Herodotus: 100 000 men to build the pyramids.

I’ve found this claim in a lot of places, and I want to cite it in an essay, preferably from its original source.

Unfortunately, a Google search hasn’t turned up much, and I can’t exactly leaf through every work he ever wrote.

Could someone give me a general idea of where he might have made this claim?

Herodotus Histories 2.124.3
[2.124.3] They worked in gangs of a hundred thousand men, each gang for three months. For ten years the people wore themselves out building the road over which the stones were dragged, work which was in my opinion not much lighter at all than the building of the pyramid1


Most authorities now believe the number was much smaller, numbering perhaps 20-30 thousand men. The support group for 100,000 workers would have had to be immense.

That’s the point - I’m pointing out that some people claim very large numbers (as a con in a complex argument). I then cite several more recent writers who give the kind of figures you suggest.

I guess this is just the different way of thinking ancients had compared to us. Being accustomed to exact sciences, we demand a number to be correct; if it’s not correct, the number should not be given. Romans and Greeks took that much more easy. If Herodotus says there were " a hundred thousand" men building the pyramids, he was probably just saying there was a godawful lot of people. He didn’t actually believe there were really 100,000, or close to this, men, nor did he expect his readers to take this number for granted. You see this a lot in ancient writings.