We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

How moral a historian is Herodotus? Essay Sample

  • Pages: 3
  • Word count: 634
  • Rewriting Possibility: 99% (excellent)
  • Category: morality

Get Full Essay

Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues.

Get Access

Introduction of TOPIC

A moral historian is someone, who does not necessarily write their account from a terribly factual point of view, but instead writes in order to get across a point or a set of morals to their readers. Moral historians also tend to believe that there is an objective truth and may give an account in order to highlight a universal moral truth. This type of historian may also choose episodes from history that will illustrate their point, whilst conveniently ignoring those events that tell the opposite.

Herodotus it would appear tends to fit this description of a moral historian almost seamlessly. Herodotus’ writing is an account of the Persian wars, and its main theme is the heroic and successful struggle of a small and divided Greece against the aggressively expansionist empire of Persia. Herodotus was an Athenian by birth, and it comes as no surprise that his writing had its leanings towards the rest of Greece and Athens in particular and that his account is somewhat biased. However in the case of the Persians, Herodotus constantly throughout his account is attempting to emphasize their arrogance and ‘Hubris’ or lack of respect for the gods.

‘Having left none of them alive, they stripped the temple of its treasure and burnt everything on the acropolis.’

Herodotus constantly throughout hi

s account gives the impression that the Persians are lacking in religious zeal, and emphasizes their

Sorry, but full essay samples are available only for registered users

Choose a Membership Plan
worship and deification of their Kings, whereas the Greeks are largely portrayed as being very religiously conscious and as a result they are supported by the gods.

‘You know my lord that amongst living creatures it is the great ones that god smites with his thunder, out of envy of their pride. The little ones do not vex him.’

Herodotus is also continually emphasising the point that from his view the gods were on the side of the Greeks, and that one of the greatest factors in Greece’s victory was a result of divine intervention. Herodotus seems to want to stress the fact that in his account, the Greeks are the so-called ‘good guys’, who are righteous and backed by the gods, against the ‘evil’ Persian invaders. Herodotus also seems to state what he seems as universal moral truths throughout his account,

‘It was not a god who threatened Greece, but a man…. and the greater the man, the greater the misfortune.’

Herodotus makes these statements in order to illustrate his moral stance on the world, and this sort of moral outlining is done throughout the book.

Herodotus however is not just a fable teller, as he also gives a detailed and possibly quite accurate account of the Persian invasion of Greece. His writings are a historical yet narrative account and not full of complete myth. Herodotus however uses the factual events described in his account and twists their portrayal in order to illustrate a certain value or moral.

Herodotus’ account of the Persian wars is the oldest recorded historical account to date, and as a result not many other sources are available, thus it is difficult to fully ascertain whether or not Herodotus conveniently forgot to add certain details, or change fact into fiction. With evidence present such as Aeschylus’ ‘The Persians’, it is clear that Herodotus did create a relatively credible account of the Persian wars, but the truth behind all the details he gives cannot be concrete. Herodotus as a historian does intent to be didactic and moralizing, and this makes him firmly a moral historian.

We can write a custom essay on

How moral a historian is Herodotus? Essay Sample ...
According to Your Specific Requirements.

Order an essay

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

Three Views on Morality

Mrs Birling is a confident and prideful women with some public influence. She sits in charity organisations and is described as a “a rather cold woman,” and her husband’s “social superior.” Mrs Birling is the only one in the play who does not seem to realise her responsibilities. She thinks that different classes behave a certain way and lacks of empathy-how people live. This is shown in the quote “a girl of that class.”The word ‘that class’ conveys how she looks down upon lower classes treating them less than human. It also shows she is judgmental and thinks that she is more socially and morally superior. She makes the audience see how the class division was in the 1912 and how awful life was for the lower classes. Mrs Birling does not feel any sympathy towards Eva as she does not accept any responsibility. This is shown in the quote....

The Trouble with the Birlings and Gerald...

The Birlings are an upper class family living in pre-war England; they think very highly of themselves and are quite shallow minded. They concentrate centrally on material possessions. The Birlings live in a well-established and comfortable home, which is richly furnished, yet does not have a hint of homeliness or a sign of family life in it. Throughout the play there are symbols used to create the air of wealth, such as the Port they drink, and the careless way they talk about golf. It is obvious that they are rich and used to being that way. You could never call the Birlings anything but respectable; they consider social status as an extremely serious matter. However they seem to confuse respectability with morality; no matter what they do it is only their own benefit or enjoyment. Even Mrs Birling's charitable works do not seem genuinely to be because she cares...

Animal Experimentation

Examine and consider religious and ethical responses to animal experimentation One philosopher that strongly is against animal testing is Peter Singer; he became involved after studying the work of Jeremy Bentham. He is most famously known for his book named animal liberation which states that The Institute of national health spent over $11 million on experiments that involved direct manipulation of the brain, over $5 million on experiments that studied the effects drugs have on behaviour, almost $3 million on learning and memory experiments, and over $2 million on experiments involving sleep deprivation, stress, fear, and anxiety. This government agency spent more than $30 million dollars on animal experiments in one year. This surely arises the question of how can these things happen? How can people who are not sadists spend their working days driving monkeys into lifelong depression, heating dogs to death, or turning cats into drug addicts? How...

Popular Essays


Emma Taylor


Hi there!
Would you like to get such a paper?
How about getting a customized one?