e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Book Author - Herodotus (Books)

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

1. The Landmark Herodotus: The Histories
2. Travels with Herodotus
3. The Histories (Penguin Classics)
4. The Histories (Oxford World's
5. The History: Herodotus (Great
6. Herodotus: The Histories (Penguin
7. Herodotus: The Histories : New
8. The Histories (Everyman's Library)
9. Herodotus Book I (Greek Commentaries
10. The Histories of Herodotus volumes
11. Herodotus: Histories Book VIII
12. Herodotus, Books V-VII: The Persian
13. Herodotus: Book VI (BCP Greek
14. The Cambridge Companion to Herodotus
15. The Persian Wars, II: Books 3-4
16. A Commentary on Herodotus Books
17. The Persian Wars, IV: Books 8-9
18. A History of Histories: Epics,
19. Herodotus (Hermes Books Series)
20. Herodotus: Persian Wars: A Companion

1. The Landmark Herodotus: The Histories
by Herodotus
Hardcover: 1024 Pages (2007-11-06)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$28.11
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375421092
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
From the editor of the widely praised The Landmark Thucydides, a new Landmark Edition of The Histories by Herodotus, the greatest classical work of history ever written.

Herodotus was a Greek historian living in Ionia during the fifth century BCE. He traveled extensively through the lands of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and collected stories, and then recounted his experiences with the varied people and cultures he encountered. Cicero called him “the father of history,” and his only work, The Histories, is considered the first true piece of historical writing in Western literature. With lucid prose that harks back to the time of oral tradition, Herodotus set a standard for narrative nonfiction that continues to this day.

In The Histories, Herodotus chronicles the rise of the Persian Empire and its dramatic war with the Greek city-states. Within that story he includes rich veins of anthropology, ethnography, geology, and geography, pioneering these fields of study, and explores such universal themes as the nature of freedom, the role of religion, the human costs of war, and the dangers of absolute power.

Ten years in the making, The Landmark Herodotus gives us a new, dazzling translation by Andrea L. Purvis that makes this remarkable work of literature more accessible than ever before. Illustrated, annotated, and filled with maps, this edition also includes an introduction by Rosalind Thomas and twenty-one appendices written by scholars at the top of their fields, covering such topics as Athenian government, Egypt, Scythia, Persian arms and tactics, the Spartan state, oracles, religion, tyranny, and women.

Like The Landmark Thucydides before it, The Landmark Herodotus is destined to be the most readable and comprehensively useful edition of The Histories available. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Herodotus you can get
this is the most helpful Herodotus I've ever read (and I've read a few).
The maps, every chapter synopsis, and the notes make for the most informative reading of the work.
Its bulky and expensive, but if you care about Herodotus' work, its a must have.

5-0 out of 5 stars Let's hear it for a Renaissance person!
The landmark Herodotus is a very serious and wondrous volume, edited by (apparently) a Renaissance-type person: Robert B. Strassler. It is such a pleasure to read this,knowing that Mr. Strassler is a person of many talents. For example, he appears to be a musician(of a medieval instrument), president of a capital management corporation and chair of a music and humanities foundation. ( I say "appears" as this is what Googling him tells me..)

This MAY well be the finest edition of Herototus ever produced. I am not qualified to say as I have not seen all the rest. It is a joy at any rate.

Having started with "Travels with Herodotus" (presented to me by a Harvard undergrad who read it in the original Polish), I became so enamoured of the Polish journalist's quotes from the original work by Herodotus that I acquired Strassler's new edition of the Histories.

It is a weighty tome, not suitable for most carry-on airline cases. But, it is superb--with explanatory notations in the margins, easy-to-read maps, and scholarly. Bravo that books and editors like this remain!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Herodotus revisited.
This is the third time that I am reading Herodotus.This is by far the best read because this book provides good maps all the way through.Also it provides very good footnotes and appendices that provide readers with reasons to believe or disbelieve things that Herodotus relates.

