source we have for the heroic role played by Herodotus, as liberator of his birthplace, is itself a good reason to doubt such a romantic account.
It was conventional in Herodotus's day for authors to 'publish' their works by reciting them at popular festivals. According to Lucian, Herodotus took his finished work straight from Asia Minor to the Olympic Games and read the entire Histories to the assembled spectators in one sitting, receiving rapturous applause at the end of it. According to a very different account by an ancient grammarian, Herodotus refused to begin reading his work at the festival of Olympia until some clouds offered him a bit of shade, by which time however the assembly had dispersed—thus the proverbial expression "Herodotus and his shade" to describe someone who misses an opportunity through delay. Herodotus's recitation at Olympia was a favourite theme among ancient writers and there is another interesting variation on the story to be found in the Suda, Photius and Tzetzes, in which a young Thucydides happened to be in the assembly with his father and burst into tears during the recital, whereupon Herodotus observed prophetically to the boy's father: "Thy son's soul yearns for knowledge."
Eventually, Thucydides and Herodotus became close enough for both to be interred in Thucydides' tomb in Athens. Such at least was the opinion of Marcellinus in his Life of Thucydides. According to the Suda, he was buried in Macedonian Pella and in the agora in Thurium.
As a historian, Herodotus was sarcastically referred as the father of lies for "quoting eyewitnesses about things they could have never seen, inventing and manipulating factual material." Ancient historians who followed Herodotus preferred an element of show to accuracy and fairness, aiming to give pleasure with “exciting events, great dramas, bizarre exotica.” 
Although the factual accuracy of the works of Herodotus is defended by some, others regard his works as being unreliable as a historical source. Fehling writes of "a problem recognized by everybody", namely that much of what Herodotus tells us cannot be taken at face value.
The accuracy of the works of Herodotus have been criticized since his own era. Kenton L. Sparks writes that "In antiquity, Herodotus had acquired the reputation of being unreliable, biased, parsimonious in his praise of heroes, and mendacious". His ancient critics included Cicero, Aristotle, Josephus and Plutarch. Cicero (On the Laws I.5) said the works of Herodotus were full of legends or “fables”, and Harpocration wrote a book on "the lies of Herodotus". Duris of Samos called Herodotus a myth-monger. Voltaire described Herodotus as both "the father of history" and the "father of lies", and Hartog more recently also called him "The father of all liars".
The reliability of Herodotus is particularly criticized when writing about Egypt. Alan B. Lloyd states that as a historical document, the writings of Herodotus are seriously defective, and that he was working from "inadequate sources". Nielsen writes that: "Though we cannot entirely rule out the possibility of Herodotus having been in Egypt, it must be said that his narrative bears little witness to it." Fehling states that Herodotus never traveled up the Nile River, and that almost everything he says about Egypt and Ethiopia is doubtful. About the claim of Herodotus that the Pharaoh Sesostris campaigned in Europe, and that he left a colony in Colchia, Fehling states that "there is not the slightest bit of history behind the whole story". Fehling concludes that the works of Herodotus are intended as fiction. Depew and Obbink concur that much of the content of the works of Herodotus are literary devices.
In contrast, many scholars (Aubin, A. H. L. Heeren, Davidson, Cheikh Anta Diop, Poe, Welsby, Celenko, Volney, Pierre Montet, Bernal, Jackson, DuBois, Strabo), ancient and modern, routinely cite Herodotus in their works on the Nile Valley. Some of these scholars (Welsby, Heeren, Aubin, Diop, etc.) explicitly mention the reliability of Herodotus' work on the Nile Valley and demonstrate corroboration of Herodotus' writings by modern scholars. Welsby said that "archaeology graphically confirms some of Herodotus' observations."  A.H.L. Heeren (1838) quoted Herodotus throughout his work and provided corroboration by scholars of his day regarding several passages (source of the Nile, location of Meroe, etc.). To further his work on the Egyptians and Assyrians, Aubin uses Herodotus' accounts in various passages and defends Herodotus' position against modern scholars. Aubin said Herodotus was "the author of the first important narrative history of the world" and that Herodotus "visited Egypt." Diop provides several examples (the inundations of the Nile) that he claims support his view that Herodotus was "quite scrupulous, objective, scientific for his time." Diop claims that Herodotus "always distinguishes carefully between what he has seen and what he has been told." Diop also claims that Strabo corroborated Herodotus' ideas about the Black Egyptians, Ethiopians, and Colchians.
Herodotus claimed to have visited Babylon. The absence of any mention of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon in his work has attracted further attacks on his credibility. In response Dalley has proposed that the Hanging Gardens may have been in Ninevah rather than in Babylon.
