Herodotus: birth of historiography
According to a traditional definition, Herodotus was "the father of history" (born in Halicarnassus, on the coasts of Asia minor, around 484 BC), who was also the oldest definition of the word "history" (Historie). In fact, he writes at the beginning of his work: "This is exposure that Herodotus of Turi (of which he later became national) is of his research, that human events does not fade into oblivion over time and the great and marvelous enterprises accomplished so much by the Greeks as the bastard are not barbarians". But one can also wonder what the search of Herodotus meant insinuate?
In his stories in nine books Herodotus described not just the story of a single State or a single historical period, but offered an account of travels that had led him in every corner of the globe, and customs of the people who he had visited: Egyptians, Persians, Scythians, Babylonians. Unlike the Egyptian or Mesopotamian Chronicles that recount in a subjective way businesses of Kings and Pharaohs, unlike the Bible which tells the story of people, but also Greek and Latin historians later will identify "story" as with political events, Herodotus has a broader view of history and of what is worth "researching". He comes up to the ends of the Earth to see what happened in different regions and describes not only the "things" that happen (wars, battles, political facts), but first the geography, landscape, habits of the people, their stories, traditions, myths, religious beliefs, etc.
That of Herodotus is a journey through the cultures and civilization different: therefore he was not only the first historians, but also the first of anthropologists and ethnographers, or "people's descriptors".
In Herodotus later historians (and before any Thucydides) have scolded to give credit to "superstition" (legends, fairy tales, oral traditions and mythology) without vetting or carefully checking its origin.
This instead represents, from a certain point of view, modernity: as he conceives the story as the product of a whole civilization with all its traditions and beliefs, even questionable.