5-0 out of 5 stars I know of no better version
The stories in Herodotus are just plain fun to read, in my opinion.Herodotus is full of insights, and, yes, gossip and speculation, of an important time period in the history of western civilization.You really get a taste for the attitudes and zeitgeist of the times...and you are reminded that the ancients were real people who actually lived and breathed.It is too bad more people don't read the original source rather than someone's regurgitation (assuming they even get that...it is surprising how many people don't even know what the Battle of Salamis is, given its importance to western civilization).

Some of the topics/stories I liked the best, told by Herodotus, include:

The story of Croesus and the fall of Sardis
The origin of Cyrus
Zopyrus's sacrifice and glory in the capture of Babylon
The Ionian Revolt...with the Athenians pissing off of the Persians at Sardis and causing all the trouble that followed
And the obvious choices of the battles of Salamis and Thermopylae

Needless to say, there is a lot to choose from.

My forays into Herodotus eventually led me to visit the west coast of Turkey and mainland Greece to visit some of the places and sites discussed in the book....maybe an unusual reaction, but at least for me, reading Herodotus led to the making of my own rich memories that will be cherished throughout my life.

I find it very unfortunate that few people know who Herodotus is...or they expect that reading such a book would be boring or inaccessible.Very wrong attitudes.One of the biggest movies of last year was "300"...hopefully some who saw that movie were lead to the richness of the original source.

I own a number of different translations of this book.What is an absolute joy about the Landmark version are the maps and footnotes to aid the reading.It is also fun to see pictures of the ruins and artifacts that are included (though I did wish there were more.)(The picture of the temple of Athena at Priene brought a smile to my face since I was actually there on my trip...Priene was one of the highlights of my visit to Turkey.)

I think this version of Herodotus is absolutely the best choice for someone wanting a very accessible translation and guide to the work.I know of none better.


5-0 out of 5 stars Greece through the eyes of the ancient Greeks
Herodotus recorded primarily oral accounts of events leading up to the Persian Wars of 490 and 479-480 BCE and in the process describes the known world of his day. The detailed discussion (after a brief summary of mythic tales) begins at about 560 BC with Croesus of Lydia (he of "rich as Croesus") and concludes with the battle of Mycale and the siege of Sestos.He describes the interactions between Croesus and the Greek colonies on the coast of Asia Minor and then goes on to describe the foundation of the Persian Empire by Cyrus and its subsequent expansion under his successors. Herodotus perceives the conflict as the result of individual human actions, rather than of larger political and economic forces. His account is a grand story filled with digressions to describe a myriad individuals, places and historical anecdotes while building to the grand finale of the Greek victories over the Persians. The whole is a colorful, fascinating tapestry of Mediterranean life in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE.

Reasons to Read Herodotus
Readers interested in Ancient Greece can turn to many sources but reading Herodotus (and Thucydides) has the benefit of seeing Greece through the eyes of the ancient Greeks themselves. Thus the history and culture come alive from a first person perspective. The Histories are literally an `inquiry' (it was Herodotus who gave the word `history' its current meaning, until then there being no such concept) into the causes of the conflict between Greeks and Persians. He attempts to provide evidence for his conclusions and indicates where he disagrees with existing wisdom.
Herodotus is an astonishingly sophisticated and cosmopolitan observer. In Book 2, Chapter 3, referring to the Egyptians, he observes that with regard to religion he does not think that any one nation knows much more about such things than any other. This attitude is not universal even now and was almost unheard of until the 20th century. Herodotus has influenced us in ways we may not suspect. The informal motto of the US postal service (...neither snow nor rain nor heat nor dark of night keeps them from completing their appointed course) comes from Book 8, Chapter 98, referring to the Persian system of royal couriers.
The remarkable notion to emerge from reading the Histories is that while the emphasis seems to be on Greece, in fact it was the Persian Empire that was the 800 lb gorilla of the Mediterranean World. The war was in no way a conflict between the absolutes of good and evil. Numerous Greek cities sided with Persia, and there were influential pro-Persian lobbies even in the cities (e.g. Athens) that fought it. The exiled Spartan king Demaratos lived at the Persian court and accompanied Xerxes on his Greek expedition, advising him on the way. The Athenian general Themistocles after defeating the Persians on behalf of the Greeks ended up living at the court of Xerxes' successor in later life. The nuanced portrayal of antagonists (while recognizing affiliation to one side) is a special gift of the Greeks and dates back to Homer with his sympathetic portrayal of the Trojans.

