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Herodotos was born here

when Bodrum was called Halicarnassus


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What do we know of himself ...? The answer is: very little. Herodotus is anonymous to the large extent, in fact the only thing he really tells us is his name and origin...





Herodotus's birth date: 474 BC ?
Herodotus himself does not tell us so we use calculations, based on Apollodorus's work which suggests that Herodotus was born 40 years before the foundation of Thurii in 444/3 BC. He is also believed to be born 'a little before the Persian wars' ie before 480 BC?

Herodotus's travels
We are unsure to what extent he has travelled. Some authors would have us believe that Herodotus did not go to every place he would have us believe that he has visited, such as Egypt. We can be fairly certain that he visited Samos, Athens and Thurii but beyond that one cannot provide conclusive evidence for his travels. He suggests he has been to Egypt (Book 2:150), Scythia (4:76 as he talked to Tymnes), Cyrene (4:163).

Herodotus's death
This is even more uncertain than the date of his birth. Scholars believe that he does not mention anything beyond the date 430 BC and appears to be unaware of the destruction of the Aeginetans in 424 BC.

Thought to have lived between 484 - 425 BC, Herodotos, also called the 'Father of History', was born in Halicarnassus, now Bodrum. His work is the first history of ancient times. Halicarnassus was belonging to Caria, so he was a native of Caria, his father Lykses and his oncle Panyassis, a prose writer of his time, were of noble Carian birth.
The significance of Herodotos' history is twofold, first our knowledge of early history comes from his work »Historia« and second, he gives a wide picture of the social life with great detail. His Carian spirit never died, although he was exiled after the execution of bis uncle Panyassis bv the tyrant satrap Lygdames in Caria.
Leaving his homeland for good, Herodotos travelled all around Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, Iskhi, the Black Sea Region, the whole of Anatolia and Sicily, finally to settle in Samos. He completed his great prose in seven years, influenced by Pericles of Athens and Socrates, the philosopher of the time. This perhaps led him to adopt a biased view in favour of Hellenic people. However his book is a major work on Anatolian people and without Herodotos, there would have been no true account of earlier history. Especially his description oft he Carian people is now very valuable for archaeologists on the subject Caria.

 Herodotus (484?-425 BC), Greek historian, known as the father of history, born in Halicarnassus (now Bodrum, Turkey). He is believed to have been exiled from Halicarnassus about 457 BC for conspiring against Persian rule. He probably went directly to Samos, from which he traveled throughout Asia Minor, Babylonia, Egypt, and Greece. The direction and extent of his travels are not precisely known, but they provided him with valuable firsthand knowledge of virtually the entire ancient Middle East. About 447 BC he went to Athens, then the center and focus of culture in the Greek world, where he won the admiration of the most illustrious men of Greece, including the great Athenian statesman Pericles. In 443 BC Herodotus settled in the Panhellenic colony of Thurii in southern Italy. He devoted the remainder of his life to the completion of his great work, entitled History, the Greek word for "inquiry."
The History has been divided by later authors into nine parts. The earlier books deal with the customs, legends, history, and traditions of the peoples of the ancient world, including the Lydians, Scythians, Medes, Persians, Assyrians, and Egyptians. The last three books describe the armed conflicts between Greece and Persia in the early 5th century BC. In the History the development of civilization moves inexorably toward a great confrontation between Persia and Greece, which are presented as the centers, respectively, of Eastern and Western culture. Herodotus's information was derived in part from the work of predecessors, but it was widely supplemented with knowledge that he had gained from his own extensive travels. Although he was sometimes inaccurate, he was generally careful to separate plausible reports from implausible ones.
The Historiesy may be the first known creative work to be written in prose. Both ancient and modern critics have paid tribute to its grandeur of design and to its frank, lucid, and delightfully anecdotal style. Herodotus demonstrates a wide knowledge of Greek literature and contemporary rational thought. The universe, he believed, is ruled by Fate and Chance, and nothing is stable in human affairs. Moral choice is still important, however, since the gods punish the arrogant. This attempt to draw moral lessons from the study of great events formed the basis of the Greek and Roman historiographical tradition, of which Herodotus is rightly regarded as the founder.

