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Headword: Hêrodotos
Adler number: eta,536
Translated headword: Herodotus, Herodotos
Vetting Status: high
Son of Lyxes and Dryo; of Halicarnassus;[1] one of the notables; and he had a brother [called] Theodoros. He resettled in Samos because of Lygdamis, who was the third tyrant of Halicarnassus after Artemisia: Pisindelis was the son of Artemisia, and Lygdamis the son of Pisindelis.[2] In Samos he practised the Ionian dialect and wrote a history in nine books, beginning with Cyrus the Persian and Candaules the king of the Lydians. He went back to Halicarnassus and drove out the tyrant; but later, when he saw that he he was the object of spite on the citizens' part, he voluntarily went to Thurii which was being colonized by Athenians, and after he died there he was buried in the agora.[3] But some say that he died in Pella.[4] His books bear the inscription of the Muses.[5]
Concerning Herodotos, the Transgressor says in a letter:[6] "who, then, does not know what the Ethiopians said about our most nourishing food? They touched a barley-cake and said they were amazed that we lived by eating dung, if the wordsmith of Thurii can be believed. Those who describe the inhabited world relate that there are races of fish-eaters[7] and flesh-eaters, men who do not dream of our food and diet. If any one of us tries to emulate their diet, he will fare no better than those who take hemlock, aconite, or hellebore."[8]
Greek Original:
Hêrodotos, Luxou kai Druous, Halikarnaseus, tôn epiphanôn, kai adelphon eschêkôs Theodôron. metestê d' en Samôi dia Lugdamin ton apo Artemisias triton turannon genomenon Halikarnassou: Pisindêlis gar ên huios Artemisias, tou de Pisindêlidos Lugdamis. en oun têi Samôi kai tên Iada êskêthê dialekton kai egrapsen historian en bibliois th#, arxamenos apo Kurou tou Persou kai Kandaulou tou Ludôn basileôs. elthôn de eis Halikarnasson kai ton turannon exelasas, epeidê husteron eiden heauton phthonoumenon hupo tôn politôn, eis to Thourion apoikizomenon hupo Athênaiôn ethelontês êlthe kakei teleutêsas epi tês agoras tethaptai. tines de en Pellais auton teleutêsai phasin. epigraphontai de hoi logoi autou Mousai. peri Hêrodotou legei ho Parabatês en epistolêi: tis oun agnoei ton Aithiopôn huper tou par' hêmin trophimôtatou sitiou logon; hapsamenoi gar tês mazês thaumazein ephasan, hopôs kopria sitoumenoi zômen, ei tôi pistos ho Thourios einai logopoios dokei. ichthuophagôn de kai sarkophagôn anthrôpôn genê mêd' onar idonta tên par' hêmin diaitan hoi tên oikoumenên periêgoumenoi gên historousin: hôn ei tis par' hêmin zêlôsai tên diaitan epicheirêsei, ouden ameinon diakeisetai tôn to kôneion prosenenkamenôn ê tên akoniton ê tên helleboron.
C5 BCE. See generally John Gould in OCD(4) s.v. 'Herodotus(1)'.
[1] Present-day Bodrum, in Turkey.
[2] For Artemisia in Herodotus' work, see 7.99; 8.68-69, 87-88, 93, 101-3.
[3] According to ancient tradition, Herodotus was one of the first colonists of Thurii (in southern Italy). Stephanus of Byzantium records the inscription on his grave there (see under "Thourioi"). For the connection with Thurii, see further Aristotle, Rhetoric 3.9 (1409a), and Plutarch, De exilio 13 (= Moralia 604F); and cf. Julian, Epistle 152 (Bidez-Cumont). On Herodotus' family, see also pi 248.
[4] The capital of Macedon.
[5] At some time after Herodotus' death, editors divided his work into nine books and named them after the nine Muses.
[6] Julian the Apostate, Epistle 155 (Bidez-Cumont).
[7] For the fish-eaters, see Herodotus 3.19-25.
[8] cf. zeta 65.
Truesdell S. Brown, "Early Life of Herodotus," Ancient World 17 (1988) 3-15
John Gould, Herodotus (1989), ch. 1
Keywords: biography; chronology; dialects, grammar, and etymology; dreams; food; geography; historiography; history; politics; women
Translated by: Phiroze Vasunia on 21 February 2000@15:38:09.
Vetted by:
Shannon N. Byrne on 20 May 2000@19:05:38.
Ross Scaife ✝ (cosmetics; added link) on 16 July 2000@20:35:56.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 10 February 2003@09:12:22.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 9 October 2005@08:38:25.
Catharine Roth (deleted link) on 11 January 2012@23:15:36.
David Whitehead (more notes and keywords; tweaking) on 19 December 2012@08:54:50.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 23 December 2012@23:35:47.
David Whitehead (updated a ref) on 3 August 2014@06:17:29.
Catharine Roth (added a note) on 16 September 2018@19:47:48.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 18 August 2022@20:06:17.
Catharine Roth (cross-reference) on 18 August 2022@20:10:15.


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