Herodotus provides much information about the nature of the world and the status of science during his lifetime, often engaging in private speculation. For example, he reports that the annual flooding of the Nile was said to be the result of melting snows far to the south, and he comments that he cannot understand how there can be snow in Africa, the hottest part of the known world, offering an elaborate explanation based on the way that desert winds affect the passage of the Sun over this part of the world (2:18ff). He also passes on dismissive reports from Phoenician sailors that, while circumnavigating Africa, they "saw the sun on the right side while sailing westwards". Owing to this brief mention, which is included almost as an afterthought, it has been argued that Africa was indeed circumnavigated by ancient seafarers, for this is precisely where the sun ought to have been. His accounts of India are among the oldest records of Indian civilization by an outsider.
Discoveries made since the end of the 19th century have both added to and detracted from his credibility. His description of Gelonus, located in Scythia, as a city thousands of times larger than Troy was widely disbelieved until it was rediscovered in 1975. The archaeological study of the now-submerged ancient Egyptian city of Heracleion and the recovery of the so-called "Naucratis stela" give credibility to Herodotus's previously unsupported claim that Heracleion was founded during the Egyptian New Kingdom.
After journeys to India and Pakistan, French ethnologist Michel Peissel claimed to have discovered an animal species that may illuminate one of the most bizarre passages in Herodotus's Histories. In Book 3, passages 102 to 105, Herodotus reports that a species of fox-sized, furry "ants" lives in one of the far eastern, Indian provinces of the Persian Empire. This region, he reports, is a sandy desert, and the sand there contains a wealth of fine gold dust. These giant ants, according to Herodotus, would often unearth the gold dust when digging their mounds and tunnels, and the people living in this province would then collect the precious dust. Peissel reports that in an isolated region of northern Pakistan, on the Deosai Plateau in Gilgit–Baltistan province, there is a species of marmot, (the Himalayan marmot), (a type of burrowing squirrel) that may have been what Herodotus called giant ants. Much like the province that Herodotus describes, the ground of the Deosai Plateau is rich in gold dust. According to Peissel, he interviewed the Minaro tribal people who live in the Deosai Plateau, and they have confirmed that they have, for generations, been collecting the gold dust that the marmots bring to the surface when they are digging their underground burrows. Later authors like Pliny the Elder mentioned this story in the gold mining section of his Naturalis Historia.
Peissel offers the theory that Herodotus may have confused the old Persian word for "marmot" with the word for "mountain ant". Research suggests that Herodotus probably did not know any Persian (or any other language except his native Greek) and was forced to rely on a many local translators when travelling in the vast multilingual Persian Empire. Herodotus did not claim to have personally seen the creatures he described. However Herodotus did follow up in passage 105 of Book 3, with the claim that the "ants" are said to chase and devour full-grown camels. The details of the "ants" seem somewhat similar to the description of the camel spider (Solifugae), which are said to chase camels, have lots of hair bristles, and could quite easily be mistaken for ants. Images of camel spiders could give the impression that this could be mistaken for a giant ant, but certainly not the size of a fox.
Some "calumnious fictions" were written about Herodotus in a work titled On the Malice of Herodotus, by Plutarch, a Chaeronean by birth, (or it might have been a Pseudo-Plutarch, in this case "a great collector of slanders"), including the allegation that the historian was prejudiced against Thebes because the authorities there had denied him permission to set up a school. Similarly, in a Corinthian Oration, Dio Chrysostom (or yet another pseudonymous author) accused the historian of prejudice against Corinth, sourcing it in personal bitterness over financial disappointments—an account also given by Marcellinus in his Life of Thucydides. In fact Herodotus was in the habit of seeking out information from empowered sources within communities, such as aristocrats and priests, and this also occurred at an international level, with Periclean Athens becoming his principal source of information about events in Greece. As a result, his reports about Greek events are often coloured by Athenian bias against rival states—Thebes and Corinth in particular.
Although The Histories were often criticized in antiquity for bias, inaccuracy and plagiarism—Lucian of Samosata attacked Herodotus as a liar in Verae Historiae and went as far as to deny him a place among the famous on the Island of the Blessed—modern historians and philosophers take a more positive view of Herodotus's methodology, especially those searching for a paradigm of objective historical writing. A few modern scholars have argued that Herodotus exaggerated the extent of his travels and invented his sources yet his reputation continues largely intact: "The Father of History is also the father of comparative anthropology", "the father of ethnography", and he is "more modern than any other ancient historian in his approach to the ideal of total history".
Herodotus and myth
It was not until the time of Herodotus that gods began to have less influence upon history that was written, yet it was still implied because of the largely accepted view of the Greeks and the expectations that they may have had of how The Histories would be written. History was becoming more of a “knowledge” rather than an amusement. Because of Herodotus wanting people to accept what he had to write, he implemented stories that may have not directly correlated to gods, but rather implemented the idea that miracles or supernatural events took place. As was the story of Arion and the dolphin. While on a boat the men found out that Arion, who was a musician, was worth lots of money and decided to have him killed. The crew gave him two options, that either he jump ship or they kill him on the spot. Arion flung himself into the water and a dolphin carried him to shore.
