Herodotus was born 485 BC in Halicarnassus. His family belonged to an upper rank of the citizen. When Herodotus was young, he and his family left Halicarnassus after assisting in an unsuccessful revolt against the tyrant who ruled the city. As Herodotus grew up, he widely travelled the areas of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Herodotus was one of the first travelling writers who narrated history of the ancient world, especially the Persian Wars. Herodotus passed traditional tales that he heard from fellow travellers – from their parents, grandparents, and elders - about places and people that he had come across. Herodotus passes no definitive judgement, he would ask Greeks, Persians, and others. Herodotus liked to learn things first hand. During his research he developed a type of historical investigation, known as oral history. Herodotus drew his own conclusions from the stories he heard. During his travels, Herodotus settled in Athens for a while writing his accounts of the Persian Wars. He could not have been an eye witness to the Persian Wars because he was a child during that time. He did not finish his accounts of the Persian Wars until he moved to Thurii where he died in 425 BC. Due to Herodotus ways of collecting information, people have questioned how reliable his works are, how complete s accounts of the Persian Wars was, if he should be the father of historiography and his merits as a historian.
Herodotus’ reliability has been questioned since his own time. Herodotus accepted the testimonies of other people to compile his accounts of history. Herodotus inquiries were only as good as the source. Herodotus states in Histories, “And the priests told me, when I inquired, that the things concerning Helen happened thus…. This the priest said was the manner of Helen’s coming to Proteus; and I suppose that Homer also heard this