Herodotus was a Greek historian credited with writing a book titled The Histories, a detailed record on the genesis of the Greco-Persian Wars. Dubbed the Father of History, Herodotus is widely believed to have been the first person to write about historical events based on information gathered about the events through a method of systematic investigation.
Plutarch was a Greek philosopher, essayist, biographer, and historian. He also served as the priest at the Temple of Apollo. He is best remembered for his work Parallel Lives, a series of 48 biographies of noteworthy men. His writings had a huge influence on French and English literature. Writers like Shakespeare were influenced by his works.
Remembered as both an Athenian military leader and an author, Xenophon, a friend of Socrates, remains a major link between historians and the Greek philosopher, with his works such as Symposium and Memorabilia. He also led the Ten Thousand, in a Persian expedition under Cyrus the Younger.
Polybius was a Greek historian who lived during the Hellenistic period. He is best remembered for his work The Histories, which covers the period of 264–146 BC in detail. It includes his eyewitness accounts of significant events like the Sack of Carthage and Corinth in 146 BC. Unfortunately, many others of his works have been lost.
Strabo was a Greek philosopher, geographer, and historian. He is best remembered for his work Geographica, an encyclopedia of geographical knowledge. Written in Greek during Strabo's time, Geographica holds great historical significance as it houses a descriptive history of places and people from different regions. Among his descriptions were places like the city of Alexandria and India.
Greek historian Arrian is best remembered for his treatise of the campaigns of Alexander the Great, spanning over 7 volumes, titled The Anabasis of Alexander. He also penned Indica, elaborating on Nearchus’s journey to the Persian Gulf. He wrote books on hunting and philosophy, too.
Megasthenes was an ancient Greek diplomat, historian, and explorer. He is remembered for his description of India in his book Indica. Although Megasthenes' Indica has since been lost, literary fragments found in the works of writers who quoted his work have been used to partially reconstruct Indica. Megasthenes is credited with being the first Western author to write about India.
Eusebius of Caesarea was a historian of Christianity and Christian polemicist. He was a bishop of Caesarea Maritima and a scholar of the biblical canon. As "Father of Church History," he wrote the Ecclesiastical History and a biographical work on Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor. He is regarded as one of the most learned Christians of his time.
Appian was a Greek historian who flourished during the monarchy of Antoninus Pius, Trajan, and Hadrian. Appian, who held Roman citizenship, is best remembered for his principal surviving work Roman History. The work is considered important and valuable for its description of the Roman Empire, especially during the civil wars.
Quintus Curtius Rufus remains one of the rare Roman writers whose history of Alexander the Great’s reign has survived. While the book consisted of 10 volumes, the first 2 parts were later lost. No other work refers to his book, proving he had probably hidden his work for a long time.
Hecataeus of Miletus was a Greek geographer and historian best remembered for his composition of historical and geographical works. Regarded as the first known Greek historian, Hecataeus was one of the first classical authors to write about the Illyrian and Celtic peoples. Hecataeus of Miletus is also considered the Father of Geography.
Posidonius was a Greek astronomer, astrologer, politician, historian, mathematician, geographer, and teacher. Widely regarded as the most learned man of his generation, Posidonius took genuine interest in natural history and natural science. He worked towards spreading Stoicism to the Roman world through his personal lectures and writings. Also a philosopher, Posidonius’ works have influenced the works of several subsequent writers.
Byzantine emperor John VI Cantacuzenus had started off as the chief advisor to Andronicus III Palaeologus. He was the regent for John V Palaeologus but later disputed with him, to join hands with the Turks, leading them to invade the Byzantine empire. He became a monk and a historian in his final years.
Born in the Aeolian city of Cyme, Ephorus was taught by rhetorician Isocrates. He grew up to be one of the most respected Greek historians and penned the first universal history. His Historiai was a 29-book set, with a 30th part added later by his son, Demophilus.