Herodotus was more concerned with putting pleasure before knowledge, unless he did not believe that the gods had a dramatic influence on history and was rather just trying to please his audience. Like the story of the king having his servant look upon his naked wife, and when spotting him hiding, asked him to kill her husband. This, like many stories of Herodotus, are told in great detail, and for the simplicity of dramatic effect. This refers back to the way bards used to tell their poems or stories to their audience. Herodotus was accused by many because of such detailed accounts, and even called a liar by some. In his writing we can already see that there was no direct association with gods.
- Naturalis Historia
- Pliny the Elder
- The Histories
- The Padaei
- Thucydides, ancient Greek historian who is also often said to be "the father of history"
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- ''Matrices of Genre: Authors, Canons, and Society'', by Mary Depew, Dirk Obbink, pp. 101–102. Books.google.co.za. 30 June 2009. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
- Welsby, Derek (1996). The Kingdom of Kush. London: British Museum Press. p. 40. ISBN 0-7141-0986-X.
- Heeren, A. H. L. (1838). Historical researches into the politics, intercourse, and trade of the Carthaginians, Ethiopians, and Egyptians. Michigan: University of Michigan Library. pp. 13, 379, 422–424. ASIN B003B3P1Y8.
- Aubin, Henry (2002). The Rescue of Jerusalem. New York, NY: Soho Press. pp. 94–96,100–102,118–121,141–144,328, 336. ISBN 1-56947-275-0.
- Diop, Cheikh Anta (1981). Civilization or Barbarism. Chicago, Illinois: Lawrence Hill Books. p. 1. ISBN 1-55652-048-4.
- Diop, Cheikh Anta (1974). The African Origin of Civilization. Chicago, Illinois: Lawrence Hill Books. p. 2. ISBN 1-55652-072-7.
- Dalley, S. (2003). "Why did Herodotus not mention the Hanging Gardens of Babylon?". In Derow, P.; Parker, R. Herodotus and his World. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 171–89. ISBN 0-19-925374-9.
- Dalley, S. (2013). The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon; an elusive World Wonder traced. OUP. ISBN 978-0-19-966226-5.
- The Indian Empire The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 2, p. 272.
- Peissel, Michel (1984). The Ants' Gold: The Discovery of the Greek El Dorado in the Himalayas. Collins. ISBN 978-0-00-272514-9.
- Simons, Marlise. Himalayas Offer Clue to Legend of Gold-Digging 'Ants'. New York Times: 25 November 1996.
- George Rawlinson, The History of Herodotus Vol.1, D. Appleton and Company, New York (1859), pages 13-14
- "Dio Chrysostom ''Orat. xxxvii, p11". Penelope.uchicago.edu. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
- Marcellinus, Life of Thucydides
- A.R. Burn, Herodotus: The Histories, Penguin Classics (1972), pages 8,9,32-4
- Fehling, Detlev. Herodotos and His "Sources": Citation, Invention, and Narrative Art. Translated by J.G. Howie. Arca Classical and Medieval Texts, Papers, and Monographs, 21. Leeds: Francis Cairns, 1989.
- C. P. Jones, ("ἔθνος and γένος in Herodotos"), The Classical Quarterly, New Series, 46 (2):315; 1996
- Oswyn Murray, 'Greek Historians' in The Oxford History of the Classical World, J.Boardman, J. Griffin and O. Murray (ed.s), Oxford University Press (1986) page 189
- “Myth in Greek Historiography,” Historia: Zeitschrift fur Alte Geschichte, Oct (1960), 403.
- Histories 1.23-24.
- Histories 1.8-12.
Several English translations of The Histories of Herodotus are readily available in multiple editions. The most readily available are those translated by:
- A. D. Godley 1920; revised 1926. Reprinted 1931, 1946, 1960, 1966, 1975, 1981, 1990, 1996, 1999, 2004. Available in four volumes from Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press. ISBN 0-674-99130-3 Printed with Greek on the left and English on the right.
- David Grene, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985.
- George Rawlinson, translation 1858–1860. Public domain; many editions available, although Everyman Library and Wordsworth Classics editions are the most common ones still in print.
- Aubrey de Sélincourt, originally 1954; revised by John Marincola in 1996. Several editions from Penguin Books available.
- Strassler, Robert B., (ed.), and Purvis, Andrea L. (trans.), The Landmark Herodotus, Pantheon, 2007. ISBN 978-0-375-42109-9 with adequate ancillary information.
