The first volume of the History of Herodotus covers conflicts between Persia, Egypt and Scythia and the characteristics of each nation's society, culture and peoples.
This volume opens with the established history of Greek myth, from the Trojan War onward. Rulers such as King Croesus and Cyrus II of Persia hold a heavy presence in the first passages of the text, together with the various wars and conflicts of the era.
Later, Herodotus travels to Egypt and explains the geography, the vital nature of the Nile river, and the systems of ruling and government present in that nation. Herodotus also discusses distant lands such as India and China, and their customs and trading practices.
Over his lifetime, Herodotus personally travelled around most of the ancient world. His expeditions to Egypt and Persia yielded discoveries significant to history, whereby local sources and libraries were consulted to better the comprehensive accuracy of his writings.
At the time of his original writing, the Persian Empire controlled many of the territories which Herodotus toured. Given the sprawling nature of this Empire, Herodotus is occupied with comparing the various cultural traditions and peoples within and outside its extent. Territories such as Scythia, and various smaller tribal groups, likewise fall within the author's sphere of examination.
Many of the methods Herodotus employed during his travels, such as explaining specific phenomena, buildings and conflicts with cited evidence and sources, would influence future historians greatly. Although not all of Herodotus sources were reliable, the fact he recorded his histories during antiquity confer great value upon his work.
As well as his sources, Herodotus would also observe the differing customs and behaviours of the peoples he walked among. Many of the culturally ingrained practices were unusual, with Middle Eastern and North African traditions contrasting markedly with those of Greece and Europe.
Although much of what Herodotus wrote has been superseded by the discoveries and historic researches of later epochs, his work remains widely consulted by scholars and historians to this day. Generally praised by historians, Herodotus has since the Roman era held the title "The Father of History".