Florida International University European History Paper


This is a historiographical assignment. Pick your own European topic, such as “The Social History of the English Reformation,” “A Cultural History of Renaissance Rome,” “Spanish Social History in the Seventeenth Century,” “Social Life in Medieval Paris,” etc., and write a review essay describing the state of the field on that question. Some historians call this a “literature review.” It is what every doctoral student writes about their topic before they go off to do their own archival research.• Take your historian, and ask yourself, what question are they working on? What have they contributed to? If you were to put his/her/their book on a shelf, what other books would you put next to it? What other historians (living or dead) are in conversation with your historian?• What do I mean by “state of the field?” I mean, where are we today on this question? Who has gotten us here? How?• This paper is only 6-8 pages. I do not expect you to find what every historian has said on this question. That would be impossible. What I do expect you to find, however, are representative historians who can show us some different ways this topic has been approached.• I have two suggested organizations for your papers: 1) Change over time: tell me who said what first, on down the line, to today, or 2) The Debate: put historians into buckets or warring camps. Show the way these two schools of thought have agreed and disagreed. Basically, spend a portion of the assignment writing about Herodotus, and the rest writing on the social and cultural history of Greece after his time. I have providedmy research paper on Herodotus to assist.Surname 1
Paris Obregon
Herodotus: The GOAT of History
He was the life of parties he had never attended. He had inside-jokes with complete
strangers. His beard alone has experienced more than a lesser man’s entire body. People hung on
to his every word, even his prepositions. He was the most interesting man in History. I won’t tell
you how he died, I will tell you how he lived.
Historian Background
Herodotus is a Greek historian and geographer from the Halicarnassus Greek city, which
forms part of the Persian empire, and later became the citizen of modern Calabria. He is regarded
as the “father of history.” In addition, he is an engaging narrator with deep insight into people’s
customs and, thus, the primary source of historical information for Greece 1. Herodotus lived
between 484 BCE and 420 BCE and in much of western Asia and Egypt. From historical works,
it is believed that Herodotus was banished by tyrant Lygdamis from Halicarnassus, lived in Samos,
and later returned to aid in overthrowing his enemy2. He spent some time in Athens and even
joined the Thurii colony. There is no clear data on Herodotus’ educational background, but via his
writings, it is evident that the historian attended prestigious schools 4. The account of his private
1 Munson, Rosaria Vignolo. 2013. Herodotus: Volume 1: Herodotus and the Narrative of the Past. Oxford: Oxford
University Press.
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life is scarce, but it appears certain that he came from a rich noble family of Asia Minor who could
manage to pay for his studies4. Moreover, his writing skills are believed to indicate thorough
schooling received in prestigious schools of the day.
Methods Used by Herodotus
Herodotus used three main methods in the systematic investigation of historical events.
First, the historian extensively used narration to reconstruct short-term events3. Herodotus was an
oral historian that could turn a good story, and before his death, he took a step into the future and
committed researchers to writing a single word with a consistent theme3. Furthermore, Herodotus
uses prolepsis to narrate a story event happening before earlier events already mentioned. For this
reason, the author interrupts the presented chronology of the story and mentions some events in
the historical present affecting the future.
Secondly, Herodotus uses inscriptions as the most reliable and reliable sources of
information for his writing about historical times3. Since the articles were authored as the events
were happening, the records became the perfect baseline to combine the happenings of the era.
Finally, Herodotus wrote his works in the Ionic dialect. It is an interesting narrative with a
delightfully simple and easy-flowing technique1. He has an amazing gift of narrating a story
dramatically and clearly with a dry, sarcastic sense of humor. His finest stories are fascinating and
continue to delight the succeeding generation of readers.
Essay Review of the Herodotus Work
Herodotus authored a single book, denoted the Histories, and divided it into nine books
that appear in modern editions. The title originates from the Greek word historia, from which the
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typical word history acquires its meaning of inquiry 2. It is the first great literary prose work to be
written out of the biblical tradition, and it is not only the forerunner for all the discursive writings
of the western canon, but it is also the most comprehensive surviving document of pre-Socratic
ideologies3. It is the one project Herodotus spent his entire life working on to give full details of
the backgrounds and execution of the Graco-Persian Wars between 499 and 479 B.C.