Greek historian Timaeus was hounded out of Sicily by tyrant Agathocles and went to Athens, where he spent the majority of his life. He is best remembered for his 38-part Histories and also made a chronological list of the winners of the Olympiads, introducing dating based on the ancient Olympic Games.
Apollodorus of Athens was a Greek scholar from the 2nd century B.C. Best remembered for his chronicle of Greek history, titled Chronika, he also penned a 24-volume prose work known as On the Gods, which was later lost. He also wrote volumes on mythology, philology, and geography.
Callisthenes was officially appointed to pen the history of Alexander the Great’s Asiatic expedition and thus accompanied him. However, the historian later opposed Alexander when he proclaimed himself divine and was thus accused of conspiracy and executed. Other sources state he died of some disease in prison.
Greek orator and philosopher Dio Chrysostom is best remembered for his political discourses. Exiled from Bithynia and Italy for political differences, he lived the life of a vagrant for 14 years, and got back to be a philosopher after emperor Domitian’s murder. His works contain orations for Trajan and essays on slavery.
Eleventh-century Byzantine historian John Skylitzes is best remembered for his Synopsis Historiarum. An illustrated manuscript of his work was published as The Madrid Skylitzes in the 12th century and is now housed in the Spanish national public library. He may have also authored a legal treatise for Emperor Alexius I.
Theopompus of Chios was one of the most significant historians of Greece. His Philippica, or the history of Macedonian king Philip II’s rule, was a huge set of 58 books, later shortened to a 16-book set by Philip V. His other important work was Hellenica, a 12-part history of Greece.
Educated under well-known rhetorician Praeresius, also known as Prohaeresius, Eunapius later authored Lives of the Philosophers and Sophists. He also penned Universal History, a continuation of historian Publius Herennius Dexippus’s Chronological History. He was made a part of the Eleusinian Mysteries and spent his final years teaching rhetoric in Athens.
Laonikos Chalkokondyles was a Byzantine Greek historian remembered for his work Demonstrations of Histories, a series of 10 books recording the Byzantine Empire's last 150 years. This work is considered important as it gives a detailed description of the decline of the Byzantine Empire and the ascent of the Ottoman Turks. The work has been translated into English and Latin.
Greek historian Hellanicus of Lesbos had penned several works, of which 30 survive in fragments, including Priestesses of Hera at Argos. He mostly focused on the history of Attica and made a significant contribution to the development of historiography in Athens. His 5-book set on Greek mythology structured mythological chronology.
Eudemus of Rhodes was a Greek philosopher and one of the most important pupils of Aristotle. Eudemus is also credited with editing many of Aristotle's works and simplifying it to make more easily accessible. Most of his works have not survived and what remain today are citations of his work in the works of other philosophers like Theon of Smyrna.
Michael Critobulus was a Greek politician, historian, and scholar. He is best remembered for authoring a history of the Ottoman conquest of the Byzantine Empire under Sultan Mehmet II, which is counted among the main sources for the Fall of Constantinople. Michael Critobulus' work is the most detailed account of the first 10 years of Turkish rule in Constantinople.
Agatharchides was a Greek geographer and historian who flourished during the second century BC. He was also a prominent political figure and served as a guardian to one of Ptolemy VIII's son. Agatharchides is also remembered for his literary works such as On the Erythraean Sea and Affairs in Asia.
Dexippus was a Greek historian, general, and statesman. He played a key role in reviving the spirit of patriotism among the men of Greece when the Heruli captured Athens in 267. Photius, the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, described Dexippus as second Thucydides.
Byzantine theologian and historian Michael Glycas was from the Greek island of Corfu. Accused of conspiring against emperor Manuel I Komnenos, he was partially blinded and imprisoned but continued to write even while in prison. Verses from Prison and his chronicle remain his best-known works.
Munejjim-bashi Ahmed Dede was an Ottoman courtier, historian, scholar, and Sufi poet. His principal work Jamiʿ al-Duwal is considered valuable for the information it provides on the history of the Muslim dynasties from the medieval period. The work also states that the Muslim dynasties were located around the southwestern shore of the popular Caspian Sea.