Herodotus, the "father of history" according to Cicero, was born in Dorian Halicarnassus (Bodrum) on the Aegean coast in the 5th century BC. He was the son of Lyxes and Dryo, and the brother of Theodorus. Herodotus had to leave Halicarnassus after taking part in an uprising against the tyrant Lygdamis and travelled widely in Egypt, Africa, Asia Minor and eastern Europe. Then he lived for some time in Athens, greatly respected and honoured, before moving to settle in the newly founded Athenian colony of Thourioi (Thurii) in southern Italy in 444 BC. It's not known if he's buried in Thurii or at Pella, in Macedonia.

His history of the wars between Greece and Persia, known as "The Histories" and divided in later years into nine books named after the Muses, incorporated observations made on his travels as well as a record of the political events. Later study has confirmed in many respects the accuracy of his work, which is a valuable source of information on the Greek settlements in Asia Minor as well as on the lands and peoples of Africa and the Near East, including India. As a historian, he collected the stories and filed them systematically after testing their accuracy, and wrote them adding his narrations. He always stated that he is only reporting what has been told to him, therefore some of the stories are not 100% accurate.