Herodotus, the Histories, Summary of Book Seven

Herodotus, The Histories, Summary of Book Seven

Herodotus was born ca 484 BC. We do not know exactly when he died, but he does reference to events at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War (vi, 91 & vii, 137). Herodotus has been called the Father of History. He has also been called the Father of Lies. Thucydides is considered to be the first critic on this historian because in his Peloponnesian Wars he is believed to criticize Herodotus’ love for everything mythical and exciting along with his historical inaccuracy.
Book VII, the passage I am looking at, starts out with the two sons’ of Darius rivalry for the throne (ca. 487 BC). It ends Xerxes planning the new attack on the Greeks after the battle of Thermopylae (ca. 480 BC). This means that Herodotus was a little boy at the time of most of the events he is describing in this book. The data could be gathered from the veterans of the Second Persian War. Even though we can expect this data to be quite accurate, it had most likely been altered in the minds of people who liked to preserve their glorious past.
The historian is not being linear in his writings. This book, for example, also has references to the beginning of the Peloponnesian War (vii, 137), while on several occasions, the historian mentions going back to an event of which he “spoke a while ago” (239)
Since Herodotus was writing for recitation rather than to be read, it was important for him to entertain. This is one of the reasons why he included some of the material that nowadays would be considered inappropriate to history (numerous visions, oracles, some obviously unauthentic speeches). He attracts our attention from the beginning of the Book VII, by telling us story of the Xerxes’ succession of the throne of Persia.
Herodotus gives a considerable portion of his attention to personal speeches of various people. Xerxes, Mardonius, Artabanus, Demaratus, and others, all have recorded speeches in Book VII. The problem is that he could not have...