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The Histories

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Overview

'No one is fool enough to choose war instead of peace – in peace sons bury fathers, but in war fathers bury sons

One of the masterpieces of classical literature, the Histories describes how a small and quarrelsome band of Greek city states united to repel the might of the Persian empire. But while this epic struggle forms the core of his work, Herodotus’ natural curiosity frequently gives rise to colourful digressions – a description of the natural wonders of Egypt; an account ...

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Overview

'No one is fool enough to choose war instead of peace – in peace sons bury fathers, but in war fathers bury sons

One of the masterpieces of classical literature, the Histories describes how a small and quarrelsome band of Greek city states united to repel the might of the Persian empire. But while this epic struggle forms the core of his work, Herodotus’ natural curiosity frequently gives rise to colourful digressions – a description of the natural wonders of Egypt; an account of European lake-dwellers; and far-fetched accounts of dog-headed men and gold-digging ants. With its kaleidoscopic blend of fact and legend, the Histories offers a compelling Greek view of the world of the fifth century BC.

This celebrated translation of The Histories has been extensively revised and includes an updated bibliography, chronology, glossary and additional notes.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This edition reproduces the fluent pace and readability of Herodotus' world-encompassing work. Mensch has produced a close translation of Herodotus' Greek that is also an engrossing read in English. As an old-time Herodotean, I found myself drawn into Herodotus' universe of history and story all over again. Combined with Romm's elegant introduction, which conveys the lure of Herodotus' work, the lucid maps and tables, and the pertinent, uncluttered notes, this is an edition to read for pleasure and for education. I recommend it to future students of Herodotus and their instructors, and to any reader who wants to discover and rediscover Herodotus in a vibrant new translation. -—Emily Greenwood, Yale University

Unadorned, readable, reliable. . . . If you want your Herodotus straight, but with no forfeiture of readability, I suggest Mensch. -—Simon Hornblower, in The Wall Street Journal

Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-04-08
A delightful new translation of what is widely considered the first work of history and nonfiction.Herodotus has a wonderful, gossipy style that makes reading these histories more fun than studying the rise of the Persian Empire and its clash with Greece—however, that's exactly what readers will do in this engaging history, which is full of interesting digressions and asides. Holland (In the Shadow of the Sword: The Birth of Islam and the Rise of the Global Arab Empire, 2012, etc.), whose lifelong devotion to Herodotus, Thucydides and other classical writers is unquestionable, provides an engaging modern translation. As Holland writes, Herodotus' "great work is many things—the first example of nonfiction, the text that underlies the entire discipline of history, the most important source of information we have for a vital episode in human affairs—but it is above all a treasure-trove of wonders." Those just being introduced to the Father of History will agree with the translator's note that this is "the greatest shaggy-dog story ever written." Herodotus set out to explore the causes of the Greco-Persian Wars and to explore the inability of East and West to live together. This is as much a world geography and ethnic history as anything else, and Herodotus enumerates social, religious and cultural habits of the vast (known) world, right down to the three mummification options available to Egyptians. This ancient Greek historian could easily be called the father of humor, as well; he irreverently describes events, players and their countless harebrained schemes. Especially enjoyable are his descriptions of the Persians making significant decisions under the influence and then waiting to vote again when sober. The gifts Herodotus gave history are the importance of identifying multiple sources and examining differing views.A feast for students of ancient history and budding historians of any period.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140449082
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 4/15/2003
  • Series: Penguin Classics Series
  • Edition description: Revised
  • Pages: 784
  • Sales rank: 102,041
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.87 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

HERODOTUS was born around 480 bc in Halicarnassus, on the southwest coast of Asia Minor. Few facts are known about his life but he remains known through his life’s work, The Histories.

TOM HOLLAND is the award-winning author of Rubicon, Persian Fire, and most recently In the Shadow of the Sword. He lives in London.

PAUL CARTLEDGE is the author of Sparta and Lakonia and The Greeks. He is A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge.

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Table of Contents

The Histories Preface
Introduction
1. Herodotus' Life and Work
2. The Subject-Matter of The Histories
3. Herodotus' sources and Metho Histories
4. Structure and Themes in The Histories
5. Herodotus' Later Reputation

Further Reading
A Note on the Text
Maps

Herodotus The Histories
Book One
Book Two
Book Three
Book Four
Book Five
Book Six
Book Seven
Book Eight
Book Nine

Glossary
Structural Outline
Chronology
Abbreviations
Notes
Index

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2009

    The Histories by Herodotus fascinating

    An excellent book for people intrested in ancient history or learning about how ancient people thought.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2007

    Herodotus is Outstanding!

    The Histories of Herodoutus is the sightings and hearings that Herodotus a native of Halicarnassus, had written down. This includes the customs of Egyptians, far-fetched tales of one-eyed giants, and the Persian war. This is one of the greatest masterpieces of western literature that has been preserved.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2014

    Great Writing....!... Wonderful...! LOVE it...!

    Great Writing....!... Wonderful...! LOVE it...!

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