The Words of Greek Historians , Thucydides & Herodotus

The history of the Peloponnesian War was an important event that occurred between Sparta and Athens. Without the writings of Thucydides , we would never have such a detailed account from the man who was considered one of the first real historians in time.

Thucydides (460 BC ~ 395 BC)

The Greek historian by the name of Thucydides would gain recognition as the author of the “History of the Peloponnesian War,” which laid out the events that took place between Sparta and Athens during 411 BC. Over the years, the man has earned the title of “Father of “Scientific History,” as he was a proponent of strictness in regards to his standards of collecting evidence.

Thucydides was rather stern when it came time to investigate the terms pertaining to cause and effect, as he held high regard for the gods. Another title associated with his name included the “father of the School of Political Realism,” which involved his thoughts on the relationship between various nations that concerned the issue of might over what was considered correct.

As for publications of Thucydides, he had just the one book. All his contribution to the literary world was contained in this historical piece that detailed a war that lasted 27 years between two great city-states. This epic was well received and helped to earn the distinction as being known as one of the first true historians. Some of his words include:

“Men naturally despise those who court them, but respect those who do not give way to them.”

“The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it.”

“The secret of happiness is freedom. The secret of freedom is courage. Wars spring from unseen and generally insignificant causes, the first outbreak being often but an explosion of anger.”

Herodotus (484 BC – 430 BC)

The Greek historian and traveler of the 5th century BCE is often referred to as the “Father of History.” He is regarded as the first historian to use a system to collect his materials and information in order to assess their validity. He would then prepare them in a narrative presentation that used vivid imagery and detail. His most famous writings were called ‘The Histories,’ which served as a record of his musings regarding the start of the Grego-Persian Wars, which broke out in 490, as well as between 490 and 479 BCE. The significant account also included a narrative of this time period that the historians of today would dub as poorly constructed and reported.

Yet in still, the man traveled about locations situated about the Mediterranean and Black Sea. Despite this, he still gained a reputation for not always documenting the entirely whole truth and story. When he speaks, he says he reports what is told to him by others, which was a common tactic of numerous historians of this time. Some of his words include:

“Force has no place where there is need of skill.”

“Great deeds are usually wrought at great risks.”

“Haste in every business brings failures.”