Those Pesky Phoenicians! – A Thought From Herodotus

Apparently Herodotus looked like this

According to the learned Persians, it was the Phoenicians who caused the conflict.

Herodotus, The Histories

That is the beginning of Herodotus’ explanation for the war between the Greeks and the Persians (you know, the war that movie 300 was sort of, supposedly, set during). Pretty typical how the blame gets passed on to someone else – it wasn’t the Persians’ fault, honest! Or the Greeks’ either! Poor Phoenicians.

Anyway, I quoted it because Herodotus is pretty entertaining for an ancient “historian” – he’s hardly a historian by modern standards, because he inserts all sorts of folk tales and mythical creatures into his history – but apparently he was the first to come up with integrating all the stories of the various peoples living around the Mediterranean in one chronological tale. And I’m pretty glad I was forced to read some of it in my Classics class. So much of our culture is based on ancient Greek and Roman stuff, that these names (Pericles, Athens, Croesus, etc.) keep coming up. I really should read the whole thing when I get a chance. 🙂


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Filed under Quotables

5 responses to “Those Pesky Phoenicians! – A Thought From Herodotus

  1. Alexia

    “Tonight we dine in hell !” Yep, only commented to quote “300”. Not my proudest moment.

    I’d like to read more about those ancient Greek and Romans too. The only books I read entirely are Ovid’s poems and, well, the Illiad and the Odyssey by Homer.


    • Yep, that’s probably the only quote I know from “300” too. I’ve never read the Illiad and the Odyssey (except the shortened kids’ version), and I think those would be good to read someday too, if only I find time!


  2. Alexia

    No, I know “This is Sparta !” too, but after that I’m out. I went to see this movie, it was hilarious. Never laugh so much at a movie that wasn’t meant to be funny.

    I had the shortened kids’ version when I was young too. After reading it I tried to read the real thing but couldn’t get passed a few chapters ! It was very disappointing 🙂


    • Oh, good point, that quote is famous too. I haven’t seen the movie, so that’s my excuse.
      I’ve Homer is hard to read, so not a surprise it was hard to get past the first few chapters. Still, maybe someday I’ll make an effort.


  3. Pingback: Top Couples in Fiction, Breaking the Rules of Novel-Writing, Killing Off the Printed Book – All Discussed Here at Stories and Stuff in 2012! | Stories and Stuff

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