Skip to content
October 13, 2012 / Fantelius

Father of History

A stone in the wall of the Royal Palace in Stockholm

Herodotus of Halicarnassus was a contemporary of the first democracy. He is called the father of history.

He thought of himself as an explorer of understanding, searching by inquiry and reason. Understanding was his goal, inquiry his method.
He searched for the source of conflict.

Some historiens have called Herodotus the father of lies, a story teller. These men who know so much and understand so little scientifically measure the unlikliness of his stories.
They can’t understand how a son of truth can sing with the voice of fiction.

Take the case of Tomyris and the mighty Cyrus for exemple. Perhaps it isn’t true that Queen Tomyris searched the field of dead warriors for the body of Cyrus just to stick his head into a skin bag of blood and cry: “Now you can quench your thirst.”

Herodotus presents not a single document, not one well-drawn diagram. He simply states that this is the most likely account of the death of Cyrus among many accounts.

Herodotus seems to have believed that blood-thirst and wrath have historical value.
He seems to have believed that the heart of truth
can travel on fiction beyond the facts of the times.


(Tomorrow: For the Likes of Us)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: