Herodotus Essay

Good Essays


As Herodotus develops his History he diverges from the main aspect of his narrative many times throughout the text. Many wonder why Herodotus diverges from the main point by introducing minor characters who do not seem relevant to the central theme. Some consider this method of narrative confusing and pointless but I believe that Herodotus has a purpose for including these minor figures and that these characters help express Herodotus ideology towards proper moral and political systems. These minor figures are developed and manipulated by Herodotus in order to express his ideas and he is able to accomplish this because these characters are flexible in the sense that the readers (and listeners) do not have a …show more content…

Gelon is furious with this request because Athens dishonored him by refusing to help in the past. Gelon strongly tells Athens “When I begged you to bear a hand with me in the fight against a barbarian enemy…when I kept urging you to avenge the murder of Dorieus…you did not come help, either for my sake or to avenge the murder of Dorieus (Gelon 7.158).” Many people would not question Gelon for not helping the Athenians against the Persian invasion since they have been dishonored and now are a providence of Persia but he does offer the Athenians help. Herodotus uses Gelon to show how one should turn the other cheek when Gelon says “But though I have met dishonor from you, I will not be like you (Gelon 7.158)” and he offers ships and soldiers to the Athenians.

Herodotus shows that one should fight in battle under any circumstance in different instances throughout book seven. As Xerxes marches towards Greece he and his army are provided food, shelter, and money by Pythius. All that Pythius asks for in return for his “generosity” is that is eldest son does not go to war with Persia and stays to care for him. Xerxes is enrages with this request because not fighting is not acceptable by anyone not even to the king himself. Xerxes says “Vile creature, I am myself marching to Greece, and with me are my children, my brothers, my household, and my friends (Xerxes 7.39)” and he punishes Pythius for even considering his

Get Access