Reasons to read this particular edition
The Landmark Herodotus has several useful features. The Histories are all about the geography of the ancient world and maps are essential to understanding them. The Landmark Herodotus has the appropriate maps (127 in all) interspersed with every few pages of the text, supporting every episode for easy reference. Notes on the text occur at the bottom of each page instead of in a separate section at the end of the book, making reference easy. The text is cross-referenced, i.e. when Herodotus refers to something described elsewhere in the Histories notes indicate the precise book and chapter. A short summary of each chapter appears in the adjacent margin as a side note. This makes flipping back and forth easy. Finally, at the top of each page is a running head providing at a glance the date, location and a summary of the action on that page. Twenty-one appendices provide additional information. These are relatively short (a few pages each) and to the point, though of variable quality. Some provide additional information, some only commentary on the text. The index, glossary and bibliography are designed for the general reader wanting more information.

Casual readers may find the world of Herodotus a strange and alien world. The more discerning reader will realize that the descriptions of politicians lying, cheating, changing sides and taking and giving bribes are no different from the headlines of today. This is what made the battle of Thermopylae stand out as an exception rather than the rule (then, as now). When King Leonidas realized he had a rare opportunity to demonstrate moral fiber he decided that it would `not be decent' for the Spartans to leave their post in the face of the much larger Persian army when he had been sent specifically to guard the pass. Instead, he dismissed his allies (perhaps forestalling them deserting anyway, but in any case saving their lives) and led a charge dying together with all 300 of his Spartans. His name has echoed down the millennia.

Tell the Spartans, stranger passing by,
That here obedient to their laws we lie. ... Read more

2. Travels with Herodotus
by Ryszard Kapuscinski
Hardcover: 288 Pages (2007-06-05)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$14.91
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1400043387
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description

From the master of literary reportage whose acclaimed books include Shah of Shahs, The Emperor, and The Shadow of the Sun, an intimate account of his first youthful forays beyond the Iron Curtain.

Just out of university in 1955, Kapuscinski told his editor that he’d like to go abroad. Dreaming no farther than Czechoslovakia, the young reporter found himself sent to India. Wide-eyed and captivated, he would discover in those days his life’s work—to understand and describe the world in its remotest reaches, in all its multiplicity. From the rituals of sunrise at Persepolis to the incongruity of Louis Armstrong performing before a stone-faced crowd in Khartoum, Kapuscinski gives us the non-Western world as he first saw it, through still-virginal Western eyes.

The companion on his travels: a volume of Herodotus, a gift from his first boss. Whether in China, Poland, Iran, or the Congo, it was the “father of history”—and, as Kapuscinski would realize, of globalism—who helped the young correspondent to make sense of events, to find the story where it did not obviously exist. It is this great forerunner’s spirit—both supremely worldly and innately Occidental—that would continue to whet Kapuscinski’s ravenous appetite for discovering the broader world and that has made him our own indispensable companion on any leg of that perpetual journey.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

