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Herodotus

   Herodotos. A celebrated Greek historian, born at Halicarnassus in Caria, B.C. 484. He was of Dorian extraction, and of a distinguished family. His father was named Lyxes, his mother Rhoeo or Dryo. Panyasis, an eminent epic poet, whom some ranked next to Homer, was his uncle either by the mother's or father's side. The facts of his life are few and doubtful, except so far as we can gather them from his own works. Not liking the government of Lydgamis, the grandson of Queen Artemisia, who was tyrant of Halicarnassus, Herodotus retired for a season to the island of Samos, where he is said to have cultivated the Ionic dialect of the Greek, which was the language there prevalent. Before he was thirty years of age he joined a number of his fellow-exiles in an attempt, which proved successful, to expel Lygdamis. But the banishment of the tyrant did not give tranquillity to Halicarnassus, and Herodotus, who himself had become an object of dislike, again left his native country and visited Athens, where he made the acquaintance of many of the brilliant writers of the time. Of these, Sophocles became his intimate friend, and wrote a poem in his honour in B.C. 440, a fragment of which is preserved by Plutarch. Eusebius states that he received at Athens many public marks of distinction. As Athenian citizenship was not open to him, he joined, as it is said, a colony which the Athenians sent to Thurii in Southern Italy, about B.C. 443. He is said to have died in Thurii, and to have been buried in the market-place.
    Herodotus is regarded by many as the father of profane history, and Cicero calls him historiae patrem; by which, however, nothing more must be meant than that he is the first profane historian whose work is distinguished for its finished form, and has come down to us entire. Thus Cicero himself, on another occasion, speaks of him as the one qui princeps genus hoc (scribendi) ornavit; while Dionysius of Halicarnassus has given us a list of many historical writers who preceded him.
    Herodotus presents himself to our consideration in two points: as a traveller and observer, and as an historian. The extent of his travels may be ascertained pretty clearly from his history; but the order in which he visited each place, and the time of his visit, cannot be determined. The story of his reading his work at the Olympic Games, on which occasion he is said to have received universal applause, and to have had the names of the nine Muses given to the nine books of his history, has been disproved. The story is founded upon a small piece by Lucian, entitled "Herodotus or Aetion," which apparently was not intended by the writer himself as an historical truth; and, in addition to this, Herodotus was only about twentyeight years old when he is said to have read to the assembled Greeks at Olympia a work which was the result of most extensive travelling and research, and which bears in every part of it evident marks of the hand of a man of mature age. The Olympic recitation is not even alluded to by Plutarch, in his treatise on the "malignity" of Herodotus. Furthermore, it is certain that the division of his work into books was not known to Herodotus himself, but was probably due to the Alexandrian grammarians. It is first mentioned by Diodorus Siculus. At a later period Herodotus read his history, as we are informed by Plutarch and Eusebius, at the Panathenaean festival at Athens, and the Athenians are said to have presented him with the sum of ten talents for the manner in which he had spoken of the deeds of their nation. The account of this second recitation may be true.
    With a simplicity which characterizes his whole work, Herodotus makes no display of the great extent of his travels. He frequently avoids saying in express terms that he was at a place, but he uses words which are as conclusive as any positive statement. He describes a thing as standing behind the door, or on the right hand as you enter a temple; or he was told something by a person in a particular place; or he uses other words equally significant. In Africa he visited Egypt, from the coast of the Mediterranean to Elephantine, the southern extremity of the country; and he travelled westward as far as Cyrene, and probably farther. In Asia he visited Tyre, Babylon, Ecbatana, Nineveh, and probably Susa. He also travelled to various parts of Asia Minor, and probably went as far as Colchis. In Europe he visited a large part of the country along the Black Sea, between the mouths of the Danube and the Crimea, and went some distance into the interior. He seems to have examined the line of the march of Xerxes from the Hellespont to Attica, and certainly had seen numerous places on this route. He was well acquainted with Athens, and also with Delphi, Dodona, Olympia, Delos, and many other places in Greece. That he had visited some parts of Southern Italy is clear from his work. The mention of these places is sufficient to show that he must have seen many more. So wide and varied a field of observation has rarely been presented to a traveller, and still more rarely to any historian of either ancient or modern times; and, if we cannot affirm that the author undertook his travels with a view to collecting materials for his great work, a supposition which is far from improbable, it is certain that, without such advantages, he could never have written it, and that his travels must have suggested much inquiry, and supplied many valuable facts, which afterwards found a place in his history.
    The nine books of Herodotus contain a great variety of matter, the unity of which is not perceived till the whole work has been thoroughly examined; and for this reason, on a first perusal, the history is seldom well understood. But the subject of that history was conceived by the author both clearly and comprehensively. His aim was to combine a general history of the Greeks and the barbarians (i. e. those not Greeks) with the history of the wars between the Greeks and Persians. Accordingly, in the execution of his main task, he traces the course of events from the time when the Lydian kingdom of Croesus fell before the arms of Cyrus, the founder of the Persian monarchy (B.C. 546), to the capture of Sestus (B.C. 478), an event which completed the triumph of the Greeks over the Persians. The great subject of his work, which is comprised within the space of sixty-eight years, advances, with a regular progress and truly dramatic development, from the first weak and divided efforts of the Greeks to resist Asiatic numbers, to their union as a nation, and their final triumph in the memorable battles of Thermopylae, Salamis, Plataea, and Mycale. But with this subject, which has a complete unity, well maintained from its commencement to its close, the author has interwoven, conformably to his general purpose, and by way of occasional digression, sketches of the various people and countries which he had visited in his wide-extended travels. The more one contemplates the difficulty of thus combining a kind of universal history with a substantial and distinct narrative, the more one must admire, not so much the art of the historian, as his happy power of bringing together and arranging his materials, which was the result of the fulness of his information, the distinctness of his knowledge, and his clear conception of the subject. These numerous digressions are among the most valuable parts of his work; and, if they had been omitted or lost, barren indeed would have been modern investigation in the field of ancient history, over which the labour of this one great writer now throws a clear and steady light. The anecdotes, also, that sparkle through his pages are fascinating in their variety and in the illustrations they afford of the life and manners of the age that he describes.
    The style of Herodotus is simple, pleasing, and highly picturesque; often, indeed, poetical both in expression and sentiment, and bearing evident marks of belonging to a period when prose composition had not yet become a finished art. That he was a close student of Homer is evident in every page of the history, since his phrases and expressions are everywhere coloured by the Homeric influence. Hence, Dionysius of Halicarnassus calls him Homerou zelotes, and Longinus monos Homerikotatos. So graceful and winning was his style that Athenaeus describes him as ho meligerus. His information is apparently the result of his own experience. In physical knowledge he was somewhat behind the science of even his own day. He had, no doubt, reflected on political questions; but he seems to have formed his opinions mainly from what he himself had observed. To pure philosophical speculations he had no inclination, and there is not a trace of such in his writings. He had a strong religious feeling bordering on superstition, though even here he clearly distinguished the gross and absurd from that which was reasonable. He seems to have viewed the manners and customs of all nations in a more truly philosophical way than many so-called philosophers, considering them all as various forms of social existence under which happiness might be found. He treats with respect the religious observances of every nation; a decisive proof of his great good sense. Until lately there was a strong tendency to exaggerate the credulity of Herodotus; but a fuller knowledge of the countries described by him has justified many of the statements once regarded as absurd. Moreover, a distinction must be drawn between the things he tells of his own knowledge and those which he merely relates as having been told him by other persons. The exquisite lines quoted by Prof. Merriam in his introduction are wonderfully descriptive of the whole tone and spirit of Herodotus:
    "He was a mild old man and cherished much
    The weight dark Egypt on his spirit laid;
    And with a sinuous eloquence would touch
    Forever at that haven of the dead.
    Single romantic words by him were thrown
    As types on men and places, with a power
    Like that of shifting sunlight after shower
    Kindling the cones of hills and journeying on.
    He feared the gods and heroes and spake low
    That Echo might not hear in her light room."
    Plutarch accused Herodotus of partiality, and composed a treatise on what he termed the "spitefulness" of this writer (Peri tes Herodotou Kakoetheias), taxing him with injustice towards the Thebans, Corinthians, and Greeks in general; but the whole monograph is weak and frivolous.
    Herodotus had planned to write a work on Assyrian history, but whether or not he ever carried out his intention is not known. A life of Homer has been commonly ascribed to Herodotus, and appears in some editions of his history; but it is now deemed spurious.
