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Herodotus: Father of History

Evening Program

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, July 30, 2015 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. ET
Code: 1C0051
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)
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Herodotus is the earliest of the ancient Greek historians whose writings have been preserved for us. He used his 5th-century B.C. history of the Persian Wars (499–479) to tell the stories of the ancient Mediterranean world—Egypt, Persia, Turkey, the Balkan and Black Sea tribal states, and Greece—all set in the context of what Herodotus and later historians have viewed as a persistent struggle between East and West, a conflict that is still reflected in the international politics of today. 

Known in antiquity as the Father of History and sometimes to his subsequent skeptical readers as the Father of Lies, his detailed and surprisingly accurate cultural histories have also earned him the title of Father of Anthropology. 

Join classicist Frederick Winter as he examines Herodotus’ writings and places his world in its historical and archaeological context—from the pyramids of Egypt to the royal cities of ancient Persia, from the Acropolis of Athens to the burial mounds of the Scythian nomads of the Ukraine.

Winter is an archeologist and former professor of classics at the City University of New York who has conducted extensive field research in countries including Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and Turkey.

Other Connections

Herodotus suggested that the Etruscans originally migrated to Italy from the Near East, a view debunked by historians for centuries. DNA evidence discovered in 2007 may have proven him right.