The early life of the “Father of History” was dominated by the clash between East and West—Persia and Greece. Russell Meiggs finds that his story of the Great War is part tragic drama, part folk-tale and part travel-book, but is informed throughout by the desire to verify and by rational curiosity.

Herodotus shares with other Greek and Roman historians the great advantage of having left no record of his private life. The few scraps that ancient tradition records add very little to his own book and take nothing away. We know where he was born and approximately when; we know something of his travels. His personal relationships, his inner reflections, his reaction to contemporary events elude us. There is no problem of reconciling the personality revealed in his published book with the confidential revelations of diary or letters. We are left to judge him by his book, and by his book alone.

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