An Egyptian priest told Herodotus that Helen (of Troy) was in fact living comfortably in Alexandria during the time of the war. Herodotus says he buys the idea because it doesn't make sense for Troy to not have given up some dumb bitch, basically, so the war became a pissing contest.
>Herodotus says he buys the idea because it doesn't make sense for Troy to not have given up some dumb bitch
But it does when you realize that the Gods were the ones orchestrating the events. Paris only got Helen in the first place because of Aphrodite. I only say this because Herodotus was into all the mythological stuff.
I like how he rationalizes by saying that when the greeks arrived, the Trojans said Helen was not in the city. But since the Greeks aren't going to get permission to send in Helen Inspectors, they don't believe the Trojans until the city is already sacked and no Helen is found.
I've been to Troy. There is definitely a historical nugget of truth there.
>Thucydides straight after Herodotus rids his historical study of myth.
Tries to and in my opinion fails to. He's great but he's horribly overrated. I prefer Herodotus since he makes it clear just how important national myths, stereotypes and legends are to a group's consciousness. Thucydides just wrote a fairly dry account of a war and tried to mythologise it himself by turning two separate conflicts into one massive one spanning 27 years. His massive influence is actually quite dangerous.
Its interesting seeing Herodatus using logic to piece things together even when he's wrong. Like when he learns that Egypt is 100 times older than Greece. So when he sees Herakles being worshiped there, he assumes Herakles was originally an Egyptian god about which the Greeks invented stories about being a man on earth and doing labors.
It doesn't even occur to him that Herakles could be a Greek God that the Egyptians adopted.
In his mind all the ideas flow downhill from Egypt to Greece, nothing goes the other way around.