5-0 out of 5 stars completely wonderful
The last book by this great journalist. It makes perfect sense that he traveled with Herodotus, and that this ancient Greek writer, the first historian, or the first reporter, was like a companion to him. History is stories. Kapuscinsky was most wise in always remembering this and he learned it from Herodotus. His writing is transparent. He writes so you can know. He never forgets that nothing is definitive. He has some very wise things to say about Africa. I like that he sees Africa as part of the world and not as a special case. Herodotus did too. Herodotus wrote before the psychopathology of racism became a kind of law. Kapuscinsky writes inthe aftermath, as the damage trickles down. He narrates in vivid snapshots. In this book he tells you where he came from. He describes Poland after WWII. He describes life under Stalin. He shares his first travel experiences. India! Completely unprepared! Culture shock! In this book you get to understand where his abiding clarity came from. I just loved it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Always Interesting
Ryszard Kapuscinki's final book is a wonderful synthesis of historical musing and inquiry with his own observations during his travels as a journalist. He draws on Herodotus' Histories, quoting from them extensively while drawing the reader into his own fascination with the ancient writer's motivations and sense of wonder at the episodes he recorded. This aspect of the book weaves seamlessly with the author's equally entertaining descriptions of the people and places he is personally experiencing while traveling to some of the 20th century's dark corners of the world.

A perfect blend of historical essay and journalistic reportage that is never boring.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read
Wonderful book, a must read for anyone who is a "global" traveler oreven remotelyinterested in the mechanics of politics in today's world.

5-0 out of 5 stars Travels with Herodotus
This is my first book I have read by Kapuscinski.So I had no idea what I was getting into but when I see Herodotus it always gets my attention.Kapuscinski carries you along on his personal global journies and ties in his experiences and that of his life long mentor, Herodotus.Although, the experiences Kapuscinski had during his post WW2 travels are interesting, his tie in to the similiar difficulties he and Herodotus had 2500 years ago in compiling from both their travels, who he met, what he saw, and what he heard from 1000's of contacts is fascinating and entertaining.
His interpretation of Herodotus writings (The Histories) and insight into the man is informative, believable, and enjoyable.I will always use this book as a companion and reference to futyure readings of Herodotus writings.
Bob Hislop

5-0 out of 5 stars Take this on your next trip
Just as Kapuscinski travels with Herodotus, I recommend traveling with Kapuscinski's new book.It is fantastic.Cozy, yet worldly curious.
I just got back from bopping around Costa Rica with itand it was the perfect companion during my lonely meals and end of day beer drinking.
... Read more

3. The Histories (Penguin Classics)
by Herodotus
Paperback: 784 Pages (2003-04-29)
list price: US$10.00 -- used & new: US$5.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140449086
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
Translated by Aubrey de S&eacutelincourt with an introduction and Notes by John M. Marincola. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most important works ever written
In the history of written language, few books have proved to be as important (and as entertaining) as The Histories by Herodotus.Not only is this the first historical text ever written, it's also a thrilling tale of adventure, intrigue, and heroism.Beginning with the Trojan War (the most important event in history, according to the ancient Greeks), Herodotus tracks the development of the mighty Persian Empire and its eventual clash with the peoples of Greece in the 5th century B.C.Along the way, the reader is given a guided tour of the people and places of the ancient world.If your knowledge of this time period is based exclusively on The History Channel and "300", reading this book will give you a new appreciation for like in the distant past.

Be warned though, Herodotus, at times, is more concerned with telling a good story than a true one.It seems impossible to think that he had access to all the places and events he describes; in many cases, he obviously either invents stories or passes along accepted myths.Furthermore, as the inventor of the history text, he really had no idea where to begin his story or what was relevant to his purpose (which was describing how and why the Greeks were able to defeat the invading Persians).To solve this problem it seems, Herodotus included every source and every anecdote he had access to.To help move the story along for the reader, I would recommend skipping over the section devoted to the geography of Egypt (or any of the other long passages related to mountains, rivers or deserts for that matter) - doing so will not interfer at all with the rest of the book.

This is an endlessly diverting and dense work to read, especially if you don't know very much about ancient history, yet it's also very entertaining and very enlightening.Herodotus' treatment of war, politics and human behavior are still as relevant today as it was 2500 years ago.There is a reason why this book is still read to this day, and anyone who wants to consider themselves "well-read" needs to read this work.

