The Histories

The Histories

4.1 13
by Herodotus
     
 

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'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,

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.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Praise for The Histories:
“Unquestionably the best English translation of Herodotus to have appeared in the past half-century…I am in awe of Tom Holland’s achievement, and have no doubt it will bear rich fruit in bringing Herodotus to public attention”
– Edith Hall, Times Literary Supplement

“Lively, engaging version of the Histories…[an] admirable translation”
The Economist

Praise for In the Shadow of the Sword:
"Written with flamboyant elegance and energetic intensity, Holland delivers a brilliant tour de force of revisionist scholarship and thrilling storytelling with a bloodspattered cast of swashbuckling tyrants, nymphomaniacal empresses and visionary prophets. The book is unputdownable."
The Times of London

Praise for Rubicon:
"Tom Holland has produced in one volume the crispest and most compelling account of this momentous period I have ever read."
The Seattle Times

Praise for Persian Fire:
"Excellent... Holland is a cool-headed historian who writes no less authoritatively and engagingly on classical Greece than he did on ancient Rome in his last book, Rubicon"
—Mary Beard, The Sunday Times 

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780698151369
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/15/2014
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
880
Sales rank:
1,115,134
File size:
4 MB

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From the Trade Paperback edition.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“De Sélincourt’s pacy, natural-sounding, rendering, as superbly revised and annotated by John Marincola…was a game-changer…still reads freshly and is a bestseller six decades after its first publication.”
—Edith Hall,  Times Literary Supplement

Meet the Author

Often referred to as the “father of history,” Herodotus was born in what is now modern-day Turkey in 484 BCE. He travelled the world in order to collect eyewitness accounts of the Greco-Persian Wars and conduct first-hand research, and his work is amongst the earliest Greek prose to survive in its entirety. Although Herodotus’s method of collecting information was unique for the time, he, like many Greek scholars of the period, is criticized for manipulating his reporting of events and witnesses accounts in order to improve the narrative tone. The Histories is Herodotus’s only known work, and is still referred to by modern historians as providing an important perspective on life in ancient times. Recently, Herodotus’s written account of the Battle of Thermopylae was adapted into the film 300 by Zack Snyder. Herodotus is said to have died in 625 BCE at the age of 60, although this date cannot be confirmed.

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The Histories 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent book for people intrested in ancient history or learning about how ancient people thought.
Manirul More than 1 year ago
Great Writing....!... Wonderful...! LOVE it...!
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do u people even know hiw to write? And how about an actual review please?
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manirul01 More than 1 year ago
Awesome....!Beautiful....!Wonderful....!I really enjoy it.....!