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Who's Who Ancient Greece: Father of History writers

Herodotos (484-410 BC)

Another ancient Greek first

Born in Halikarnassos in Asia Minor, Herodotos, known as the 'father of history', lived on Samos island, Athens, and finally in the Athenian colony of Thurii in southern Italy, in Magna Graecia. He has close connections while in Athens with Sophoklis, Periklis, and Protagoras.

He classified information within three categories: That which he saw with his own eyes, that which he heard from eyewitnesses, and that which he only learned about via rumor.

His nine volume work, 'History', deals with the Persian Wars, and is the source of much of what is known not only about these wars themselves, but also about the periods before and after them. In this work he also details the cultural, political and military history of ancient peoples.

Though Herodotos has always been greatly admired, he has often been compared with Thucydidhes, the latter always seen as preeminent, but the preservation in its entirety of his work, points to the level of esteem which he was given both by his contemporaries and in later ages.

It is he, after all, who wrote the first text in Europe with such a broad view of the culture and history of the world of his times., and is rightfully described as the first European historian.