4-0 out of 5 stars The National Geographic of the 5th Century BC.
Great read to get immersed in the 5th century BC world. Herodotus was a great story teller, whether of mythical or real stories. Some pages are really fun to read because of the friendly tone and plain language he uses. There are also a lot of unnecessary data -in my opinion- since he talks about all kinds of stories and gives plenty of detail, true or not that sometimes result boring.

The real interesting part comes in the last quarter of the book, where all the major battles between Persians and Greeks take place. A pity he didn't dwell a little more in the marathon and Thermopylae battles, but we get the big picture.

This is more an ethnographic study of all kinds of tribes that populated Greece and the Near East at the time. It's quite interesting to see what were the limitations as far as geography is concerned, the strange ideas they had about the far and unexplored areas of Europe, their peoples, etc. The comparison of what people thought and what really was is really amusing.

Skip the pages that you care less and enjoy the rest. There's plenty of good reading time here. Great translation, by the way.

2-0 out of 5 stars not for me
This is a long, rambling, unfocused book.I guess the other reviewers are interested in everything covered here, but I wasn't.I tried this book after reading Thucydides.Thucydides has focus.Herodotus does not.Herodotus seems like the ancient equivalent of soap operas.I couldn't get through it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Extremely readable
I picked a copy of the Histories mostly because i had just seen 300 and wanted to learn a bit more about the larger war.now, even though i'm quite interested in history, i was pretty apprehensive about reading a book like this one--besides the obvious length, it's dense, with many names and locations i've never seen before and that are rather obscure.however, i was very surprised by just how readable this translation is.you can tell that Selincourt spent a good deal of time making sure that the translation wasn't a direct, word for word port of the original text.the text, though still distinctly scholarly, is written in a manner not unlike any other mondern history book.beyond that, the account itself is very interesting to anyone with an interest in ancient history.this translation is highly recommended.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Book
This book really brings together all the essential knowledge on the subject. I have a class history book that takes excerts from books of Plutarch, Thucydides and Herodotus and i have go to say that going straight to the source made a big difference in class discussions. A definite must read for you history buffs out there. ... Read more

4. The Histories (Oxford World's Classics)
by Herodotus
Paperback: 840 Pages (1998-09-15)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$5.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0192824252
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
Herodotus is not only known as the `father of history', as Cicero called him, but also the father of ethnography; as well as charting the historical background to the Persian Wars, his curiosity also prompts frequent digression on the cultures of the peoples he introduces. While much of the information he gives has proved to be astonishingly accurate, he also entertains us with delightful tales of one-eyed men and gold-digging ants. This readable new translation is supplemented with expansive notes that provide readers the background that they need to appreciate the book in depth. * Introduction* Textual Note*Bibliography* Chronology * Appendices* Glossary* Maps* Explanatory Notes * Textual Notes* Index of Proper Names ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fun book
This is great, fun book to read. This is a book you can read for enjoyment. I was reluctant to read it because I assumed it would be difficult because it was written around 425 BC. I assumed because it was ancient it would be difficult to read. That was wrong. It's a very entertaining read. It's also extremely interesting. Herodotus was a very smart and learned man for his time and it is interesting to read what he thinks. And the commentaries at the back of the book are also well done. Often the commentaries will note that Herodotus is just wrong in what he says, but sometimes he's right. I find myself switching between Herodotus and the commentaries. If you're at all interested in ancient history, you will not regret buying and reading this.

1-0 out of 5 stars Not beneficial!!!
Too intellectual! Too narrow! So cumbersome!Additionally, the translation, from Greek to English, is definitely not accurate. There exists ACCURATE translations of this wonderful work of Herodotus. These intellectuals seems to have written this book to astound their fellow literati; not to expound the truth.

