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Word Count: 531
Thucydides and Herodotus Compared With the work of Herodotus there appeared one of the two main types of historical writing the inclusive approach with its wide rang of interest and detail Herodotus tells himself My History has sought out digressions from the beginning The other kind of historical writing narrowly focused and exclusive was invented a few years later by his younger contemporary Thucydides There are distinct differences in each work and are clearly evident in a direct comparison of their works Both authors exploit different literary methods content use of sources and information to illustrate their stories and themes Thucydides is a rational not to say scientific historian interested in nothing but politics economics and war There are no colorful myths and human motivation is essentially restricted to the pursuit of wealth and power There are no references to women and his history contains no delightful chapters laden with details on the customs of exotic peoples as is Herodotus specialization In one important aspect Herodotus comes closer to our idea of scientific history than does Thucydides who typically gives the reader only one interpretation of historical events by weighing the evidence and presenting only his considered view as source Herodotus in contrast has a vast amount of information to use and sometimes provides the reader with several different accounts of the same story along with their sources Thucydides begins his history by explaining why he thinks that this War is the greatest in which the Greeks were ever involved even greater than the Trojan War and the Persian Wars which was Herodotus focus He then explains the principles upon which he evaluates evidence his basic perspective is that human nature is the basic cause of historical events Thucydides attributes no historical event to either the gods or to fate He declares that his History will not be so entertaining as some others such as Herodotus but instead be a rational analysis that
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