Compare And Contrast Athens And Sparta
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Athens \u0026 Sparta
While in the northern, delta region of the country, Herodotus spent his time with the Egyptian priests, who told the Greek of their history, culture, and science. The Nile itself proved especially interesting for Herodotus, because its regular flooding of the fields was unknown in Greece. During the summer months, rivers in Greece shallowed and dried up, but in Egypt, the opposite would occur. Herodotus continued to travel upstream, probably in search of the source of the Nile, a subject that he apparently was very interested in and one in which he could find little information. Herodotus dismisses many of the ancient theories on the origins of the Nile, and while he is correct in the refutation of these theories, the solutions he presents for the behavior of the Nile are equally false.
It is relatively easy to tell which places in Egypt Herodotus visited, but the order in which he visited them and the routes he took to get there are difficult to determine. From there, Herodotus journeyed on to Busiris, where he observed and recorded some of the practices of the cults of Osiris and Isis. He traveled cross-country to Bubastis, on the eastern bank of the Pelusian branch of the Nile. From there it is believed that Herodotus traveled to Heliopolis, whose inhabitants, Herodotus believed, were the most learned in Egypt. It is presumed that the priests in Heliopolis related the details of their religion and culture to Herodotus, but for once he Greek historian is tight-lipped about what he had learned.
Leaving Heliopolis, Herodotus wandered south, until he reached the narrows where the Nile is hemmed in by the Arabian mountains. Here, near the quarries which were the source of the stone used for the pyramids was the city of Memphis. Like any tourist of Egypt, Herodotus visited the pyramids, and described the three great pyramids in detail. It is interesting to note, however, that while he must have seen it, Herodotus makes no mention of the Sphinx. Herodotus continued south from Memphis into Thebes, the chief city of Upper Egypt, and believed to be one of the oldest in the world. Some have taken this as a sign that this part of the History is a fabrication, but as anyone who has found the Grand Canyon dull or thought the Eiffel Tower was just a building knows, sometimes a visitor just is not impressed by the impressive.
It is a sign of Herodotus' honesty that when he has nothing to say, he says nothing about it. This malaise drove him onward from Thebes toward the destination he had sought from the start of his journey into Egypt, the city of Elephantine. Elephantine was a Persian frontier post and marked the southern boundary of the Persian Empire, and Herodotus has no intention of traveling into the country beyond. Instead he relies on hearsay to gather information about the kingdom of Ethiopia, which lies to the south.
Having reached his ultimate destination at Elephantine, Herodotus returned north to see a few more sites in lower Egypt. He was apparently not in much of a hurry to return to Halikarnassos, either because traveling had become habitual or because he knew that he would not like it when he got there. Still he probably did feel a longing for home, and if home was not Halikarnassos, it was at least Greece. From some port in eastern Egypt, Herodotus set out by boat for Cyrene, a Greek colony five hundred miles to the west. From there he sailed on to Tyre, where he apparently still had some questions which needed answering, and left Africa behind him. These stories were verified at an ancient temple to Heracles in Tyre, where the Egyptians believed the history of their gods went back seventeen thousand years.
Herodotus knew that Halikarnassos was not the place for him, however, and within two years he had left once again, this time for Athens. The city had been sacked and burned by Xerxes in , but that had been more than thirty years ago. The atmosphere in Athens, however, was little more comforting to Herodotus than the one he left in Halikarnassos. A law passed by Pericles in ended all hopes Herodotus might have had of becoming an Athenian citizen, and instead of remaining as a resident foreigner, Herodotus began to reconsider his options.
Herodotus did not remain in Thuria, however. He probably returned to Athens sometime around On at least three occasions Herodotus refers to incidents in the opening phases of the Peloponnesian War that tie up loose ends from earlier in the History. It is believed that he stayed in the city from , but the city was probably starting to loose its luster to the aging historian. Herodotus had already written about one war, he had little desire to write about another.
