Category Archives: Herodotus

Histories 1.30-1.32: Solon at the Court of Croesus Part 2 – Cleobis and Biton

The Cleobis and Biton passage, like the Tellos passage, encapsulates the archaic Greek values of familial piety and of death over life. This passage, however, is somewhat more revolutionary than the Tellos passage, since Tellos was by Herodotus’ admission “prosperous to us” in addition to having healthy children and grandchildren, which was at the time […]

Histories 1.30-1.32: Solon at the Court of Croesus Part 1 – the story of Tellos

This passage is incredibly iconic and embodies as much as it reinforces many conceits in the Greek and consequently the Western imagination: this is the archetypal dialogue between simplicity and wealth, wisdom and desire, the virtuous Greek and the haughty Lydian.  This passage, with its generic hagiographies of two Greeks, also very effectively codifies archaic […]

Herodotus 6.126-9 (contributed by Tom Holland)

This is a passage I loved even before I read it. My first classics teacher combined a love of Herodotus with a genius for drawing on blackboards. I vividly remember the amused bristling of his eyebrows as he told us of Hippocleides, the suitor with an inopportune taste for dancing on tables, and the relish […]