    Manuscripts.--Of forth-six MSS. containing a whole or a portion of Herodotus, five, which are of superior age and excellence, form the basis of the accepted text. These represent two "families," to one of which belong the Codex Florentinus or Mediceus of the Laurentian Library at Florence, dating from the tenth century, a Codex Romanus of the eleventh century, and a second Codex Florentinus, also of the eleventh century. To the other family belong a Codex Parisinus, beautifully written, of the thirteenth century, and a third Codex Romanus of the fourteenth century, lacking, however, the Fifth Book. Of this, also, the text of the First Book has been considerably altered, possibly in order to adapt the work to the use of schools. An account of the MSS. is given by Stein in his edition mentioned below. Bibliography.--The editio princeps of Herodotus is that of Aldus (1502). Standard critical editions are those of Schweighauser.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Herodotus, (Herodotos). The earliest Greek historian (in the proper sense of the term), and the father of history, was according to his own statement, at the beginning of his work, a native of Ilalicarnassus, a Doric colony in Caria, which at the time of his birth was governed by Artemisia, a vassal queen of the great king of Persia. Our information respecting the life of Herodotus is extremely scanty, for besides the meagre and confused article of Suidas, there is only one or two passages of ancient writers that contain any direct notice of the life and age of Herodotus, and the rest must be gleaned from his own work. According to Suidas, Herodotus was the son of Lyxes and Dryo, and belonged to an illustrious family of Halicarnassus; he had a brother of the name of Theodorus, and the epic poet Panyasis was a relation of his, being the brother either of his farther or his mother. (Suid. s. v. Panuasis) Herodotus (viii. 132) mentions with considerable emphasis one Herodotus, a son of Basilides of Chios, and the manner in which the historian directs attention to him almost leads us to suppose that this Chian Herodotus was connected with him in some way or other, but it is possible that the mere identity of name induced the historian to notice him in that particular manner.
  The birth year of Herodotus is accurately stated by Pamphila (ap. Gell. xv. 23), a learned woman of the time of the emperor Nero: Herodotus, she says, was 53 years old at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war; now as this war broke out in B. C. 431, it follows that Herodotus was born in B. C. 484, or six years after the battle of Marathon, and four years before the battles of Thermopylae and Salamis. He could not, therefore, have had a personal knowledge of the great struggles which he afterwards described, but he saw and spoke with persons who had taken an active part in them. (ix. 16). That he survived the beginning of the Peloponnesian war is attested by Pamphila and Dionysius of Halicarnassus (Jud. de Thuc. 5 ; comp. Diod. ii. 32; Euseb. Chron., who however places Herodotus too early), as well as by Herodotus's own work, as we shall see hereafter. Respecting his youth and education we are altogether without information, but we have every reason for believing that he acquired an early and intimate acquaintance with Homer and other poems, as well as with the works of the logographers, and the desire one day to distinguish himself in a similar way may have arisen in him at an early age.
  The successor of Artemisia in the kingdom (or tyrannis) of Halicarnassus was her son Pisindelis, who was succeeded by Lygdamis, in whose reign Panyasis was killed. Suidas states, that Herodotus, unable to bear the tyranny of Lygdamis, emigrated to Samos, where he became acquainted with the Ionic dialect, and there wrote his history. The former part of this statement may be true, for Herodotus in manny parts of his work shows an intimate acquaintance with the island of Samos and its inhabitants, and he takes a delight in recording the part they took in the events he had to relate; but that his history was written at a much later period will be shown presently. From Samos he is said to have returned to Halicarnassus, and to have acted a very prominent part in delivering his native city from the tyranny of Lygdamis; but during the contentions among the citizens, which followed their liberation, Herodotus, seeing that he was exposed to the hostile attacks of the (popular ?) party, withdrew again from his native place, and settled at Thurii, in Italy, where he spent the remainder of his life. The fact of his settling at Thurii is attested by the unanimous statement of the ancients; but whether he went thither with the first colonists in B. C. 445, or whether he followed afterwards, is a disputed point. There is however a passage in his own work (v. 77) from which we must in all probability infer, that in B. C. 431, the year of the outbreak of the Peloponnesian war, he was at Athens; for it appears from that passage that he saw the Propylaea, which were not completed till the year in which that war began, It further appears that he was well acquainted with, and adopted the principles of policy followed by Pericles and his party which leads us to the belief that he witnessed the disputes at Athens between Pericles and his opponents, and we therefore conclude that Herodotus did not go out with the first settlers to Thurii, but followed them many years after, perhaps about the time of the death of Pericles. This account is mainly based upon the confused article of Suidas, who makes no mention of the travels of Herodotus, which must have occupied a considerable period of his life; but before we consider this point, we shall endeavour to fix the time and place where he composed his work. According to Lucian (Herod. s. Act. 1, &c.) he wrote at Halicarnassus, according to Suidas in Samos, and according to Pliny (H. N. xii. 4.8) at Thurii. These contradictions are rendered still more perplexing by the statement of Lucian, that Herodotus read his work to the assembled Greeks at Olympia, with the greatest applause of his hearers, in consequence of which the nine books of the work were honoured with the names of the nine muses. It is further stated that young Thucydides was present at this recitation and was moved to tears. (Lucian, l. c. ; Suid. s. vv. Thoukudes, organ; Marcellinus, Vit. Thuc. § 54; Phot. Bibl. Cod. 60., Bekk. ; Tzetz. Chil. i. 19.) It should be remarked that Lucian is the first writer that relates the story, and that the others repeat it after him. As Thucydides is called a boy at the time when he heard the recitation, he cannot have been more than about 15 or 16 years of age; and further, as it is commonly supposed that the Olympic festival at which Thucydides heard the recitation was that of B. C. 456 (Ol. 81.), Herodotus himself would have been no more than 32 years old. Now it seems scarcely credible that Herodotus should have completed his travels and written his work at so early an age. Some critics therefore have recourse to the supposition, that what he recited at Olympia was only a sketch or a portion of the work but this is in direct contradiction to the statement of Lucian, who asserts that he read the whole of the nine books, which on that occasion received the names of the muses. The work itself contains numerous allusions which belong to a much later date than the pretended recitation at Olympia; of these we need only mention the latest, viz. the revolt of the Medes against Dareius Nothus and the death of Amyrtaeus, events which belong to the years B. C. 409 and 408. (Herod. i. 130, iii. 15; comp. Dahlmann, Herodot., and an extract from his work in the Classical Museum, vol. i.) This difficulty again is got over by the supposition, that Herodotus, who had written his work before B. C. 456, afterwards revised it and made additions to it during his stay at Thurii. But this hypothesis is not supported by the slightest evidence ; no ancient writer knows anything of a first and second edition of the work. Dahlmann has most ably shown that the reputed recitation at Olympia is a mere invention of Lucian, and that there are innumerable external circumstances which render such a recitation utterly impossible: no man could have read or rather chanted such a work as that of Herodotus, in the open air and in the burning sun of the month of July, not to mention that of all the assembled Greeks, only a very small number could have heard the reader. If the story had been known at all in the time of Plutarch, this writer surely could not have passed it over in silence, where he tells us of Herodotus having calumniated all the Greeks except the Athenians, who had bribed him. Heyse, Baehr, and others labour to maintain the credibility of the story about the Olympic recitation, but their arguments in favour of it are of no weight. There is one tradition which mentions that Herodotus read his work at the Panathenaea at Athens in B. C. 445 or 446, and that there existed at Athens a psephisma granting to the historian a reward of ten talents from the public treasury. (Plut. de Malign. Herod. 26, on whose authority it is repeated by Eusebius, Chron. p. 169.) This tradition is not only in contradiction with the time at which he must have written his work, but is evidently nothing but part and parcel of the charge which the author of that contemptible treatise makes against Herodotus, viz. that he was bribed by the Athenians. The source of all this calumnious scandal is nothing but the petty vanity of the Thebans which was hurt by the truthful description of their conduct during the war against Persia. Whether there is any more authority for the statement that Herodotus read his history to the Corinthians, it is not easy to say; it is mentioned only by Dion Chrysostomus (Orat. xxxvii., ed. Reiske), and probably has no more foundation than the story of the Olympic or Athenian recitation. Had Herodotus really read his history before any such assembly, his work would surely have been noticed by some of those writers who flourished soon after his time; but such is not the case, and nearly a century elapses after the time of Herodotus, before he and his work emerge from their obscurity.
  As, therefore, these traditions on the one hand do not enable us to fix the time in which the father of history wrote his work, and cannot, on the other, have any negative weight, if we should be led to other conclusions, we shall endeavour to ascertain from the work itself the time which we must assign for its composition. The history of the Persian war, which forms the main substance of the whole work, breaks off with the victorious return of the Greek fleet from the coast of Asia, and the taking of Sestos by the Athenians in B. C. 479. But numerous events, which belong to a much later period, are alluded to or mentioned incidentally (see their list in the Classical Museum, l. c.), and the latest of them refers, as already remarked, to the year B. C. 408, when Herodotus was at least 77 years old. Hence it follows that, with Pliny, we must believe that Herodotus wrote his work in his old age during his stay at Thurii, where, according to Suidas, he also died and was buried,for no one mentions that he ever returned to Greece, or that he made two editions of his work, as some modern critics assume, who suppose that at Thurii he revised his work, and among other things introduced those parts which refer to later events. The whole work makes the impression of a fresh composition; there is no trace of labour or revision; it has all the appearance of having been written by a man at an advanced period of his life. Its abrupt termination, and the fact that the author does not tell us what in an earlier part of his work he distinctly promises, (e. g. vii. 213), prove almost beyond a doubt that his work was the production of the last years of his life, and that death prevented his completing it. Had he not written it at Thurii, he would scarcely have been called a Thurian or the Thurian historian, a name by which he is sometimes distinguished by the ancients (Aristot. Rhet. iii. 9; Plut. de Exil. 13, de Malign. Herod. 35; Strab. xiv.), and from the first two of the passages here referred to it is even doubtful whether Herodotus called himself a Thurian or a Halicarnassian. There are lastly some passages in the work itself which must suggest to every unbiassed reader the idea that the author wrote somewhere in the south of Italy. (See, e. g. iv. 15, 99, iii. 131, 137, 138, v. 44. &c. vi. 21, 127).
