The Ancient Library

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.48 GREEK L I T E R A T U R G.

the Propyleea, which were not completed till the year in which that war began ; and also the circumstance of his being well acquainted with and adopting 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.1

The time when Herodotus wrote his history has been a matter of con­siderable discussion; the following, however, may be regarded as the fairest view of the case. The narrative 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, and the latest of them refers 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 Strabo, 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 labor 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.2 There are, lastly, some passages in the work itself, which must suggest to every unbiased reader the idea that the author wrote somewhere in the south of Italy.3

Herodotus presents himself to our consideration in two points of view; 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 visiting, can not be determ­ined. His travels, however, must have occupied a considerable period of his life, and he would seem to have first entered upon them in the full strength of body and mind, and after having been completely educated. The story of his reading his work at the Olympic games, which has found its way into most modern narratives, has been ably discussed by Dahl-mann,4 and we may say disproved. This story is founded on 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 twenty-eight years old when he is said to have read to the assembled Greeks at Olympia a work which was the

1 Smith, Diet. Biogr., s. v.

2 Aristot., Rhet., iii., 6 ;Plut., DeExiL, 13 ; De Malign. Herod., 35.

3 Smith, Diet., s. v. 4 Life of Herodotus, p. 8, seqq., Engl. transl

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