It is unclear just how long Herodotus stayed in Athens, but a few facts can be inferred from his influence on others. Some scholars take this to indicate that Herodotus was no longer in Athens by , as Aristophanes tends to reserve satire for what is prominent and present--"obscurity earned no laughs. It is most probable that Herodotus returned to Thuria after his stay in Athens, possibly to flee the plague which had broken out there, possibly because there was nothing else for him there.
In any event, his days of traveling were behind him and, assuming he left Athens alive, Herodotus settled down to a life of relaxation and editing of his work. His voyages to the four corners of the world brought Herodotus into contact with more peoples than any other Greek of his day, and he used what he learned in his research to tell the story of the war that shaped his youth. It is ironic that with all of Herodotus efforts to preserve the memories of the events of others, the circumstances, even the location and date, of his own death have been forgotten.
While anyone could have related the tales of the Persian war, it is the details and tidbits garnered while traveling that separate Herodotus' tale and have made it stand out for over two thousand years. Clearly, Herodotus was a well read and well traveled man, but no one could create such a work out of nothing. What was the well from which this wealth of knowledge was drawn? What sources did Herodotus use to create such a diverse and colorful History? What Herodotus learned from the people with whom he spoke to while on his travels he undoubtedly called upon while constructing his work, but he also drew on the collective learning of all those who had gone before him.
About years after Herodotus, another historian from Halikarnassos, Dionysius, briefly described the beginnings of Greek historical research by saying: "Before the Peloponnesian War there were many early historians in many places. A second group was born a little before the Peloponnesian War and were Thucydides' early contemporaries. If this passage is taken at face value, it is possible that Herodotus did not have to rely solely on the data provided by his own travels to construct his History. Unfortunately, not enough of Hecataeus' work has survived for us to judge just how dependent upon it Herodotus was.
While we can show that Herodotus had a familiarity with Hecataeus, there are several other sources which Herodotus was probably familiar with but which we cannot identify. Charon of Lampsacus, Xanthus of Lydia, and Dionysius of Miletus all wrote histories of their respective areas that Herodotus could have drawn on, but his dependence on them is unclear. What is clear is that Herodotus regarded himself as an independent researcher, and that his work on the Persian War was an original achievement. Like any good historian, Herodotus includes as much primary material as he could glean from the people he talked to in his work. Herodotus does not fully trust his sources, however. He takes special care to let his readers know when he is relating what he was told by other people, and often includes accounts that he believes to be false simply because that is what he was told.
As Herodotus himself says, "Throughout the entire history it is my underlying principle that it is what people severally have said to me, and what I have heard that I must write down. Herodotus lived in a time when oral traditions were still preserved with care, and he probably gained most of his information this way. The Persian Wars were still within the three-generation span when Herodotus did his research, and Herodotus undoubtedly spoke to living witnesses of the great invasion. By the 5 th century, Greek culture was beginning to organize itself with historical learning in mind.
Temples and Oracles were beginning to collate their records and temple archives were beginning to gain some acclaim. There are records that show by BC Athens had organized a central archive in the Metroon, the temple of the Mother of the Gods, and some sources claim that the records there went back as far as the sixth century. These document collections, however, would prove little help to Herodotus. The documentary evidence that is so valued among modern day historians was simply of no use to Herodotus. In the first place, the temple archives that housed what little documentary evidence there was did not simply open their doors to every wanderer who happened by.
Herodotus cites twenty-four inscriptions, half of them Greek, half not. Herodotus has been called the father of History, and indeed he attempts to earn that title. He follows the same patterns of research and inquiry that have been par for historical investigations for the centuries that followed. Herodotus interviewed witnesses, both first and second hand, looked into documentary evidence, even traveled the same paths his History would go, all in an attempt to preserve the events of men, and, as if seeking von Ranke's approval, to tell his story as it actually happened.
Every historian, even the first, consciously and unconsciously shapes his narrative and judgements so as to convey a perception of his subject in a persuasive manner. Herodotus has an agenda that he tries to bring forth in his narrative. There are certain incidents and episodes that the historian wants to accent, and in doing so shapes his History to fit his idea of what is needed. An ideal flow of events would be one in which one page describes one event, in an endless flow of history which begins at the beginning and ends at the ending. This however is a dream which no realistic historian even attempts to attain, and Herodotus is no exception. Herodotus interrupts the rhythmic progress of his history with privileged scenes-- special incidents special only because Herodotus chose them-- designed to develop themes that may not become apparent until hundreds of pages later.