  Having thus established the time and place at which Herodotus must have written his work, we shall proceed to examine the preparations he made for it, and which must have occupied a considerable period of his life. The most important part of these preparations consisted in his travels through Greece and foreign countries, for the purpose of making himself acquainted with the world and with man, and his customs and manners. We may safely believe that these preparations occupied the time from his twentieth or twenty-fifth year until he settled at Rhegium. His work, however, is not an account of travels, but the mature fruit of his vast personal experience by land and by sea and of his unwearied inquiries which he made every where. He in fact no where mentions his travels and adventures except for the purpose of establishing the truth of what he says, and he is so free from the ordinary vanity of travellers, that instead of acting a prominent part in his work, he very seldom appears at all in it. Hence it is impossible for us to give anything like an accurate chronological succession of his travels. The minute account which Larcher has made up, is little more than a fiction, and is devoid of all foundation. In Greece Proper and on the coasts of Asia Minor there is scarcely any place of importance, with which he is not perfectly familiar from his own observation, and where he did not make inquiries respecting this or that particular point; we may mention more especially the oracular places such as Dodona and Delphi. In many places of Greece, such as Samos, Athens, Corinth and Thebes, he seems to have made a rather long stay. The places where the great battles had been fought between the Greeks and barbarians, as Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis, and Plataeae, were well known to him, and on the whole route which Xerxes and his army took on their march from the Hellespont to Athens, there was probably not a place which he had not seen with his own eyes. He also visited most of the Greek islands, not only in the Aegean, but even those in the west of Greece, such as Zacynthus. As for his travels in foreign countries, we know that he sailed through the Hellespont, the Propontis, and crossed the Euxine in both directions; with the Palus Maeotis he was but imperfectly acquainted, for he asserts that it is only a little smaller than the Euxine. He further visited Thrace (ii. 103) and Scythia (iv. 76, 81). The interior of Asia Minor, especially Lydia, is well known to him, and so is also Phoenicia. He visited Tyre for the special purpose of obtaining information respecting the worship of Heracles; previous to this he had been in Egypt, for it was in Egypt that his curiosity respecting Heracles had been excited. What Herodotus has done for the history of Egypt, surpasses in importance every thing that was written in ancient times upon that country, although his account of it forms only an episode in his work. There is no reason for supposing that he made himself acquainted with the Egyptian language, which was in fact scarcely necessary on account of the numerous Greek settlers in Egypt, as well as on account of that large class of persons who made it their business to act as interpreters between the Egyptians and Greeks; and it appears that Herodotus was accompanied by one of those interpreters. He travelled to the south of Egypt as far as Elephantine, everywhere forming connections with the priests, and gathering information upon the early history of the country and its relations to Greece. He saw with his own eyes all the wonders of Egypt, and the accuracy of his observations and descriptions still excites the astonishment of travellers in that country. The time at which he visited Egypt may be determined with tolerable accuracy. He was there shortly after the defeat of Inarus by the Persian general Megabyzus, which happened in B. C. 456; for he saw the battle field still covered with the bones and skulls of the slain (iii. 12.), so that his visit to Egypt may be ascribed to about B. C. 450. From Egypt he appears to have made excursions to the east into Arabia, and to the west into Libya, at least as far as Cyrene, which is well known to him. (ii. 96.) It is not impossible that he may have even visited Carthage, at least he speaks of information which he had received from Carthaginians (iv. 43, 195, 196), though it may be also that he conversed with individual Carthaginians whom he met on his travels. From Egypt he crossed over by sea to Tyre, and visited Palaestine; that he saw the rivers Euphrates and Tigris and the city of Babylon, is quite certain (i. 178, &c., 193). From thence he seems to have travelled northward, for he saw the town of Ecbatana which reminded him of Athens (i. 98). There can be little doubt that he visited Susa also, but we cannot trace him further into the interior of Asia. His desire to increase his knowledge by travelling does not appear to have subsided even in his old age, for it would seem that during his residence at Thurii he visited several of the Greek settlements in southern Italy and Sicily, though his knowledge of the west of Europe was very limited, for lie strangely calls Sardinia the greatest of all islands (i. 170, v. 106, vi. 2). From what he had collected and seen during his travels, Herodotus was led to form his peculiar views about the earth, its form, climates, and inhabitants ; but for discussions on this topic we must refer the reader to some of the works mentioned at the end of this article. Notwithstanding all the wonders and charms of foreign countries, the beauties of his own native land and its free institutions appear never to have been effaced from his mind.
  A second source from which Herodotus drew his information was the literature of his country, especially the poetical portion, for prose had not yet been cultivated very extensively. With the poems of Homer and Hesiod he was perfectly familiar, though lie attributed less historical importance to them than might have been expected. He placed them about 400 years before his own time, and makes the paradoxical assertion, that they had made the theogony of the Greeks, which cannot mean anything else than that those poets, and more especially Hesiod, collected the numerous local traditions about the gods, and arranged them in a certain order and system, which afterwards became established in Greece as national traditions. He was also acquainted with the poetry of Alcaeus, Sappho, Simonides. Aeschylus, and Pindar. He further derived assistance from the Arimaspeia, an epic poem of Aristeas, and from the works of the logographers who had preceded him, such as Hecataeus, though he worked with perfect independence of them, and occasionally corrected mistakes which they had committed; but his main sources, after all, were his own investigations and observations.
  The object of the work of Herodotus is to give an account of the struggles between the Greeks and Persians, from which the former, with the aid of the gods, came forth victorious. The subject therefore is a truly national one, but the discussion of it, especially in the early part, led the author into various digressions and episodes, as he was sometimes obliged to trace to distant times the causes of the events he had to relate, or to give a history or description of a nation or country, with which, according to his view, the reader ought to be made familiar; and havilng once launched out into such a digression, he usually cannot resist the temptation of telling the whole tale, so that most of his episodes form each an interesting and complete whole by itself. He traces the enmity between Europe and Asia to the mythical times. But he rapidly passes over the mythical ages, to come to Croesus, king of Lydia, who was known to have committed acts of hostility against the Greeks. This induces him to give a full history of Croesus and the kingdom of Lydia. The conquest of Lydia by the Persians under Cyrus then leads him to relate the rise of the Persian monarchy, and the subjugation of Asia Minor and Babylon. The nations which are mentioned in the course of this narrative are again discussed more or less minutely. The history of Cambyses and his expedition into Egypt induce him to enter into the detail of Egyptian history. The expedition of Dareius against the Scythians causes him to speak of Scythia and the north of Europe. The kingdom of Persia now extended from Scythia to Cyrene, and an army being called in by the Cyrenaeans against the Persians, Herodotus proceeds to give an account of Cyrene and Libya. In the meantime the revolt of the Ionians breaks out, which eventually brings the contest between Persia and Greece to an end. An account of this insurrection and of the rise of Athens after the expulsion of the Peisistratidae, is followed by what properly constitutes the principal part of the work, and the history of the Persian war now runs in a regular channel until the taking of Sestos. In this manner alone it was possible for Herodotus to give a record of the vast treasures of information which he had collected in the course of many years. But these digressions and episodes do not impair the plan and unity of the work, for one thread, as it were, runs through the whole, and the episodes are only like branches that issue from one and the same tree: each has its peculiar charms and beauties, and is yet manifestly no more than a part of one great whole. The whole structure of the work thus bears strong resemblance to a grand epic poem. We remarked above that the work of Herodotus has an abrupt termination, and is probably incomplete: this opinion is strengthened on the one hand by the fact, that in one place the author promises to give the particulars of an occurrence in another part of his work, though the promise is nowhere fulfilled (vii. 213); and, on the other, by the story that a favourite of the historian, of the name of Plesirrhous, who inherited all his property, also edited the work after the author's death. (Ptolem. Heph. ap. Phot. Bibl. Cod. 190.) The division of the work into nine books, each bearing the name of a muse, was probably made by some grammarian, for there is no indication in the whole work of the division having been made by the author himself.
  There are two passages (i. 106, 184) in which Herodotus promises to write a history of Assyria, which was either to form a part of his great work, or to be an independent treatise by itself. Whether he ever carried his plan into effect is a question of considerable doubt; no ancient writer mentions such a work; but Aristotle, in his History of Animals (viii. 20), not only alludes to it, but seems to have read it, for he mentions the account of the siege of Nineveh, which is the very thing that Herodotus (i. 184) promises to treat of in his Assyrian history. It is true that in most MSS. of Aristotle we there read Hesiod instead of Herodotus, but the context seems to require Herodotus. The life of Homer in the Ionie dialect, which was formerly attributed to Herodotus, and is printed at the end of several editions of his work, is now universally acknowledged to be a production of a later date, though it was undoubtedly written at a comparatively early period, and contains some valuable information.
