HEREDOT (FATHER OF HISTORY)
( MÖ 484 -425 )
Herodotos lived in Halicarnassus (Bodrum) in Western Anatolia, BC. Born in 484, he is the world’s first research historian and author. He wrote his Historia, which made him famous, in prose. Herodotus, who was given the Latin title of “Pater Historiae” (Father of History) by the Roman statesman, scholar and writer Cicero, dates back to BC. He lived until 425 BC. His tomb is in the agora of the city of Thurium. The Latin name of the city is Thurii, today’s Italian name is Thurio and it is located in the Gulf of Taranto in the south of Italy.
Herodotus was a member of a prominent family in Anatolia. At that time, Halicarnassus was ruled by Artemisia, Queen of Caria, the fearless warrior and the world’s first female admiral. When Herodotus was a young boy, Artemisia was replaced by her granddaughter, II. Lygda’mis had become king. The freedom-loving people regarded this new ruler, who was loyal to the Persian King Artaxerxes, as a tyrant. For this reason, a revolutionary group led by Panyassis, Herodotus’ uncle and a well-known poet, rose up to liberate their country from the Persian yoke, but this attempt failed. When his uncle Panyassis was killed as a result of this uprising, Herodotus went into exile from Halicarnassus, which he loved very much, to Samos. After this departure, he embarked on great voyages of discovery, where he had the savings to write the book that would make him known by the whole world even today.
Two thousand four hundred-odd years ago, in a period when there were only mounts as a means of transportation and the roads were full of dangers, Herodotus actually made very difficult and long journeys to achieve. He traveled to Thrace, all Anatolian cities such as Lydia and Phrygia, the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean coasts, Egypt, Phoenicia, Iran, Macedonia, Greece and reached Sicily. He wrote his book here and died here. During his voyages, he traveled both by land and by sea, and by chatting with anyone he met there, he gathered information about the history, geography, culture, beliefs, legends, and lifestyles of these cities. The only and biggest source of encouragement for Herodotus, who made such difficult journeys, is of course his love of seeing and learning new places. For this reason, Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı, known by the pen name “The Fisherman of Halicarnassus”, rightly called Herodotus “the world’s first great tourist”.
Herodotus wrote his Historia in the city of Thurium. The main subject of the book is the land and sea wars between the Persian Empire and the ancient Greek city-states and the causes that led to these wars. This work of Herodotus, at the same time; It also includes the information that he learned, observed and researched during his travels about Anatolia, Persia, Egypt, Greek geographies, history, folklore, art, architecture and mythology. It can be said that this work is the first historical research conducted in an impartial and scientific way, and in this context, it has led to the emergence of the science of history.
The name of his book, “Historia”, is used today as the equivalent of the word “History”. This work is published under the names of Turkish Herodotos History or Herodotus History. However, the word “Historia”, which is the name given by Herodotus to his work, means “research, examination, gaining knowledge”. It is an undoubted fact that this word gained the meaning of “history” over the centuries and became a whole branch of social sciences thanks to the work written by Herodotus, who is accepted as the “Father of History”. There have been many new historians inspired by his book. Anatolian history begins with the history of Herodotus.