The words of Socrates, as quoted by Diogenes Laertius.
Birthdate: 484 BC
Date of death: 425 BC
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus in the Persian Empire . He is known for having written the book The Histories , a detailed record of his "inquiry" on the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars. He is widely considered to have been the first writer to have treated historical subjects using a method of systematic investigation—specifically, by collecting his materials and then critically arranging them into an historiographic narrative. On account of this, he is often referred to as "The Father of History", a title first conferred on him by the first-century BC Roman orator Cicero.Despite Herodotus's historical significance, little is known about his personal life. His Histories primarily deals with the lives of Croesus, Cyrus, Cambyses, Smerdis, Darius, and Xerxes and the battles of Marathon, Thermopylae, Artemisium, Salamis, Plataea, and Mycale; however, his many cultural, ethnographical, geographical, historiographical, and other digressions form a defining and essential part of the Histories and contain a wealth of information. Herodotus has been criticized for the fact that his book includes many obvious legends and fanciful accounts. Many authors, starting with the late fifth-century BC historian Thucydides, have accused him of making up stories for entertainment. However, Herodotus states that he is merely reporting what he has seen and heard. A sizable portion of the information he provides has since been confirmed by historians and archaeologists. Wikipedia
The words of Socrates, as quoted by Diogenes Laertius.
Herodotus actually attributes this to Solon in a conversation with King Crœsus.
Deem no man happy, until he passes the end of his life without suffering grief
Many very wealthy men are not happy, while many who have but a moderate living are fortunate; and in truth the very rich man who is not happy has two advantages only as compared with the poor man who is fortunate, whereas this latter has many as compared with the rich man who is not happy. The rich man is able better to fulfil his desire, and also to endure a great calamity if it fall upon him; whereas the other has advantage over him in these things which follow: — he is not indeed able equally with the rich man to endure a calamity or to fulfil his desire, but these his good fortune keeps away from him, while he is sound of limb, free from disease, untouched by suffering, the father of fair children and himself of comely form; and if in addition to this he shall end his life well, he is worthy to be called that which thou seekest, namely a happy man; but before he comes to his end it is well to hold back and not to call him yet happy but only fortunate. Now to possess all these things together is impossible for one who is mere man, just as no single land suffices to supply all things for itself, but one thing it has and another it lacks, and the land that has the greatest number of things is the best: so also in the case of a man, no single person is complete in himself, for one thing he has and another he lacks; but whosoever of men continues to the end in possession of the greatest number of these things and then has a gracious ending of his life, he is by me accounted worthy, O king, to receive this name.
The History of Herodotus Book I, Chapter 32 http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/hh/hh1030.htm.
Variant translation: In peace, children inter their parents; war violates the order of nature and causes parents to inter their children.
Book 1, Ch. 87.
„Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all. The conscientious historian will correct these defects.“
This statement is not to be found in the works of Herodotus. It appears in the acknowledgements to Mark Twain's A Horse's Tale (1907) preceded by the words "Herodotus says", but Twain was simply summarizing what he took to be Herodotus' attitude to historiography.
Book 9, Ch. 16
Of all men's miseries the bitterest is this: to know so much and to have control over nothing.
The most hateful torment for men is to have knowledge of everything but power over nothing.
„It is said that as many days as there are in the whole journey, so many are the men and horses that stand along the road, each horse and man at the interval of a day’s journey; and these are stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course with all speed.“
Book 8, Ch. 98
variant: Not snow, no, nor rain, nor heat, nor night keeps them from accomplishing their appointed courses with all speed. (Book 8, Ch. 98)
Paraphrase: "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds" ”
Appears carved over entrance to Central Post Office building in New York City.
„For if one should propose to all men a choice, bidding them select the best customs from all the customs that there are, each race of men, after examining them all, would select those of his own people; thus all think that their own customs are by far the best“
Book 3, Ch. 38
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Actually a quotation from a letter of Lord Chesterfield dated May 8, 1750.
„When this response reached Croesus, it afforded him far more pleasure than anything else the oracle had told him, because he was sure that a mule would never replace a man as the Persian king, and that in consequence he and his descendants would rule for ever. He next turned his mind to investigating which was the most powerful Greek state, so that he could gain them as his allies. As a result of his enquiries, he discovered that Lacedaemon and Athens were the outstanding states, and that Lacedaemon was populated by Dorians while Athens was populated by Ionians. For these two peoples—the one Pelasgian, the other Hellenic—had been pre-eminent in the old days. The Pelasgians never migrated anywhere, but the Hellenes were a very well-travelled race. When Deucalion was their king, they were living in Phthia, but in the time of Dorus the son of Hellen they were in the territory around Mounts Ossa and Olympus, known as Histiaeotis. Then they were evicted from Histiaeotis by the Cadmeans and settled on Mount Pindus, where they were called Macedonians. Next they moved to Dryopis, and from Dryopis they finally reached the Peloponnese and became known as the Dorians.“
Book 1, Ch. 56; as translated in The Histories (1998) by Robin Waterfield and Carolyn Dewald http://books.google.com/books?id=Or5CKl1ObX4C&pg=PA24 pp. 23-24 ISBN 0192824252, 9780192824257
„Some men give up their designs when they have almost reached the goal; while others, on the contrary, obtain a victory by exerting, at the last moment, more vigorous efforts than ever before.“
Though widely attributed to Herodotus this in fact comes from the Histories of Polybius, Book 16, chapter 28: "Some men, like bad runners in the stadium, abandon their purposes when close to the goal; while it is at that particular point, more than at any other, that others secure the victory over their rivals". (Translation of Evelyn S Shuckburgh).
„The Scythians take kannabis seed, creep in under the felts, and throw it on the red-hot stones. It smolders and sends up such billows of steam-smoke that no Greek vapor bath can surpass it. The Scythians howl with joy in these vapor-baths, which serve them instead of bathing, for they never wash their bodies with water.“
Book 4, Ch. 74.
Book 7, Ch. 152.
„Now, that these descendants of Perdiccas are Greeks, as they themselves say, I myself chance to know.“
Book 5, Ch. 22, 1 (Loeb).