  It now remains to add a few remarks on the character of the work of Herodotus, its importance as an historical authority, and its style and language. The whole work is pervaded by a profoundly religious idea, which distinguishes Herodotus from all the other Greek historians. This idea is the strong belief in a divine power existing apart and independent of man and nature, which assigns to every being its sphere. This sphere no one is allowed to transgress without disturbing the order which has existed, from the beginning, in the moral world no less than in the physical; and by disturbing this order man brings about his own destruction. This divine power is, in the opinion of Herodotus, the cause of all external events, although he does not deny the free activity of man, or establish a blind law of fate or necessity. The divine power with him is rather the manifestation of eternal justice, which keeps all things in a proper equilibrium, assigns to each being its path, and keeps it within its bounds. Where it punishes overweaning haughtiness and insolence, it assumes the character of the divine Nemesis, and nowhere in history had Nemesis overtaken and chastised the offender more obviously than in the contest between Greece and Asia. When Herodotus speaks of the envy of the gods, as he often does, we must understand this divine Nemesis, who appears sooner or later to pursue or destroy him who, in frivolous insolence and conceit, raises himself above his proper sphere. Herodotus everywhere shows the most profound reverence for everything which he conceives as divine, and rarely ventures to express an opinion on what he considers a sacred or religious mystery, though now and then he cannot refrain from expressing a doubt in regard to the correctness of the popular belief of his countrymen, generally owing to the influence which the Egyptian priests had exercised on his mind; but in general his good sense and sagacity were too strong to allow him to be misled by vulgar notions and errors.
  There are certain prejudices of which some of the best modern critics are not quite free : one writer asserts, that Herodotus wrote to amuse his hearers rather than with the higher objects of an historian, such as Thucydides; another says that he was inordinately partial towards his own countrymen, without possessing a proper knowledge of and regard for what had been accomplished by barbarians. To refute such errors, it is only necessary to read his work with an unbiassed mind : that his work is more amusing than those of other historians arises from the simple, unaffected, and childlike mode of narration, features which are peculiar more or less to all early historians. Herodotus further saw and acknowledged what was good and noble wherever it appeared; for he nowhere shows any hatred of the Persians, nor of any among the Greeks : he praises and blames the one as well as the other, whenever, in his judgment, they deserve it. It would be vain indeed to deny that Herodotus was to a certain extent credulous, and related things without putting to himself the question as to whether they were possible at all or not; his political knowledge, and his acquaintance with the laws of nature, were equally deficient; and owing to these deficiencies, he frequently does not rise above the rank of a mere story-teller, a title which Aristotle ( De Animal. Gener. iii. 5) bestows upon him. But notwithstanding all this, it is evident that he had formed a high notion of the dignity of history; and in order to realise his idea, he exerted all his powers, and cheerfully went through more difficult and laborious preparations than any other historian either before or after him. The charge of his having flattered the Athenians was brought against Herodotus by some of the ancients, but is totally unfounded; he only does justice to the Athenians by saying that they were the first who had courage and patriotism enough to face the barbarian invaders (vi. 112), and that thus they became the deliverers of all Greece; but he is very far from approving their conduct on every occasion; and throughout his account of the Persian war, he shows the most upright conduct and the sincerest love of truth. On the whole, in order to form a fair judgment of the historical value of the work of Herodotus, we must distinguish between those parts in which he speaks from his own observation, or gives the results of his own investigations, from those in which he merely repeats what he was told by priests, interpreters, guides, and the like. In the latter case he undoubtedly was often deceived; but lie never intrudes such reports as anything more than they really are; and under the influence of his natural good sense, he very frequently cautions his readers by some such remark as " I know this only from hearsay," or " I have been told so, but do not believe it." The same caution should guide us in his account of the early history of the Greeks, on which he touches only in episodes, for he is generally satisfied with some one tradition, without entering into any critical examination or comparison with other traditions, which he silently rejects. But wherever he speaks from his own observation, Herodotus is a real model of truthfulness and accuracy; and the more those countries of which he speaks have been explored by modern travellers, the more firmly has his authority been established. There is scarcely a traveller that goes to Egypt, the East, or Greece, that does not bring back a number of facts which place the accuracy of the accounts of Herodotus in the most brilliant light : many things which used to be laughed at as impossible or paradoxical, are found to be strictly in accordance with truth.
  The dialect in which Herodotus wrote is the Ionic, intermixed with epic or poetical expressions, and sometimes even with Attic and Doric forms. This peculiarity of the language called forth a number of lexicographical works of learned grammarians, all of which are lost with the exception of a few remnants in the Homeric glosses ( lexeis ). The excellencies of his style do not consist in any artistic or melodious structure of his sentences, but in the antique and epic colouring, the transparent clearness, the lively flow of his narrative, the natural and unaffected gracefulness, and the occasional signs of carelessness. There is perhaps no work in the whole range of ancient literature which so closely resembles a familiar and homely oral narration than that of Herodotus. Its reader cannot help feeling as though he was listening to an old man who, from the inexhaustible stores of his knowledge and experience, tells his stories with that single-hearted simplicity and naivecte which are the marks and indications of a truthful spirit. "That which charms the readers of Herodotus," says Dahlmann, "is that childlike simplicity of heart which is ever the companion of an incorruptible love of truth, and that happy and winning style which cannot be attained by any art or pathetic excitement, and is found only where manners are true to nature; for while other pleasing discourses of men roll along like torrents, and noisily hurry through their short existence, the silver stream of his words flows on without concern, sure of its immortal source, every where pure and transparent, whether it be shallow or deep; and the fear of ridicule, which sways the whole world, affects not the sublime simplicity of his mind." We have already had occasion to remark that notwithstanding all the merits and excellencies of Herodotus, there were in antiquity certain writers who attacked Herodotus on very serious points, both in regard to the form and the substance of his work. Besides Ctesias ( Pers. i. 57.), Aelius Harpocration, Manetho, and one Pollio, are mentioned as authors of works against Herodotus; but all of them have perished with the exception of one bearing the name of Plutarch ( Peri tes Herodotou kakoetheias ), which is full of the most futile accusations of every kind. It is written in a mean and malignant spirit, and is probably the work of some young rhetorician or sophist, who composed it as an exercise in polemics or controversy.
  Herodotus was first published in a Latin translation by Laurentius Valla, Venice, 1474; and the first edition of the Greek original is that of Aldus Manutius, Venice, 1502, fol. which was followed by two Basle editions, in 1541 and 1557, fol. The text is greatly corrected in the edition of H. Stephens (Paris, 1570 and 1592 fol.), which was followed by that of Jungermann, Frankfort, 1608, fol. (reprinted at Geneva in 1618, and at London in 1679, fol.). The edition of James Gronovius (Leiden, 1715) has a peculiar value, from his having made use of the excellent Medicean MS.; but it was greatly surpassed by the edition of P. Wesseling and L. C. Valckenaer, Amsterdam, 1763, fol. Both the language and tile matter are there treated with great care; and the learned apparatus of this edition, with the exception of the notes of Gronovins., was afterwards incorporated in the edition of Schweighauser, Argentorati et Paris. 1806, 6 vols. in 12 parts (reprinted in London, 1818, in 6 vols., and the Lexicon Herodoteum of Schweighauser separately in 1824 and 1841, 8vo.). The editor had compared several new MSS., and was thus enabled to give a text greatly superior to that of his predecessors. The best edition after this is that of Gaisford (Oxford, 1824, 4 vols. 8vo.), who incorporated in it nearly all the notes of Wesseling, Valckenaer and Schweighauser, and also made a collation of some English MSS. A reprint of this edition appeared at Leipzig in 1824, 4 vols. 8vo. The last great edition, in which the subject-matter also is considered with reference to modern discoveries, is that of Bahr, Leipzig, 1830, &c. 4 vols. 8vo. Among the school editions, we mention those of A. Matthiae, Leipzig, 1825, 2 vols. 8vo.; G. Long, London, 1830; and 1. Bekker, Berlin, 1833 and 1837, 8vo. Among all the translations of Herodotus, there is none which surpasses in excellence and fidelity the German of Fr. Lange, Breslau, 1811, &c., 2 vols. 8vo. The works written on IIerodotus, or particular points of his work, are extremely numerous: a pretty complete account of the modern literature of Herodotus is given by Bahr in the Neue Jahrbucher fur Philologie und Paedagogik, vol. xli.; but we shall confine ourselves to mentioning the principal ones among them, viz., J. Rennell, The Geographical System of Herodotus, London, 1800, 4to, and 1832, 2 vols. 8vo.; B. G. Niebuhr, in his Kleine Philol. Schriften, vol. i.; Dahlmann, Herodot, ans seinem Buche sein Leben, Altona, 1823, 8vo., one of the best works that was ever written ; C. G. L. Heyse, De Herodoti Vita et Itineribus, Berlin, 1826, 8vo.; H. F. Jager, Disputationes Herodoteae, Gottingen, 1828, 8vo.; J. Kenrick, The Egypt of Herodots, with notes and preliminary dissertations, London, 1841, 8vo.; Bahr, Commentatio de Vita et Scriptis Herodoti, in the fourth Avolume of his edition.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Nov 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Herodotus' Histories:
the 28 logoi

