Herodotus, the first Greek and thereby the first Western historian, had bad press long before there was anything resembling a press. Aristotle referred to him as a “story-teller,” which was no honorific. What he meant was that Herodotus made things up, another word for which is “liar.” Thucydides had little good to say about Herodotus and thought his attempt to recapture the long-gone past foolhardy. History, for Thucydides, meant contemporary, or near-contemporary, history, with an emphasis on politics and warfare. In his Histories, Herodotus went well outside these bounds, writing about Egypt, Scythia, Persia, and other countries; he took up the study of customs and moeurs among them, as might a modern anthropologist.
Herodotus (/hᵻˈrɒdətəs/; Ancient Greek: Ἡρόδοτος Hēródotos, pronounced [hɛː.ró.do.tos]) was a Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria (modern-day Bodrum, Turkey) and lived in the fifth century BC (c. 484–c. 425 BC), a contemporary of Socrates. He is widely referred to as "The Father of History" (first conferred by Cicero); he was the first historian known to have broken from Homeric tradition to treat historical subjects as a method of investigation—specifically, by collecting his materials systematically and critically, and then arranging them into a historiographic narrative.
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