General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Herodotus the Traveller
Language EN
Module lecturer dr Dobrinka Chiekova
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position PhD
Faculty Faculty of Polish and Classical Philology
Semester 2022/2023 (summer)
Duration 30
USOS code 03-AP-HT


Module aim (aims)

This course will explore the ancient world through the eyes of Herodotus, traveller, explorer, and collector of stories. He is known as “Father of History” and the word historia appears in the first sentence of his work. But Herodotus is also dismissed sometimes as “Father of Lies” who mixes up reality and fiction. We will ponder which of these titles describes him better. We will learn about the ancient Greeks, Persians, Egyptians, Scythians and other ancient peoples, about their environment and customs, the ways they interacted with each other, went to war with each other, and, as Herodotus himself says, “accomplished great and marvelous deeds.”

Development of skills in written communication

Development of skills in oral communication

Development of skills in critical analysis and reasoning

Development of skills in information literacy

Interpret language and symbol

Intercultural competence

Respect for diversity

Ethical reasoning and compassion

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)


The course will explore some of the following topics:


Literary and cultural traditions reflected in Histories


Language, style, narrative art


Father of history or Father of lies?


Herodotus and religion


Herodotus on moral values


Herodotus as political thinker


Greeks and Barbarians


The Persian wars: Greek and Persian perspective


Gender in Histories


Ancient and modern reception

Reading list

Herodotus (ed. Paul Cartledge, trans. Tom Holland), The Histories (Penguin, 2015)

Roberts, Jennifer T., Herodotus: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2011)

Dewald, Carolyn and John Marincola, The Cambridge Companion to Herodotus (Cambridge University Press, 2006)