  The Histories are the account of the researches done by the Greek author Herodotus of Halicarnassus (c.480-c.429). It is an entertaining work of great variety, dealing with history, ethnology, topography and morality.
  In Antiquity, books consisted of papyrus scrolls. Our division of Herodotus' Histories in nine 'books' goes back to an edition by scholars of the third century BCE, working in the great library of Alexandria. There are strong indications that this is not the original division; probably, Herodotus thought about his oeuvre as a collection of twenty-eight lectures, in Greek called 'logoi'.
  This overview of the contents of Herodotus' Histories is based on Silvana Cagnazzi's article 'Tavola dei 28 logoi di Erodoto' in the journal Hermes 103 (1975), page 385-423.
  Book one
•first logos: the story of Croesus (1.1-94) text: the story of Arion
•second logos: the rise of Cyrus the Great (1.95-140)
•third logos: affairs in Babylonia and Persia (1.141-216)
  Book two
•fourth logos: geography of Egypt (2.1-34)
•fifth logos: customs and animals of Egypt (2.35-99)
  text: Egyptian customs
  text: The hippopotamus
  text: Mummification
•sixth logos: history of Egypt (2.100-182)
  text: The relief of Sesostris
  Book three
•seventh logos: Cambyses' conquest of Egypt (3.1-60)
  text: The madness of Cambyses
•eighth logos: the coups of the Magians and Darius (3.61-119, 126-141, 150-160)
  text: The gold-digging ants
  text: The edges of the earth
•ninth logos: affairs on Samos (3.39-60, 120-125, 142-149)
  Book four
•tenth logos: country and customs of the Scythians (4.1-82)
  text: The circumnavigation of Africa
•eleventh logos: Persian campaign against the Scythians (4.83-144)
•twelfth logos: Persian conquest of Libya (4.145-205)
  Book five
•thirteenth logos: Persian conquest of Thrace (5.1-28)
•fourteenth logos: beginning of the Ionian revolt; affairs in Sparta (5.28-55)
•fifteenth logos: affairs in Athens (5.55-96)
•sixteenth logos: Ionian revolt (5.97-126)
  Book six
•seventeenth logos: Persian reconquest of Ionia (6.1-42)
•eighteenth logos: affairs in Greece (6.43-93)
•nineteenth logos: battle of Marathon (6.94-140)
  Book seven
•twentieth logos: Persian preparations (7.1-55)
  text: Xerxes' ancestors
  text: Xerxes' canal through the Athos
  text: Xerxes in Abydos twenty-first logos: the Persians cross to Europe (7.56-137)
•twenty-second logos: battle of Thermopylae (7.138-239)
  text: Greek spies at Marathon
  Book eight
•twenty-third logos: naval battle off Artemisium (8.1-39)
•twenty-fourth logos: naval battle off Salamis (8.40-96)
•twenty-fifth logos: winter (8.97-144)
  Book nine
•twenty-sixth logos: battle of Plataea (9.1-89)
•twenty-seventh logos: liberation of Ionia (9.90-113)
•twenty-eighth logos: foundation of the Athenian empire (9.114-122)

