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When was Herodotus' book, The Histories, based in ?

 
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Dampwater
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 19, 2005 2:37 pm    Post subject: When was Herodotus' book, The Histories, based in ? Reply with quote

Simple question really, i just wanna know when the book was based in time. Because when i read a part of the book, i was highly impressed by the great detail and narrative view of Herodotus, but i found that he mentions the names of Kings and Pharoahs i never heard of before. So, i was wondering, when EXACTLY was the time he was talking about in his book ???
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2005 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Herodotus wrote his great work sometime in the 5th Century BCE. He visited Egypt at that time and interviewed countless citizens and priests. Herodotus himself cautions that the accuracy of the content of his writings on Egypt should be questioned and should not be taken as gosepl. So what did later historians do? They took his writings as gospel!

The kings lists as recorded by later writers like Manetho and Herodotus can be puzzling. The names they give are often garbled, but historians, linguists, and philologists have found them to be rather accurate, once mispronunciations and confusions are squared away.

Herodotus was writing strictly for a Greek audience. In a sense you can consider his Histories one of the earliest travelers' guides ever composed. The places in Egypt he visited and about which he wrote were chiefly of interest to the Greeks. But when Herodotus was writing his work, Egypt was already in sharp decline and nearing the end, and we can't expect some priest of the 5th Century BCE to have any accurate understanding of the peoples and places of his own land from 3000 years earlier.
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