History Develops as a Scholarly Discipline (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: History developed as scholarly discipline, establishing historiography as a literary and scientific genre.
Summary of Event
Herodotus’s monumental history of the Greco-Persian Wars, Historiai Herodotou (c. 424 b.c.e.; The History, 1709), established its author as “the father of history,” in the words of the Roman philosopher and statesman Cicero (106-43 b.c.e.). It is an extraordinary work, combining history in the modern sense with geography, anthropology, and comparative religion.
As part of the unprecedented intellectual movement that began in the fifth century b.c.e., Herodotus was in the midst of a philosophical revolution initiated by Socrates (c. 470-399 b.c.e.), perfected by Plato (c. 427-347 b.c.e.), and culminating with Aristotle (384-322 b.c.e.). In an analogous fashion, Herodotus initiated the new style of historiography, Hecataeus of Miletus (fl. sixth-fifth centuries b.c.e.) solidified the notion of scientific historical and geographical evidence, and Thucydides crowned their efforts.
Like most genres, history did not achieve maturity in its first form. Herodotus, while groping for the historical perspective mastered by Thucydides a generation later, retained many characteristics of his diverse predecessors. The Greek poet Homer (early ninth century-late ninth century b.c.e.) influenced him significantly; critics have pointed out that epic...
(The entire section is 1626 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!