Jona Lendering, ed.
This extract is cited July 2003 from the Livius Ancient History Website URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks.



Jar with Authors and Muses (It has been suggested the man is the historian Herodotus of Halicarnassus facing his Muse). Collection: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston


Editor’s Information
The e-texts of the works by Herodotus are found in Greece (ancient country) under the category Ancient Greek Writings.


Dionysius

Dionysius. Halicarnassensis or Halicarnasseus, an historian and critic, born at Halicarnassus in the first century B.C. We know nothing of his history beyond what he has told us himself. He states that he came to Italy at the termination of the civil war between Augustus and Antony (B.C. 29), and that he spent the following two-and-twenty years at Rome in learning the Latin language and in collecting materials for his history. He died at Rome, B.C. 7. The principal work of Dionysius is his work on Roman antiquities (Rhomaike Archaiologia), which commenced with the early history of the people of Italy and terminated with the beginning of the First Punic War, B.C. 265. It originally consisted of twenty books, of which the first ten remain entire. The eleventh breaks off in the year B.C. 312, but several fragments of the latter half of the history are preserved in the collection of Constantine Porphyrogenitus, and to these a valuable addition was made in 1816, by Mai, from an old MS. Besides, the first three books of Appian were founded entirely upon Dionysius, and Plutarch's biography of Camillus must also be considered as a compilation mostly taken from the Antiquitates Romanae, so that perhaps, upon the whole, we have not lost much of his work. The intention of the author in writing his history was to give the Greeks a more accurate and favourable idea than they had hitherto entertained of the Roman people and its civilization, for it had always fretted the Easterns to have been conquered by a race of mere "barbarians." The work is founded upon a very careful and thorough study of authorities, and is one of our chief sources of information upon ancient Roman history in its internal and external development. Good editions of the Antiquitates are those of Reiske, 6 vols. (Leipzig, 1774-76), Schwartz (Leipzig, 1877), and Jacoby 2 vols. (1885-88). The first edition in the original Greek was that of R. Stephanus (Paris, 1546).
    Dionysius also wrote a treatise on rhetoric (Techne Retorike); criticisms (Ton Archaion Krisis) on the style of Thucydides, Lysias, Isocrates, Isaeus, Dinarchus, Plato, and Demosthenes; a treatise on the arrangement of words (Peri Suntheseos Onomaton); and some other short essays. The first complete edition of the entire works of Dionysius was that of Sylburg (Frankfort, 1586; reprinted at Leipzig, 1691). More recent editors of the rhetorical works are Gros (Paris, 1826) and Westermann.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Of Halicarnassus, the most celebrated among the ancient writers of the name of Dionysius. He was the son of one Alexander of Halicarnassus, and was born, according to the calculation of Dodwell, between B. C. 78 and 54. Strabo (xiv.) calls him his own contemporary. His death took place soon after B. C. 7, the year in which he completed and published his great work on the history of Rome. Respecting his parents and education we know nothing, nor any thing about his position in his native place before he emigrated to Rome; though some have inferred from his work on rhetoric, that he enjoyed a great reputation at Halicarnassus. All that we know for certain is, the information which he himself gives us in the introduction to his history of Rome (i. 7), and a few more particulars which we may glean from his other works. According to his own account, he went to Italy immediately after the termination of the civil wars, about the middle of 0l. 187, that is, B. C. 29. Henceforth he remained at Rome, and the twenty-two years which followed his arrival at Rome were mainly spent by him in making himself acquainted with the Latin language and literature, and in collecting materials for his great work on Roman history, called Archaeologia. We may assume that, like other rhetoricians of the time, he had commenced his career as a teacher of rhetoric at Halicarnassus; and his works bear strong evidence of his having been similarly occupied at Rome. (De Comp. Verb. 20, Rhetor. 10.) There he lived on terms of friendship with many distinguished men, such as Q. Aelius Tubero, and the rhetorician Caecilius; and it is not improbable that he may have received the Roman franchise, but his Roman name is not mentioned anywhere. Respecting the little we know about Dionysius, see F. Matthai, de Dionysio Halic., Wittenberg, 1779, 4to.; Dodwell, de A elate Dionys. in Reiske's edition of Dionysius, vol. i.; and more especially C. J. Weismann, de Dionysii Halic. Vita et Script., Rinteln, 1837, 4to., and Busse, de Dionys. Hal. Vita et Ingenio, Berlin, 1841, 4to.
  All the works of Dionysius, some of which are completely lost, must be divided into two classes: the first contains his rhetorical and critical treatises, all of which probably belong to an earlier period of his life--perhaps to the first years of his residence at Rome--than his historical works, which constitute the second class.
a. Rhetorical and Critical Works.-- All the productions of this class shew that Dionysius was not only a rhetorician of the first order, but also a most excellent critic in the highest and best sense of the term. They abound in the most exquisite remarks and criticisms on the works of the classical writers of Greece, although, at the same time, they are not without their faults, among which we may notice his hypercritical severity. But we have to remember that they were the productions of an early age, in which the want of a sound philosophy and of a comprehensive knowledge, and a partiality for or against certain writers led him to express opinions which at a maturer age he undoubtedly regretted. Still, however this may be, he always evinces a well-founded contempt for the shallow sophistries of ordinary rhetoricians, and strives instead to make rhetoric something practically useful, and by his criticisms to contribute towards elevating and ennobling the minds of his readers. The following works of this class are still extant: 1. Techne rhetorike addressed to one Echecrates. The present condition of this work is by no means calculated to give us a correct idea of his merits and of his views on the subject of rhetoric. It consists of twelve, or according to another division, of eleven chapters, which have no internal connexion whatever, and have the appearance of being put together merely by accident. The treatise is therefore generally looked upon as a collection of rhetorical essays by different authors, some of which are genuine productions of Dionysius, who is expressly stated by Quintilian (iii. 1.16) to have written a manual of rhetoric. Schott, the last learned editor of this work, divides it into four sections. Chap. 1 to 7, with the exclusion of the 6th, which is certainly spurious, may be entitled peri panegurikon, and contains some incoherent comments upon epideictic oratory, which are anything but in accordance with the known views of Dionysius as developed in other treatises; in addition to which, Nicostratus, a rhetorician of the age of Aelius Aristeides, is mentioned in chap. 2. Chapters 8 and 9, peri eochematismenon, treat on the same subject, and chap. 8 may be the production of Dionysius; whereas the 9th certainly belongs to a late rhetorician. Chapter 10, peri ton en meletais plemmeloumenon, is a very valuable treatise, and probably the work of Dionysius. The 11th chapter is only a further development of the 10th, just as the 9th chapter is of the 8th. The techne rhetorike is edited separately with very valuable prolegomena and notes by H. A. Schott, Leipzig, 1804, 8vo. 2. Peri suntheseos onomaton, addressed to Rufus Melitius, the son of a friend of Dionysius, was probably written in the first year or years of his residence at Rome, and at all events previous to any of the other works still extant. It is, however, notwithstanding this, one of high excellence. In it the author treats of oratorical power, and on the combination of words according to the different species and styles of oratory. There are two very good separate editions of this treatise, one by G. H. Schaefer (Leipzig, 1809, 8vo), and the other by F. Goller (Jena, 1815, 8vo), in which the text is considerably improved from MSS. 3. Peri mimeseos, addressed to a Greek of the name of Demetrius. Its proper title appears to have been hupounematismoi peri tms mimeseos. (Dionys. Jud. de Thuc. 1, Epist. ad Pomp. 3.) The work as a whole is lost, and what we possess under the title of ton archaion kriois is probably nothing but a sort of epitome containing characteristics of poets, from Homer down to Euripides, of some historians, such as Herodotus, Thucydides, Philistus, Xenophon, and Theopompus, and lastly, of some philosophers and orators. This epitome is printed separately in Frotscher's edition of the tenth book of Quintilian (Leipzig, 1826), who mainly follows the opinions of Dionysius. 4. Peri ton archaion rhetoron hupomnematismoi, addressed to Ammaeus, contains criticisms on the most eminent Greek orators and historians, and the author points out their excellences as well as their defects, with a view to promote a wise imitation of the classic models, and thus to preserve a pure taste in those branches of literature. The work originally consisted of six sections, of which we now possess only the first three, on Lysias, Isocrates, and Isaeus. The other sections treated of Demosthenes, Hyperides, and Aeschines; but we have only the first part of the fourth section, which treats of the oratorical power of Demosthenes, and his superiority over other orators. This part is known under the title peri lektikes Demosthenous deinotetos, which has become current ever since the time of Sylburg, though it is not found in any MS. The beginning of the treatise is mutilated, and the concluding part of it is entirely wanting. Whether Dionysius actually wrote on Hyperides and Aeschines, is not known; for in these, as in other instances, he may have intended and promised to write what he could not afterwards fulfil either from want of leisure or inclination. There is a very excellent German translation of the part relating to Demosthenes, with a valuable dissertation on Dionysius as an aesthetic critic, by A. G. Becker. (Wolfenbiittel and Leipzig, 1829, 8vo.) 5. A treatise addressed to Ammaeus, entitled Hepistole pros Ammaion prote, which title, however, does not occur in MSS., and instead of prote it ought to be called epistole deutepa. This treatise or epistle, in which the author shews that most of the orations of Demosthenes had been delivered before Aristotle wrote his Rhetoric, and that consequently Demosthenes had derived no instruction from Aristotle, is of great importance for the history and criticism of the works of Demosthenes. 6. Epistole pros Gnaion Pomteion, was written by Dionysius with a view to justify the unfavourable opinion which he had expressed upon Plato, and which Pompeius had censured. The latter part of this treatise is much mutilated, and did not perhaps originally belong to it. See Vitus Loers, de Dionys. Hal. judicio de Platonis oratione et genere dicendi, Treves, 1840, 4to. 7. Peri tou Thoukudidou chapaktepos kai ton loipon tou sungrapheos idiomaton, was written by Dionysius at the request of his friend Q. Aelius Tubero, for the purpose of explaining more minutely what he had written on Thucydides. As Dionysius in this work looks at the great historian from his rhetorical point of view, his judgment is often unjust and incorrect. 8. Peri ton tou Thoukudidou idiomaton, is addressed to Ammaeus. The last three treatises are printed in a very good edition by C. G. Kruger under the title Dionysii Historiographica, i. e. Epistolae ad Cn. Pomp., Q. Ael. Tuber. et Ammaeum, Halle, 1823, 8vo. The last of the writings of this class still extant is--9. Deinapchos, avery valuable treatise on the life and orations of Deinarchus. Besides these works Dionysius himself mentions some others, a few of which are lost, while others were perhaps never written; though at the time he mentioned them, Dionysius undoubtedly intended to compose them. Among the former we may mention charakteres ton harmonion (Dionys. de Compos. Verb. 11), of which a few fragments are still extant, and Pragmateia huper tes politikms philosophias pros tous katatrechontas autes adikos. (Dionys. Jud. de Thuc. 2.) A few other works, such as "on the orations unjustly attributed to Lysias" (Lys. 14), "on the tropical expressions in Plato and Demosthenes " (Dem. 32), and peri tes ekloges ton onomaton (de Comp. Verb. 1), were probably never written, as no ancient writer besides Dionysius himself makes any mention of them. The work peri hermeneias, which is extant under the name of Demetrius Phalereus, is attributed by some to Dionysius of Halicarnassus; but there is no evidence for this hypothesis, any more than there is for ascribing to him the Bios Homerou which is printed in Gale's Opuscula Mythologica.
b. Historical Works.--In this class of compositions, to which Dionysius appears to have devoted his later years, he was less successful than in his critical and rhetorical essays, inasmuch as we everywhere find the rhetorician gaining the ascendancy over the historian. The following historical works of his are known: 1. Chronoi or chronika (Clem. Alex. Strom. i.; Suid. s. v. Dionusios; Dionys. A. R. i. 74.) This work, which is lost, probably contained chronological investigations, though not concerning Roman history. Photius (Bibl. Cod. 84) mentions an abridgment (sunopsis) in five books, and Stephanus of Byzantium (s. vv. Arikeia and Korialla) quotes the same under the name of epitome. This abridgment, in all probability of the chronoi, was undoubtedly the work of a late grammarian, and not, as some have thought, of Dionysius himself. The great historical work of Dionysius, of which we still possess a considerable portion, is -- 2. Hpomaike Archaiologia, which Photius (Bibl. Cod. 83) styles histopikoi ligoi. It consisted of twenty books, and contained the history of Rome from the earliest or mythical times down to the year B. C. 264, in which the history of Polybius begins with the Punic wars. The first nine books alone are complete; of the tenth and eleventh we have only the greater part; and of the remaining nine we possess nothing but fragments and extracts, which were contained in the collections made at the command of the emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus, and were first published by A. Mai from a MS. in the library of Milan (1816, 4to.), and reprinted at Frankfurt, 1817, 8vo. Mai at first believed that these extracts were the abridgment of which Photius (Bibl. Cod. 84) speaks; but this opinion met with such strong opposition from Ciampi (Biblioth. Ital. viii.), Visconti (Journal des Savans, for June, 1817), and Struve (Ueber die von Mai aufgefund Stucke des Dionys. von Halic. Konigsberg, 1820, 8vo.), that Mai, when he reprinted the extracts in his Script. Vet. Nova Collectio (ii., ed. Rome, 1827), felt obliged in his preface to recant his former opinion, and to agree with his critics in admitting that the extracts were remnants of the extracts of Constantine Porphyrogenitus from the Hpomaike Archaiologia. Dionysius treated the early history of Rome with a minuteness which raises a suspicion as to his judgment on historical and mythical matters, and the eleven books extant do not carry the history beyond the year B. C. 441, so that the eleventh book breaks off very soon after the decemviral legislation. This peculiar minuteness in the early history, however, was in a great measure the consequence of the object he had proposed to himself, and which, as he himself states. was to remove the erroneous notions which the Greeks entertained with regard to Rome's greatness and to shew that Rome had not become great by accident or mere good fortune, but by the virtue and wisdom of the Romans themselves. With this object in view, he discusses most carefully everything relating to the constitution, the religion, the history, laws, and private life of the Romans; and his work is for this reason one of the greatest importance to the student of Roman history, at least so far as the substance of his discussions is concerned. But the manner in which he dealt with his materials cannot always be approved of: he is unable to draw a clear distinction between a mere mythus and history; and where he perceives inconsistencies in the former, he attempts, by a rationalistic mode of proceeding, to reduce it to what appears to him sober history. It is however a groundless assertion, which some critics have made, that Dionysius invented facts, and thus introduced direct forgeries into history. He had, moreover, no clear notions about the early constitution of Rome, and was led astray by the nature of the institutions which he saw in his own day; and he thus transferred to the early times the notions which he had derived from the actual state of things--a process by which he became involved in inextricable difficulties and contradictions. The numerous speeches which he introduces in his work are indeed written with great artistic skill, but they nevertheless shew too manifestly that Dionysius was a rhetorician, not an historian, and still less a statesman. He used all the authors who had written before him on the early history of Rome, but he did not always exercise a proper discretion in choosing his guides, and we often find him following authorities of an inferior class in preference to better and sounder ones. Notwithstanding all this, however, Dionysius contains an inexhaustible treasure of materials for those who know how to make use of them. The style of Dionysius is very good, and, with a few exceptions, his language may be called perfectly pure.
  The first work of Dionysius which appeared in print was his Archaeologia, in a Latin translation by Lapus Biragus (Treviso, 1480), from a very good Roman MS. New editions of this translation, with corrections by Glareanus, appeared at Basel, 1532 and 1549; whereupon R. Stephens first edited the Greek original, Paris, 1546, fol., together with some of the rhetorical works. The first complete edition of the Archaeologia and the rhetorical works together, is that of Fr. Sylburg, Frankfurt, 1586, 2 vols. fol. (reprinted at Leipzig, 1691, 2 vols. fol.) Another reprint, with the introduction of a few alterations, was edited by Hudson, (Oxford, 1704, 2 vols. fol.) which however is a very inferior performance. A new and much improved edition, though with many bad and arbitrary emendations, was made by J. J. Reiske, (Leipzig, 1774, &c.) in 6 vols. 8vo., the last of which was edited by Morus. All the rhetorical works, with the exception of the techne rhetorike and the peri suntheseos onomaton, were edited by E. Gros, (Paris, 1826, &c.) in 3 vols. 8vo. (Fabric. Bibl. Graec. iv.; Westermann, Gesch. d. Griech. Beredts.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


