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When you hear word “history,” you probably think of the last history class you took. If it was a high school history survey class, then you may think in broad terms of global history or in narrower terms and think of an American history survey course. Whatever image comes to mind, you probably think of a fairly broad topic that describes past events. History may seem dead, dry, or boring to you because it focuses on past events and past people and sometimes seems to have little modern-day relevance. However, history is much more than a study of the past. By studying the past, you can make connections to modern day events. In fact, in some ways, studying the past helps you predict the future.

For students in American high schools, colleges, and universities, American history is a pretty standard subject. While the details of American history are so rich that they can be studied in… [ Read More ]

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Histories By Herodotus Essay

Words: 1178 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 98763112

Histories of Herodotus

In his Histories, which chronicles the historical aspects of ancient Greece, Egypt and other regions of Asia Minor, Herodotus focuses in the beginning on the myths associated with these cultures and civilizations from his own distant past which at the time had acquired some relevance based on what was viewed as historical truth. Some of these myths, which now through archeological evidence may have some basis in fact, include the abduction of Io by the Phoenicians, the retaliation of the Greeks by kidnapping Europa, the abduction of Helen from Sparta by Paris and the consequences which resulted in the Trojan War.

Following this, Herodotus examines the activities and consequences of more recent historical myths associated with the cultures of the Lydians, the Egyptians, the Scythians and the Persians, all of which are interspersed with so-called dialogue spoken by the leading figures of these cultures. However, Herodotus' ability to separate fact from fiction was hampered to a great degree by not having access to any major primary sources, thus making it difficult to determine which narrative was based on actual events and which was pure mythology.

As to the portraits that emerge from Herodotus' Histories, the Persian empire, founded by Cyrus the Great in the sixth century B.C.E. As the Achaemenid empire which lasted more than twelve hundred years, was a truly faith-based culture under the guise of Zoroastrianism with the "Zend Avesta" as its predominant religious text. Along with Cyrus the Great, revealed by historical sources to have delivered the Jews from persecution in Babylon, King Darius was one of history's great lawgivers who made legal reform in his empire a main priority while adhering to

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traditional laws and the laws based on his imperial control and authority as the king of ancient Persia.

In contrast, the culture of ancient Greece was composed of city-states based at Sparta and Athens with their leaders supporting much pride in their citizens with an emphasis on the individual. One of Greece's greatest leaders was Solon, who much like Darius, took up the task of social and political reform. Solon altered much of the existing Greek laws and formed his own legal-based codes which resembled those of Hammurabi, the great lawmaker of Babylon; yet those of Solon were far more secular in…… [Read More]

References:
Rawlinson, George, Trans. Herodotus: Histories. UK: QPD, 1997.