Oldest eye witnes account of a historical event?

Oct 2015
890
Norway
#1
What is the first historical even we have a discription of by an eye witnes? We must of course be fairly sure the author or the person(s) he talked to were real eye witnesess.
 
Oct 2009
3,435
San Diego
#2
well- as you go back- it gets harder and harder to verify that an event mentioned actually occurred. For example MOST of what is written in the old testament did not occur.
Was Beowulf based in any actual event? Did Troy REALLY drag a giant wooden horse inside their defenses?

For that reason- events we can peg as being a knowable event on a real date and time are pretty limited to astronomical events. There was an eclipse in October or 2134 BC ( in our calendar ) that we can prove happened on that date thru celestial mechanics... but that was reported in Ancient chinese writings simply because the 2 court astronomers had Failed to predict it.

The earliest eclipse mentioned by the Babylonians was in 1375 bc.

We know that people witnesses the building of the pyramids and we can peg that most of the construction was done during the annual flood of the nile..
but we don"t have any contemporaneous written accounts of someone witnessing their construction.

You COULD argue that cave paintings by Cro-Magnon men were the earliest accounts of something they witnesses, as in " I saw this horse today"... but that , again, may a misreading of the artist's intention... as well as being untethered in time to any given year or season.

... I do remember reading a letter written by a roman senator detailing his impressions of a dinner he had with Attila the Hun... but that was pretty recent comparatively.
 
Mar 2019
278
Kansas
#3
I am going to go with the battle of Kadesh 1275BC. It is claimed the Pharaoh personally wrote some of the accounts of his arrival at Kadesh.

He probably also went down as the first recorded propagandist..........what he ultimately had carved on his temples did not really reflect what happened at the battle lol

Mind you depending how petty we want to get. One of the first recorded documents.........was a customer service complaint.............I kid you not
 
Likes: Futurist
Oct 2015
890
Norway
#7
I just read parts of an account by a Norse skald (Court poet and story teller) about a battle around the year 1012. He mentions the name of the man rowing the oar With him, what kind of helmet he's wearing etc. Eye witnesses bring a special kind of detail and autencity and detail to history.
 
Oct 2013
6,078
Planet Nine, Oregon
#10
Now this is an interesting Topic. I certainly agree that the Battle of Kadesh is a contender. We have, I believe, not one but several accounts, mostly in the the claims of victory by Ramses in the inscriptions. There is at least one letter from the Hittite pov.

Wiki's Kadesh article
Not as old as Ahmose's accounts above. ~ 1506 BC.
 

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