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Hérodote

Date de naissance: 484 av. J.-C.
Date de décès: 425 av. J.-C.

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Hérodote est un historien et géographe grec. Considéré comme le premier historien, il a été surnommé le « Père de l’Histoire » par Cicéron, en tant qu’il est l’auteur d’une grande œuvre historique, les Histoires — également appelée Enquête —, centrée sur les guerres médiques, sans se limiter au récit de celles-ci : Hérodote expose les causes de la guerre et fait de nombreuses digressions, appelées logoi, sur l’histoire, les coutumes et les pays des belligérants et de dizaines d’autres peuples tout autour de la Méditerranée, ce qui fait de lui un des précurseurs de l’histoire universelle. Le récit de ses voyages le range également parmi les premiers géographes et son exposé du Dialogue entre Otanès, Mégabyse et Darius constitue l'un des premiers documents authentiques où se trouvent distingués et comparés les divers types de gouvernement (démocratie, oligarchie, monarchie).

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Citations Hérodote

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„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.“

—  Herodotus
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.

„Very few things happen at the right time, and the rest do not happen at all. The conscientious historian will correct these defects.“

—  Herodotus
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.

„It is better to be envied than pitied.“

—  Herodotus
Book 3, Ch. 52 Variant: How much better a thing it is to be envied than to be pitied.

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„Call no man happy till he dies.“

—  Herodotus
Herodotus actually attributes this to Solon in a conversation with King Crœsus. Variants: 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.

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