Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course


Download this course

Share this free course

Herodotus and the invention of history
Herodotus and the invention of history

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

3 Looking to the end: reading historically

In Section 2 you scrutinsed Herodotus’ writing of history and learned the importance of reading closely. What began as a question of authorship and authority (‘This is the enquiry of Herodotus the Halicarnassian’) turns out to be a challenge for reading. In this final section you’ll consider one way in which Herodotus sets his reader up to continually reflect on their own position when processing the events being represented: when he depicts historical people consulting the oracle at Delphi.

In the foreground of the picture are the ruins of a temple, marked by an almost complete floor of large square stone slabs and six half-length columns running around the top left corner of the building as the viewer sees it. A valley is visible in the background at some distance away and much lower. The indication is of a temple on the side of a steep incline with a panoramic view of the entire valley below.
Figure 21 Ruins of the ancient Temple of Apollo at Delphi (the site of the oracle), overlooking the valley of Phocis.