   Rhetorica. . .In the time of the Empire the rhetorical schools in general flourished, and we possess an extensive rhetorical literature of that age reaching as far as the fifth century A.D. It includes the works of authors who mainly treated of the literary and aesthetic side of rhetoric, especially those of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, the champion of Atticism and of refined taste, and the unknown author of the able treatise.

This extract is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Andron, 4th c. B.C.

Andron, of Halicarnassus, a Greek historian, who is mentioned by Plutarch (Thes.c. 25) in conjunction with Hellanicus. (Comp. Tzetzes, ad Lycophr. 894, 1283; Schol. ad Aesch. Pers. 183)


Poets

Panyasis

Panyasis. A Greek poet of Halicarnassus, uncle of Herodotus, the historian. He was put to death by the tyrant Lygdamis about B.C. 454 for being the leader of the aristocratic party. He composed a poem in fourteen books and 9000 verses, entitled Heraclea (exploits of Heracles), which was reckoned by later writers among the best epics. The few fragments preserved are in an elegant and graceful style. Another poem of his, the Ionica (Ionika), contained 7000 lines, and relates the history of Neleus, Codrus, and the Ionian colonies. Panyasis was ranked by the Alexandrian School with the great epic poets. The fragments of Panyasis are edited by Gaisford (1823) and Dubner (1840). There was another person of the same name, possibly the grandson of the poet, who wrote a work in two books on dreams.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks



Pigres, 4th century BC (Vatrachomyomachia)

Pigres. A Greek poet of Halicarnassus, regarded by Baumeister and others as author of the Batrachomyomachia. He is said to have been either the brother or son of Queen Artemisia of Caria. Besides the work mentioned, a poem called Margites is ascribed to him by Suidas and by Plutarch. He also inserted a pentameter line after each hexameter in the Iliad --a very curious literary freak. The following will serve as an illustration (Il. i. 1):
Menin aeide thea Peleiadeo Achilleos,
Mousa gar su pases peirat echeis sophies:
   He is also said to have been the first poet to introduce the iambic trimeter.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Batrachomyomachia. The Battle of the Frogs and the Mice. The title of an epic poem, falsely bearing the name of Homer. It was a parody of the Iliad, and was probably written by Pigres. It consists of 294 hexameters, and has been edited by Ernesti in his edition of Homer


Pigres: Perseus Project


Epos: The most notable representatives of mythical epic poetry in the following centuries are Pisander of Camirus (about B.C. 640), and Panyasis of Halicarnassus (during the first half of the fifth century).


