Who Is Considered the Father of History?

Herodotus is considered the Father of History. Herodotus wrote the "Histories" somewhere around 440 BC. Herodotus, a Greek historian, was born in Halicarnassus, Caria, which today is Bodrum, Turkey. He was the first historian to arrange materials systematically and critically and place them in a historical narrative.

Herodotus made a time 40 to 50 years earlier than the book his centerpiece, when Ancient Greek and the Persian Empire were in conflict. The time period introduced Sparta and Athens as a prominent and descriptions of the invasions of Darius and Xerxes were written in entertaining and amazing detail.

Herodotus wrote about the victories, even against the odds at Salamis, Marathon and Plataea. His tales included stories of how Xerxes ordered his men to whip the waters that destroyed his ships and many other stories that not only educated readers, but enlightened them as well.

Herodotus is known for creating the first book of history, but he was much more than just a historian. He was curious about geography, anthropology and many other topics. Many believe he traveled the Eastern Mediterranean world telling tall tales, but distancing himself by saying they were what he was told and he was not sure if he could trust the source. His stories of flying snakes, men with heads of dogs and fox-sized ants that unearthed gold were part of his character, and his writings have inspired authors such as Ryszard Kapuscinski and David Livingstone.