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Cultural History Versus Political History: The Varying Methods of the Two Fathers of History - Essay Example

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This paper "Cultural History Versus Political History: The Varying Methods of the Two Fathers of History" discusses the ancient Greeks that were known for many things. They were also responsible for laying the foundations of the modern-day practice of recording history…
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Cultural History Versus Political History: The Varying Methods of the Two Fathers of History
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Download file to see previous pages Even though they have these similarities and have both been bestowed with the same title, these two historians drastically differed in their approaches.

Herodotus had another title bestowed upon him; he was also called the “Father of Lies.” Much of what is known of him has been gathered from his own writings as few other sources are available from his actual life. It should also be noted that the veracity of this information is in question as Herodotus was known to invent much in his own work, and it was sometimes the practice in Ancient Greece to attribute events from the life of one person to another; for instance, it has been questioned if the accounts of Herodotus’ exile are only due to the fact that Thucydides was exiled. As far as his second title goes, this stemmed from the fact that Herodotus gathered much of his material second-hand. As this was the case, his history could only have as accurate as of the stories that were told to him, and it would seem as though he didn’t bother to check the veracity of the information that he was given. There are many incidents in his works, collectively called The Histories, which are obviously incorrect; furthermore, there are also incidents that he either embellished upon or went so far as to create on his own accord wherever he deemed fit. Even though the veracity of his work has been called into question, it is important to realize that much of the non-factual information served a purpose.

While he was not the first individual to record an event that happened, he was the first person to go beyond merely recording events and create an art of the recording of history. Herodotus’ intentions were to create a grand overarching narrative, and where he lacked the necessary information to accomplish this goal, he seems to have created events to fill in the gaps. Take for instance section in Book 1 which Solon and Croesus meet. There is one problem in this encounter: “the meeting between Solon and Croesus could never have taken place” (Western 862).   ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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