Naval War College Review


The Greek word historie gave us our word "history, '' but its original meaning was less precise. It meant "enquiry " "research, " and it came to have its present meaning "research into the past" because it was the word used by the first historian, Herodotus of Halicarnassus, to characterize his own work. His book, which deals with the wars between the Greeks and the Persians in the opening decades of the fifth century B.C., is the product of the questions he asked; of the visits he made to cities, temples, and battlefields; of his insatiable curiosity about the past not only of the Greeks but also of the foreign, especially tho Eastern, nations with whom they came into contact.