An example of this can be seen in the seventh book of the History. Herodotus wanted his audience to see the wonders that Xerxes accomplished in crossing his army over the Hellespont on the ill-fated invasion of Greece. Whether this person was actually there or not, or even if he every spoke of such an event to Herodotus is not really the point. The story is painstakingly told as if it were happening at that time, and the eye-witness narrator draws the reader in so that he or she is no longer looking into a window to the past, but instead is a participant in it. Despite the literate culture in which he lived and work, there are still numerous elements in the History which harken back to the epic days of old.
One of the key characteristics of epic poetry is the use of extensive catalogues, best exemplified by the listing of ships in Book II of the Illiad. This catalogue is paralleled by Herodotus' listing of the invasion force of Xerxes and to a lesser extent the lists of Ionian cities, Greek fleets, and so on. Of course this may be for more practical concerns that a simple reverence for the epic poet. Rites of passage. Hellenistic philosophy. Other Topics. See also: Category:Epithets of Athena. Bust of the Velletri Pallas type, copy after a votive statue of Kresilas in Athens c. Main article: Judgement of Paris.
Ancient Greece portal Myths portal Religion portal. Clement of Alexandria Protr. Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literature. ISBN Day , p. Archived from the original on 5 November Retrieved 6 May Translated by Kenneth S. Plutarch, Parallel Lives. The Parallel Lives by Plutarch published in Vol. A glossary of Greek birds. Oxford, Clarendon Press. Ancient Fragments. Translated by Cory. Archived from the original on 5 September Retrieved 25 August — via Sacred-texts. The Envy, Book II, — Otto, Die Gotter Griechenlands World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved 26 June Archived from the original on 24 November Retrieved 25 August Archived from the original on 7 June Retrieved 7 June Apollodorus, Library, 3, Augustine, De civitate dei xviii.
Murray, PhD in two volumes. Cambridge, Massachusetts. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Murray, PH. Evelyn-White , Cambridge, Massachusetts. Lactantius, Divinae institutions i. Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion. Herrington, C. Lefkowitz; Guy MacLean Rogers eds. Eerdmans Publishing, pp. Brill Palagia, Olga; Pollitt, J. Telenius, Seppo Sakari , Athena-Artemis Helsinki: Kirja kerrallaan.
Trahman, C. Greek deities series. Primordial deities Titan deities Aquatic deities Chthonic deities Mycenaean deities. Twelve Olympians. Category Ancient Greece portal. Ancient Greek religion and mythology. Oedipodea Thebaid Epigoni Alcmeonis. Achilles island Delos Diomedes island. Paralus Salaminia. Acherusia Avernus Lake Lerna Lake. Charonium at Aornum Charonium at Acharaca. Aeacus Minos Rhadamanthus. Campe Cerberus. Charon Charon's obol. Bident Cap of invisibility.
Ascalaphus Ceuthonymus Eurynomos Hade's cattle. Hecate Hesperus Phosphorus. Aphrodite Aphroditus Philotes Peitho. Hermanubis Hermes Thanatos. Empusa Epiales Hypnos Pasithea Oneiroi. Angelia Arke Hermes Iris. Apate Dolos Hermes Momus. Circe Hecate Hermes Trismegistus. Dragons in Greek mythology Greek mythological creatures Greek mythological figures List of minor Greek mythological figures. Argo Phaeacian ships Pyrois. Agon Panathenaic Games Rhieia. Discordianism Gaianism Feraferia Hellenism. Ancient Greek deities by affiliation. Eos Helios Selene. Asteria Leto. Shop All. Shop by Gold. Dive into pure luxury. Inspired by Maria Callas, the Callas Collection offers rich designs handcrafted in silk hammered 18k yellow gold that transcends the iconic soprano's raw artistic spirit.
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