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HERODOTUS.

BOOK I.

HERODOTUS.

CLIO.

"CHAP. I.

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O preserve from oblivion the memory of former incidents, and to render a just tribute of renown to the many great and

wonderful actions, both of Greeks and Barbarians?, HERODOTUS of Ha

licarnassus

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The simplicity with which Herodotus commences his History, and enters immediately on his subject, has been much and deservedly admired, and exhibits a striking contrast to the elaborate introductions of modern writers. It is not, however, peculiar to Herodotus ; it was the beautiful distinction of almost all the more ancient authors.-T.

a Barbarians. ]-As this word so frequently occurs in the progress of our work, it may be necessary, once for all, to advertise the English reader, that the ancients used it in a much milder sense than we do. Much as has been said of the pride of the old Romans, the word in question may tend to prove, that they were in some instances less tenacious of their national dignity than the Greeks. The appellation of Barbarians was given by the Greeks to all the world but

themselves;

licarnassus produces these * historical researches.

Among other things, it will be necessary to investigate the sources of the hostilities which subsisted between these people. The more learned

of',

themselves; the Romans gave it to all the world but the Greeks.--T.

* Herodotus.]-It has been suggested as a doubt, by many of the learned, whether it ought not to be written Erodotus. I do not remember many proper names terminating in dorus. and dotus, as Diodorus, Diodutus, Heliodorus, &c. which are not derived froin the name of a divinity; I have therefore not much scruple in asserting my belief, that it must be Herodotus, compounded of dotus and the Greek name of Juno. There are, however, some exceptions; as for example, Metridorus, Polydorus, &c. &c.T.

There is hardly any author, ancient or modern, who has been more warmly commended or more yehemently censured than this eminent historian; but even the severe Dionysius declares, he is one of those enchanting writers, whom you peruse to the last syllable with pleasure, and still wish for more. Plutarch himself, who has made the most violent attack on his veracity, allows him all the merit of beautiful composition.Hayley.

* History, in the Greek, is derived from a verb, signifying to enquire minutely; and it is the opinion of Kuster, as well as of other eminent critics, that the word History itself, in its original sensé, implies accurate enquiry, and stands properly for what the author's own researches demonstrated to him, and what he learned by the information of others. According to this interpretation, the first words of Heródotus might be rendered thus:

“ Heródotus of Halicarnassus produces this work, the re

sult

of the Persians assert that the Phænicians were the original exciters of contention. This nation migrated from the borders of the Red Sea 4 to the place of their present settlement, and soon distinguished themselves by their long and enterprizing voyages. They exported to Argos, among other

places,

sult both of his own researches, and of the enquiries made by him of others.”

This is certainly paraphrastical, but the criticism is ingenious, and appears to be well founded. The material point to be established from it is, that in the time of Herodotus, ’Istogon did not signify History, the word then used in that Sense was συγγραφη.

4 From the borders of the Red Sea.]—When Herodotus speaks, for the first time, of any people, he always goes to their original source. Some authors make the Phænicians to have originated from the Persian Gulf; which opinion, though reported, is not believed by Strabo. Voltaire, taking it for granted that they migrated by sea, ridicules the idea of their coming from the Red Sea to Phænicia; as well he might. Larcher proves, in the most satisfactory manner, that his misconception arose from his ignorance of Greek. It is evident from another passage in Herodotus (Book vii. chap. 89.) that the Phænicians, when they changed their place of residence, passed over by land.-Larcher (principally.) .

5 Long and enterprizing voyages.]—The first among the "Greeks who undertook long voyages were the Ionians. Upon this people, Mr. Wood, in his Essay on Homer, has the following remark: “ From the general character by which Homer constantly distinguishes the Phænicians, as a commercial and seafaring people, it has been naturally supposed, that he was indebted to that nation for much of his information with regard to distant voyages. I think we cannot be åt a

loss

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