Heracleitus

Heracleitus. An elegiac poet of Halicarnassus, a contemporary and friend of Callimachus, who wrote an epigram on him which is preserved in Diogenes Laertius (ix. 17; comp. Strab. xiv. p. 656).


Orators

Cleon

Cleon, a rhetorician of Halicarnassus, lived at the end of the 5th and the beginning of the 4th century B. C. (Plut. Lys. 25.)


Aelius Dionysius

Dionysius. Aelius Dionysius, a Greek rhetorician of Halicarnassus, who lived in the time of the emperor Hadrian. He was a very skilful musician, and wrote several works on music and its history. (Suid. s. v. Dionusios.) It is commonly supposed that he was a descendant of the elder Dionysius of Halicarnassus, the author of the Roman Archaeology. Respecting his life nothing further is known. The following works, which are now lost, are attributed to him by the ancients : 1. A Dictionary of Attic words (Attika onomata) in five books, dedicated to one Scymnus. Photius (Bibl. Cod. 152) speaks in high terms of its usefulness, and states, that Aelius Dionvsius himself made two editions of it, the second of which was a great improvement upon the first. Both editions appear to have existed in the time of Photius. It seems to have been owing to this work that Aelius Dionysius was called sometimes by the surname of Atticista. Meursius was of opinion that our Dionysius was the author of the work peri akliton pematon kai enklinomenon lexeon, which was published by Aldus Manutius (Venice, 1496) in the volume entitled " Horti Adonidis;" but there is no evidence for this supposition. (Comp. Schol. Venet. ad Iliad. xv. 705; Villoison, Prolegom. ad Hom. Il.) 2. A history of Music (mousike historia) in 36 books, with accounts of citharoedi, auletae, and poets of all kinds. (Suid. l. c.) 3. Hpuphmika hupomnemata, in 24 books. (Suid. l. c.) 4. Mousikes paideia e diatribai, in 22 books. (Suid. l. c.) 5. A work in five books on what Plato had said about music in his politeia. (Suid. l. c.; Eudoc.)

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Tyrants

Lygdamis

A tyrant of Caria, son of Pisindelis, who reigned in the time of Herodotus at Halicarnassus. He put to death the poet Panyasis. Herodotus fled from his native city in order to avoid his tyranny, and afterwards aided in deposing him.


Hegemons

Artemisia

Daughter of Lygdamis, queen of Halicarnassus, carved on pillar of Persian Colonnade at Sparta, queen of Halicarnassus, with Xerxes' fleet, fought for Xerxes against Greeks at Salamis, her advice to Xerxes before Salamis.


Artemisia. The daughter of Lygdamis of Halicarnassus, reigned over Halicarnassus, and also over Cos and other adjacent islands. She joined the fleet of Xerxes, when he invaded Greece, with five vessels, the best equipped of the whole fleet after those of the Sidonians; and she displayed so much valour and skill at the battle of Salamis as to elicit from Xerxes the wellknown remark that the men had acted like women in the fight and the women like men. The Athenians, indignant that a woman should appear in arms against them, offered a reward of 10,000 drachmae to any one who should take her prisoner. She, however, escaped after the action. If we are to believe Ptolemy Hephaestion, a writer who mixed up many fables with some truth, Artemisia subsequently conceived an attachment for a youth of Abydos, named Dardanus; but, not meeting with a return for her passion, she put out his eyes while he slept, and then threw herself down from the Lover's Leap at the promontory of Leucate.


Artemisia, a queen of Halicarnassus, Cos, Nisyros, and Calydna, who ruled over these places as a vassal of the Persian empire in the reign of Xerxes I. She was a daughter of Lygdamis, and on the death of her husband, she succeeded him as queen. When Xerxes invaded Greece, she voluntarily joined his fleet with five beautiful ships, and in the battle of Salamis (B. C. 480) she distinguished herself by her prudence, courage, and perseverance, for which she was afterwards highly honoured by the Persian king (Herod. vii. 99, viii. 68, 87, &c., 93, 101, &c.; Polyaen. viii. 53; Paus. iii. 11.3). According to a tradition preserved in Photius, she put an end to her life in a romantic manner. She was in love, it is said, with Dardanus, a youth of Abydos, and as her passion was not returned, she avenged herself by putting his eyes out while he was asleep. This excited the anger of the gods, and an oracle commanded her to go to Leucas, where she threw herself from the rock into the sea. She was succeeded by her son Pisindelis. Respecting the import of the phrase in regard to lovers, "to leap from the Leucadian rock", see Sappho.

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Mausolus & Artemissia

Mausolus. A king of Caria and eldest son of Hecatomnus. He reigned B.C. 377-353. In 362 he joined in a revolt against Artaxerxes Mnemon, and thereby added to his dominions. In 358 he aided the Rhodians and their allies against Athens, and died in the year 353, leaving no children. He was succeeded by his wife and sister Artemisia, who erected to his memory the costly monument called from him the Mausoleum.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Artemisia. Another queen of Caria, not to be confounded with the preceding. She was the daughter of Hecatomnus, king of Caria, and married her brother Mausolus, a species of union sanctioned by the customs of the country. She lost her husband, who was remarkable for personal beauty, B.C. 365, and she became, in consequence, a prey to the deepest affliction. A splendid tomb was erected to his memory, called Mausoleum (Mausoleion, scil. mnemeiion, i. e. "tomb of Mausolus"), and the most noted writers of the day were invited to attend a literary contest, in which ample rewards were to be bestowed on those who should celebrate with most ability the praises of the deceased. Among the individuals who came together on that occasion were, according to Aulus Gellius, Theopompus, Theodectes, Naucrites, and even Isocrates. The prize was won by Theopompus. Valerius Maximus and Aulus Gellius relate a marvellous story concerning the excessive grief of Artemisia. They say that she actually mixed the ashes of her husband with water and drank them off. The grief of Artemisia, poignant though it was, did not cause her to neglect the care of her dominions: she conquered the island of Rhodes, and gained possession of some Greek cities on the mainland; and yet it is said that she died of grief two years after the loss of her husband.

This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


Artemisia, the sister, wife, and successor of the Carian prince Mausolus. She was the daughter of Hecatomnus, and after the death of her husband, she reigned for two years, from B. C. 352 to B. C. 350. Her administration was conducted on the same principles as that of her husband, whence she supported the oligarchical party in the island of Rhodes (Diod. xvi. 36, 45; Dem. de Rhod. Libert.). She is renowned in history for her extraordinary grief at the death of her husband Mausolus. She is said to have mixed his ashes in her daily drink, and to have gradually died away in grief during the two years that she survived him. She induced the most eminent Greek rhetoricians to proclaim his praise in their oratory; and to perpetuate his memory she built at Halicarnassus the celebrated monument, Mausoleum, which was regarded as one of the seven wonders of the world, and whose name subsequently became the generic term for any splendid sepulchral monument (Cic. Tusc. iii. 31; Strabo, xiv.; Gellius, x. 18; Plin. H. N. xxv. 36, xxxvi. 4.9; Val. Max. iv. 6. ext. 1; Suid. Harpocr. s. vv. Artemisia and Mausolos). Another celebrated monument was erected by her in the island of Rhodes, to commemorate her success in making herself mistress of the island. The Rhodians, after recovering their liberty, made it inaccessible, whence it was called in later times the Abaton (Vitruv. ii. 8).

This text is from: A dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, 1873 (ed. William Smith). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks


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