Contributed by:
Jay Bregman

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Wer bislang all die bekannten Namen von griechischen Künstlern und Wissenschaftlern dem heutigen Griechenland zuordnete, der muß hier an der türkischen Ägäis schnellstens umlernen.
Herodot, Thales, Praxiteles und wie sie alle hießen, lebten entweder in oder nah bei Bodrum. Selbst Themistokles verbrachte seine letzten Jahre in Magnesia, nah bei Ephesus.

Myndos Tor


Myndos Tor in Bodrum


ne hour's walk from Pedasa. It is advised to take along a guide. Nearing the city one will see domed tombs resembling cisterns; built with the ashlar technique. The tombs consist of a small entrance and a single domed burial chamber. The domes were constructed with the dry-wall technique, using stones from the vicinity.

this information is fairly certain. Further details can be given with less certainty:
He is son of Lyxes and Dryo, both lived in Halicarnassus

He had a brother called Theodorus

Herodotus was related to Panyasis, the epic poet whose works are lost

Herodotus later migrated to the island of Samos 'because of Lygdamis' (a tyrant of Halicarnassus who apparently expelled Herodotus.)

During this time he wrote his untitled work which was later divided into 9 books named after the Muses

Some point later in life, he moved to Thurii, in S.Italy.

He is supposed to have died and been buried in the market place there, although others say he died in Pella.

All this information is fairly certain. Further details can be given with less certainty:


Herodotus - often recalled citizen of this town by hotels and tourism brochures, but when you have a closer look, you will not understand that up to now there is no place and even no street namend after him

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eine weitere Version des Mausoleums

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In his preface he notes that he publishes his research with the hope of ,preservingfrorn decay, the rernernbrance of what men have achiev~1 -be it the Hellenic people or other stock." His poncern was to prevent the great and wonderful actions of the Greeks and the barbarians, as he continues in hispreface. from losing their due measure of glory. His Historia relates mainly to the war between Greeks and the Persian, accounting the rise and glorv of the Persian; therefore, called friend of barbarians1 His account in praise of Artemisia 1 in the Salarnis War is also greatly criticised by the Western world, Herodotos on the other band, has repeatediv stressed ,,hisfaithfulness to record deeds and traditions ofseveral nations."
Most of his history recited in Athens on Greekfreedorn and high civilisation also included Iskhite, Lvdian, Assvrian, Babylon. und Egyptian history. Herodotos wrote in Greek with an inevitably fonian influenceand diedin theAthenian colonisation ofThurii in southern Italy, far awayfrom bis homeland

His great work, The Histories, is the story of the war between the huge Persian empire and the much smaller Greek city-states. In itself it is an exciting story, but the work is important for a number of reasons.

Herodotus was not the first historian, but he was the first to make investigation the key to history. The word "history" comes from a Greek word which means "inquiry" or "investigation." He wanted to find what actually happened, so he traveled extensively in the Eastern Mediterranean, including visits to Egypt and Persia. He talked to many people, including people who actually witnessed the events he wrote about. While people today might criticize him for his tendency to include inaccurate and often implausible information, he nevertheless established the notion that history must begin with research.

His book is also significant for its scope. While its focus is the Persian Wars, the book covers the entire Eastern Mediterranean world from the time of the Lydian Empire (ca. 672 BC) to the defeat of Xerxes in 479 BC. In the course of telling this story and reflecting this sense of inquiry, he also takes time to tell us about the customs of the Egyptian, the Hittites, and most of the peoples the Greeks would have come into contact with. The result is not a tightly reasoned argument about the Persian War, but rather a kind of loosely organized encyclopedia of the Ancient Mediterranean. Much of what we know about many of the ancient peoples comes to us only from Herodotus.

The theme of The Histories is the struggle between The East and The West. The East, represented by the Persian Empire, signifies tyranny and oppression. The West, represented by the Greek city-states, signifies freedom. Thus as Herodotus interprets the Persian Wars we have the beginnings of Western Civilization and the association of that tradition with freedom


Herodotus - often recalled citizen of the anciant Halikarnassos. But where is the consciosness of Bodrum when up to now there is even not one single street or place named in his honor ??

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