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Headword: Ἡρόδοτος
Adler number: eta,536
Translated headword: Herodotus, Herodotos
Vetting Status: high
Son of Lyxus and Dryo; of Halicarnassus;[1] one of the notables; and he had a brother [called] Theodorus. He migrated in (sic) 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:
Ἡρόδοτος, Λύξου καὶ Δρυοῦς, Ἁλικαρνασεύς, τῶν ἐπιφανῶν, καὶ ἀδελφὸν ἐσχηκὼς Θεόδωρον. μετέστη δ' ἐν Σάμῳ διὰ Λύγδαμιν τὸν ἀπὸ Ἀρτεμισίας τρίτον τύραννον γενόμενον Ἁλικαρνασσοῦ: Πισίνδηλις γὰρ ἦν υἱὸς Ἀρτεμισίας, τοῦ δὲ Πισινδήλιδος Λύγδαμις. ἐν οὖν τῇ Σάμῳ καὶ τὴν Ἰάδα ἠσκήθη διάλεκτον καὶ ἔγραψεν ἱστορίαν ἐν βιβλίοις θ#, ἀρξάμενος ἀπὸ Κύρου τοῦ Πέρσου καὶ Κανδαύλου τοῦ Λυδῶν βασιλέως. ἐλθὼν δὲ εἰς Ἁλικαρνασσὸν καὶ τὸν τύραννον ἐξελάσας, ἐπειδὴ ὕστερον εἶδεν ἑαυτὸν φθονούμενον ὑπὸ τῶν πολιτῶν, εἰς τὸ Θούριον ἀποικιζόμενον ὑπὸ Ἀθηναίων ἐθελοντὴς ἦλθε κἀκεῖ τελευτήσας ἐπὶ τῆς ἀγορᾶς τέθαπται. τινὲς δὲ ἐν Πέλλαις αὐτὸν τελευτῆσαί φασιν. ἐπιγράφονται δὲ οἱ λόγοι αὐτοῦ Μοῦσαι. περὶ Ἡροδότου λέγει ὁ Παραβάτης ἐν ἐπιστολῇ: τίς οὖν ἀγνοεῖ τὸν Αἰθιόπων ὑπὲρ τοῦ παρ' ἡμῖν τροφιμωτάτου σιτίου λόγον; ἁψάμενοι γὰρ τῆς μάζης θαυμάζειν ἔφασαν, ὅπως κόπρια σιτούμενοι ζῶμεν, εἴ τῳ πιστὸς ὁ Θούριος εἶναι λογοποιὸς δοκεῖ. ἰχθυοφάγων δὲ καὶ σαρκοφάγων ἀνθρώπων γένη μηδ' ὄναρ ἰδόντα τὴν παρ' ἡμῖν δίαιταν οἱ τὴν οἰκουμένην περιηγούμενοι γῆν ἱστοροῦσιν: ὧν εἴ τις παρ' ἡμῖν ζηλῶσαι τὴν δίαιταν ἐπιχειρήσει, οὐδὲν ἄμεινον διακείσεται τῶν τὸ κώνειον προσενεγκαμένων ἢ τὴν ἀκόνιτον ἢ τὴν ἑλλέβορον.
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).
[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.


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