The father of history, Herodotus was born in Bodrum!
The Greek Historian, Herodotus, later renowned as 'the father of history', was born in 484 BC in Halicarnassus. At the time, Halicarnassus was a Greek colony, though today, it is known as Bodrum, Turkey.
Born into a prominent family, Herodotus enjoyed the benefits of a classical education, which provided him with an extensive intimacy of ancient Greek literature.
In approximately 475 BC, already in his early thirties, political unrest between his family and the then rulers of Halicarnassus dictated that Herodotus travel and live abroad for several years. It is believed that he journeyed extensively throughout the Persian and Greek empires of the time. Tradition has it that he began his travels on the island of Samos, though he would later visit Asia Minor, Babylonia, Egypt, and Greece, exploring almost in it’s entirety the ancient Middle East
Though he did not choose to settle there, Herodotus´ central role in the rebellion against the disliked ruler of Halicarnassus provided him with the rights and privileges of a full citizen. Athens, circa 447 BC, was considered to be the cultural center of the Greek world, and it was there that Herodotus chose to dwell for a number of years, gaining the respect and admiration of men like Pericles, the Athenian statesman, as well as that of Greece’s most illustrious scholars of the time. His fame and literary talents were such that the people of Athens awarded him with a sizable fortune.
In 443 BC, Thurii, one of many colonies sponsored by Greek city states for reasons of commerce and employment for the citizens, offered Herodotus citizenship. Having become disillusioned with the greater rights he was given due to his status in Athens, he readily accepted, and settled there in the south of Italy.
In Thurii, Herodotus immersed himself in the creation of his greatest work, ‘Inquiry’, the Greek word for History. This extensive work has since been divided, by scholars, into nine parts. The initial six parts, in introduction, provide insight into the customs, history, legends and traditions of the various ancient populations at that time, while the final three explore the rivalry and conflict rampant between the empires of Greece and Persia in the early part of the fifth century BC.
Herodotus maintained that a great conflict between Persia and Greece, representative of the centers of Eastern and Western traditions, was inevitable as civilization developed. Although imprecise on some historical counts, perhaps due to his use of the collective works of his predecessors as complemented through exploring the wisdom he gained over the long course his journeys, in Inquiry, Herodotus appears to have gone to great pains in his quest for accuracy. He imparted upon the Ionic dialect an elegance in his turn of phrase that appeals to the senses in bringing forth a richness in the qualities he described, particularly in the case of Persia. His prose illuminates the main premise through focus on episodic diversion, without breaking the narrative flow.
Thomas Babington Macaulay stated that Herodotus:-
"Wrote as it is natural that he should write, He wrote for a nation susceptible, curious, lively, and insatiably desirous of novelty and excitement."
It was the belief of Herodotus that no stability exists in the affarirs of man. Rather, the universe is governed by Fate and Chance. Arrogance, or Hubris, attracts the wrath of the gods, known as Nemesis, and so Moral decision holds a key role.
It is widely accepted that Herodotus fathered Greek and Roman traditions of historiography through his attempts to explore and discover moral direction in reflection over important occurrences.
In 425 BC, Herodotus passed away.