4-0 out of 5 stars Magnificent text, great translation, helpful notes, misguided organization
Herodotus's Histories are a treasure trove of wisdom, anecdotes and sheer joy. In the words of Robert D. Kaplan, "Thucydides may have been the more trustworthy historian, but Herodotus would have been more fun to share a wineskin with--and is a better guide to the god-filled geopolitics of the current era." (Kaplan's remarkable article on Herodotus, titled "A Historian for our Time", is available at [...]

I fully agree with other reviewers about the beauty of this translation, which results in a fluent and pleasant text. I am also overwhelmed at the abundance of notes and commentaries about perhaps most paragraphs in the book.

The problem is, while the translation increases our reading pleasure, the organization of this edition does not help the reader: the use of endnotes rather than footnotes means that readers have to keep moving to and fro between the text and the end of the book. Worse still, there is no footnote numbering, so readers must turn at virtually every paragraph to the end of the book, so as not to miss possible clarification. Eventually, I decided to check before reading each of the nine chapters ("Books") and mark the endnoted paragraphs myself.

Perhaps Oxford's intention was, as another reviewer put it, to ensure that notes were "unobtrusive" and the reader would have the clean text before his eyes. I beg to differ: few modern readers could do without the additional explanations provided in the notes. And, if they felt they could, or so wished, they would have a wealth of translations to choose from, much poorer in notes than this one.

I think no other edition of the "Histories" has so many maps. These are necessary and helpful. But they could have been clearer. In some of them, it is hard to tell land from sea, for example.

I do look forward to a "Landmark Herodotus" similar to the magnificent "Landmark Thucydides", with notes AND maps exactly where they are needed, so the reader never has to leave the page he is reading. This may sound shallow, but it greatly facilitates concentration. And this, after all, is supposed to be one of the main benefits of a fluent and pleasant text in the first place.

5-0 out of 5 stars Joy to read!
Growing up in Turkey, every student had to study world history including the events covered in this book. However, our history lessons consisted of memorizing dates and names of what was in the state approved text books. The contrast of that approach, to learning history by reading the original works is huge. What a joy it is to read Herodotus' book! The book is about the Persian Empire which was huge extending from India and Central Asia to the Danube in Europe. I loved the diversions from the main events and all the stories and myths.Besides the well known Persian/Greek wars there were so many other lesser known but just as exciting events. One of them was Darius's expedition into Southern Russia to attack the nomadic Scythians. I didn't realize that Darius attacked them from the West crossing the Danube.The building of the bridge over Danube and the hardships in crossing rivers in old times was eye opening.I also loved the maps and read all the 200 pages! of historical notes and a section on ancient weights, units, and money.

If you enjoyed this book you might also enjoy the "Peloponnesian War" by Donald Kagan. Although written by a contemporary historian, it reads as if you are watching the events in person. Fantastic reading for history lovers.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent edition
I'm not going to review the book itself, just point out that this is, if not the best, one of the best editions of Herodotus' Histories available in the English language. You can't go wrong with this one.

Herodotus is extremely readable no matter what translation you choose, but Robin Waterfield's translation is a delight to read and flows better than any other I've tried. The translation is not the only reason to buy this edition, though. Oxford also included lots of supplementary information. Carolyn Dewald provides us with a great introduction, going over Herodotus' style, narrative habits, themes, and the importance of the Histories as history. Dewald has also written short commentaries on each of the books, which are followed by very informative paragraph-by-paragraph notes. These notes alone make this edition worth the investment.