The Histories Essay
Herodotus begins by indicating that he intends to give an account of the past deeds and
wants to illustrate the beginning of the war between Parisians and Greeks. He claims that the
Phoenicians and Persians narrated numerous mythical accounts of the conflict4. Historical
accounts suggest that rivalry began after multiple abductions of prominent women. The author
claims to spin the illustration by beginning with Croesus, king of Lydia. Croesus was a mighty
king who converted the Greeks to subjects4. The Athenian Solon visited the king and warned him
against taking that path, but he refused to heed the advice and decided to attack Persia.
The attack orchestrated by Croesus is motivated by the misinterpretation of the Delphi
oracle. For this reason, the attack on Persia would destroy the great empire. He erroneously thought
2 John, Herington, and Friderici Solmsen. 1991. “The Closure of Herodotus’ ‘Histories’ .” Illnois Classical Studies 4
(6): 156–61.
Sara. 2006. “Herodotus, Political History and Political Thought.” The Cambridge Companion to
Herodotus, 224–41. https://doi.org/10.1017/ccol052183001x.016.
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the empire in question was destroyed instead of his own1. Moreover, Sardis is captured by Cyrus,
Lydia’s capital, and he hatches a plan to burn Croesus to death. However, when Croesus yells the
name of Solon in a loud voice at Pyre with remorse for heeding the advice, he is spared. Croesus
opted to send more messengers to Delphi and ask what had gone wrong. His feedback came back
with the critical message that he cannot escape fate 3. Cyrus’s defeat of the Lydians marks another
milestone in his ascension to power.
Based on Herodotus’ illustration of various journeys visiting the Black Sea region, Egypt,
Phoenicia, Palestine, and other regions. Multiple scholars and theorists claim this historical work
was intended to be no more than an ethnographic and geographic description of lands 4. For this
reason, the work took a different shape as an ideological piece after gathering ethnographic data.
The analysis of how the book is structured confirms the assumption that the book is divided into
different themes, such as Egypt’s geography and the customs of Scythians1.
Herodotus integrates information about travels and countries visited through historical
narration2. For instance, the description of the conquest of the Lydian Kingdom by Cyrus, the
Persian King, allows the author to highlight the upbringing and birth of Cyrus and the spread and
emergence of Persian Rule in Asia3. As part of his description, the author highlights various
military campaigns against Asia Minor Hellenes, Massagets, and Babylonians. While describing,
the author can display the customs, traditions, and national features that became synonymous with
the Persians3.
Nevertheless, some historians are persuaded to claim that Herodotus never went to the
places he described. According to Munson, the main reason for this allusion is the erroneous and
outlandish nature of the reports4. Additionally, Munson claims that the historian demonstrates
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familiarity with Samos and Athens traditions, which may suggest Herodotus was able to travel
extensively across Greece.
Either way, the depiction of geography and culture plays a critical role in the Histories.
The historical narration serves as a thematic liaison between distinct ethnographic sections.
Particularly, compared to an unambiguously and close-ended historical narrative, the portrayal of
ethnography in this work seems complete1. Finally, the rhetorical and compositional techniques
used by the author may imply that Histories was intended as a mythical artistic piece.
Herodotus’ Contribution to Ancient History
The significant contribution of Herodotus is relaying moral, political, and theological
ancient history ideas through his writing4. The findings of the review essay indicate that the book
is structured following ancient historical practice and utilizes a ring composition for its narration.
The author highlights the history through a framework that clarifies the themes the author intends
to relay to readers4. Herodotus contributed to ancient African history since he was the first writer
to report about Africa. He reported on the successful trade between West Africans and those who
resided in the City of Carthage, the Phoenicians.
4 Polybius, W. R. Paton, F. W. Walbank, Christian Habicht, and S. Douglas Olson. 2010. The Histories. Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University Press.
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John, Herington, and Friderici Solmsen. 1991. “The Closure of Herodotus’ ‘Histories’ .” Illnois
Classical Studies 4 (6): 156–61.
Forsdyke, Sara. 2006. “Herodotus, Political History and Political Thought.” The Cambridge
Companion to Herodotus, 224–41. https://doi.org/10.1017/ccol052183001x.016.
Munson, Rosaria Vignolo. 2013. Herodotus: Volume 1: Herodotus and the Narrative of the Past.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Polybius, W. R. Paton, F. W. Walbank, Christian Habicht, and S. Douglas Olson. 2010. The
Histories. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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