- Robin Waterfield, with an Introduction and Notes by Carolyn Dewald, Oxford World Classics, 1997. ISBN 978-0-19-953566-8
- The Histories of Herodotus Interlinear English Translation Heinrich Stein (ed.), George Macaulay (Trans.), Handheldclassics.com, 2013. Kindle ed. AISN B00B27G1QW
- Bakker, Egbert J.; de Jong, Irene J.F.; van Wees, Hans, eds. (2002). Brill's companion to Herodotus. Leiden: E.J. Brill. ISBN 90-04-12060-2.
- De Selincourt, Aubrey (1962). The World of Herodotus. London: Secker and Warburg.
- Dewald, Carolyn; Marincola, John, eds. (2006). The Cambridge companion to Herodotus. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-83001-X.
- Evans, J.A.S. (2006). The beginnings of history: Herodotus and the Persian Wars. Campbellville, Ont.: Edgar Kent. ISBN 0-88866-652-7.
- Evans, J.A.S. (1982). Herodotus. Boston: Twayne. ISBN 0-8057-6488-7.
- Evans, J.A.S. (1991). Herodotus, explorer of the past: three essays. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-06871-2.
- Flory, Stewart (1987). The archaic smile of Herodotus. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 0-8143-1827-4.
- Fornara, Charles W. (1971). Herodotus: An Interpretative Essay. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
- Giessen, Hans W. Giessen (2010). Mythos Marathon. Von Herodot über Bréal bis zur Gegenwart. Landau: Verlag Empirische Pädagogik (= Landauer Schriften zur Kommunikations- und Kulturwissenschaft. Band 17). ISBN 978-3-941320-46-8.
- Gould, John (1989). Herodotus. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-02855-5.
- Harrington, John W. (1973). To see a world. Saint Louis: G.V. Mosby Co. ISBN 0-8016-2058-9.
- Hartog, François (2000). "The Invention of History: The Pre-History of a Concept from Homer to Herodotus". History and Theory 39 (3): 384–395. doi:10.1111/0018-2656.00137.
- Hartog, François (1988). The mirror of Herodotus: the representation of the other in the writing of history. Janet Lloyd, trans. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-05487-3.
- How, Walter W.; Wells, Joseph, eds. (1912). A Commentary on Herodotus. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
- Hunter, Virginia (1982). Past and process in Herodotus and Thucydides. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-03556-3.
- Immerwahr, H. (1966). Form and Thought in Herodotus. Cleveland: Case Western Reserve University Press.
- Kapuściński, Ryszard (2007). Travels with Herodotus. Klara Glowczewska, trans. New York: Knopf. ISBN 978-1-4000-4338-5.
- Lateiner, Donald (1989). The historical method of Herodotus. Toronto: Toronto University Press. ISBN 0-8020-5793-4.
- Marozzi, Justin (2008). The way of Herodotus: travels with the man who invented history. Cambridge, MA: Da Capo Press. ISBN 978-0-306-81621-5.
- Momigliano, Arnaldo (1990). The classical foundations of modern historiography. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press. ISBN 0-520-06890-4.
- Myres, John L. (1971). Herodotus : father of history. Chicago: Henry Regnrey. ISBN 0-19-924021-3.
- Pritchett, W. Kendrick (1993). The liar school of Herodotus. Amsterdam: Gieben. ISBN 90-5063-088-X.
- Romm, James (1998). Herodotus. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-07229-5.
- Selden, Daniel (1999). "Cambyses' Madness, or the Reason of History". Materiali e discussioni per l'analisi dei testi classici 42: 33–63.
- Thomas, Rosalind (2000). Herodotus in context: ethnography, science and the art of persuasion. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-66259-1.
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- Herodotus at About.com
- A reconstructed portrait of Herodotus, based on historical sources, in a contemporary style.
- Herodotus on the Web
- Herodotus of Halicarnassus at Livius.org
- 1911 Britannica article "Herodotus"
- Mendelsohn, Daniel (28 April 2008). "Arms and the Man". The New Yorker. Retrieved 27 April 2008.
- Herodotus Inquiries—new translation with photographic essays of the places and artifacts mentioned by Herodotus hyperlinked to the text
- Works by Herodotus at Project Gutenberg
- The History of Herodotus, vol. 1 at Project Gutenberg (translation by George Campbell Macaulay, 1852–1915)
- The History of Herodotus, vol. 2 at Project Gutenberg
- Works by Herodotus at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
- The History of Herodotus, at The Internet Classics Archive (translation by George Rawlinson).
- Parallel Greek and English text of the History of Herodotus at the Internet Sacred Text Archive
- Excerpts of Sélincourt's translation
- Herodotus Histories on Perseus
- The Histories of Herodotus, A.D. Godley translation with footnotes ( PDF (14 MB))