Herodotus, also known as the “Father of History,” lived in the 5th century B.C. (c. 484 BC – c. 425 BC) and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a well-constructed and vivid narrative. The Histories — his masterpiece and the only work he is known to have produced — is a record of his investigation of the origins of the Greco-Persian Wars and includes a wealth of geographical and ethnographical information. Although some of his stories were not completely accurate, he claimed that he was reporting only what had been told to him. Herodotus’ writings on India are the oldest surviving account of India.
Strabo was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher during the first century B.C. Though he is lesser known than Herodotus, he also wrote about India. Strabo traveled throughout the Mediterranean and Near East, and around 25 B.C., he sailed up the Nile until reaching Philae. He eventually returned to Rome to finish compiling a final draft of his Geography during his final years. Strabo’s Geography included detailed descriptions of much of Asia, including India.
Gaius Plinius Secundus (23 – 25 August 79 CE), generally known as Pliny the Elder, writing around 77 A.D., left the most important account of India and its trade with Rome that has survived in classical literature. Pliny the Elder gives quite a lot of detail about India, and his observations do more than just outline the bare bones of history, helping give readers an idea of how intimately Indian culture and trade was becoming known in the Western world:
This edition of the Greek and Roman Accounts of India is specially formatted with a Table of Contents.