HIST 100: Western Civilization Sections 001 and 002 Reading Guide 1: Herodotus, The Histories Over the course of the first three weeks of this course, we will be reading the work of one of the earliest historians in the west: Herodotus of Halicarnassus, born around 490 B.C.E. on the southeastern coast of Asia Minor, now modern-day Turkey. Among the issues we will be debating will be the meaning of “history” as suggested by Herodotus’ work and the reliability of primary sources like The Histories for modern historians. Of course, we will also look at the content of the accounts of various Mediterranean and near Eastern peoples left by Herodotus for us to puzzle over. Most of this work is dedicated to the conflict between the Greeks and Persians known as the Persian Wars, which took place in the 5 th century B.C.E. However, while the history of Persian conquest and an explanation and account of wars with Greece lie at the heart of the work, Herodotus constantly interrupts his narrative with broader considerations of the characters and backgrounds of the peoples involves. Do not be put off by the extensive detail of this edition.
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Achaemenid Empire, Greco-Persian Wars, Darius I of Persia, histories, Anatolia