Contradicting Herodotus and Tacitus' Writings as seen from the Greek views against Persia, and the Romans views against the Germanic People

Essay by someguynamedjoeCollege, UndergraduateA-, October 2009

download word file, 6 pages 0.0

Downloaded 13 times

Herodotus and Tacitus, great writers of their time, reflect on their thoughts about their own civilizations and what views they had on the civilizations of their enemies at the time of their writings. While these men lived almost 500 years apart, and in different parts of the world, their writings both seem to express both displeasure and acceptance of other civilizations customs and ways of life.

Herodotus, a Greek, focused his writings the Persians, the Greek enemy at the time. Since Herodotus is Greek, he has a profound belief in the Gods and the proper way to respect and give praise to them. When Herodotus is writing about the Persians, it can be sensed that he has a great distain for them because of the way they worship in his eyes. “The customs which I know the Persians to observe are the following: they have no images of the Gods, no temples nor alters, and consider the use of them as a sign of folly.

This comes, I think, from their not believing the Gods to have the same nature with men, as the Greeks imagine” (Herodotus 1). When reading this, it seems the tone is that of unbelief , especially since the Greeks as a whole believe in an intimate relationship with the Gods, as well as that belief to be public and communal. “To these Gods the Persians offer sacrifices in the following manner: they raise no alter, light no fire, pour no libations, there is no sound of flute, no putting on of chaplets, no barley cake...” (Herodotus 1). Herodotus also goes on to tell of the Persian’s human sacrifices which by the tone make him sick. “...The man who wishes to sacrifice brings his victim to a spot of ground which is pure of pollution,