200 euro – Greek Culture: Herodotus
Series: Greece – Gold euro coins
Herodotus from Halicarnassos (in Asia Minor), the first in the canon of ancient Greek historians, has been called the “Father of History”. His work The Histories is the main source of information about the Greco-Persian Wars and other civilisations, such as the Egyptian and the Persian. He travelled to many places of the then known world as part of his enquiries (Egypt, Phoenicia, Persia) and joined the colonisation of Thurii in Magna Graecia. Herodotus has also been hailed as the father of ethnography, on account of the numerous digressions in his narrative and the wealth of information provided about the peoples of his time. Although Herodotus often attributed historical events to divine intervention, he was the first to apply fundamental principles of historical methodology, such as the critical approach to sources, the cross-checking of information and on-the-spot investigation. Even though the question of Herodotus’s accuracy has divided scholars over the centuries, modern historical and archaeological research supports an overall positive assessment of his work and recognises his pioneering contribution to history as a discipline.