Short glossaries of greek and foreign terms used by Herodotus are also included, as well as 10 very useful maps, and notes on greek clothing, weights, measures, money and distances. ... Read more

5. The History: Herodotus (Great Minds Series)
by Herodotus
 Paperback: 613 Pages (1992-11)
list price: US$16.00 -- used & new: US$11.58
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0879757779
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Herodotus of Halicarnassus was born about 484 B.C. and died some 60 years later. He traveledover much of the known ancient world, making trips to places such as southern Italy, lower Egypt, and theCaucasus. His great History, the first major prose work in world literature, is an account of hisworld at the time of the Persian Wars. The book, here ably translated by University of Chicago scholarDavid Grene, earned Herodotus the epithet "The Father of History" in ancient times. Hedistinguishes between the things seen with his own eyes and those of which he had only heard. But he wasoften too credulous of things told to him by his peers along the way, for which reason his youngercontemporary Thucydides called him "The Father of Lies." Renowned in his own time for hishumanity and wide-ranging curiosity, Herodotus shows an insatiable appetite for both useful informationand a good yarn, and The History is a starting point for any student of the past.Book Description

David Grene, one of the best known translators of the Greek classics, splendidly captures the peculiar quality of Herodotus, the father of history.

Here is the historian, investigating and judging what he has seen, heard, and read, and seeking out the true causes and consequences of the great deeds of the past. In his History, the war between the Greeks and Persians, the origins of their enmity, and all the more general features of the civilizations of the world of his day are seen as a unity and expressed as the vision of one man who as a child lived through the last of the great acts in this universal drama.

In Grene's remarkable translation and commentary, we see the historian as a storyteller, combining through his own narration the skeletal "historical" facts and the imaginative reality toward which his story reaches. Herodotus emerges in all his charm and complexity as a writer and the first historian in the Western tradition, perhaps unique in the way he has seen the interrelation of fact and fantasy.

"Reading Herodotus in English has never been so much fun. . . . Herodotus crowds his fresco-like pages with all shades of humanity. Whether Herodotus's view is 'tragic,' mythical, or merely common sense, it provided him with a moral salt with which the diversity of mankind could be savored. And savor it we do in David Grene's translation."—Thomas D'Evelyn, Christian Science Monitor

"Grene's work is a monument to what translation intends, and to what it is hungry to accomplish. . . . Herodotus gives more sheer pleasure than almost any other writer."—Peter Levi, New York Times Book Review

... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good version of "The History"
David Grene's translation of Herodotus' "The History" is a good version of the Greek historian's magnum opus.

The Introduction provides context for the translation to come.It is useful and functional, although Knox' introductions to The Iliad and The Odyssey (Fagles' translations) strike me as better at putting the work in its place.Nonetheless, the Introduction is serviceable.Grene notes of Herodotus' work that" "There are two worlds of meaning that are constantly in Herodotus' head.The one is that of human calculation, reason, cleverness, passion, happiness.There, one knows what is happening and, more or less, who is the agent of cause.The other is the will of Gods, or fate, or the intervention of daimons."

In the History itself, Herodotus ranges widely geographically, and considers many different countries.With these, he discusses in detail such varied matters as hygiene, sex, culture, animals, religion, geographical features, and so on.He appears to have tried to ascertain as best as he could what the actuality was and what hearsay or rumor was.One of the more interesting examples of this is his effort to understand the role of Helen in the Trojan War (2, 120).Here, he doubts the veracity of Homer's rendering of the causes of the war.He believes that Helen never did go to Troy, because Priam would not have been willing to risk his empire over one woman.At other places, he clearly states the different versions of some incident and then renders his own best judgment as to what he thought the reality was.In short, he did not simply retell tales that he heard.When he is not sure what actually happened, he says so (e.g., 1, 49; 1, 75).

In the end, Herodotus has done a great service for many generations, by putting down, as best he could, his understanding of the history of the various actors of his time and before.The reader will find it difficult to keep all the people and countries straight.The volume features a useful set of maps, providing a sense of the different countries mentioned, as well as the travels of armies on conquests.

The book moves ahead in a majestic trajectory to ultimately describe the Persian-Greek War, with Xerxes leading his great force into Greece. Herodotus provides detail on many aspects of this conflict, which the Greeks eventually won, after battles at Thermopylae, Salamis, and Platea.

For an early effort at history, Herodotus' work is important to be aware of.And Grene's translation makes the work accessible to readers today.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good modern translation of the First Historian.
I have always thought of Herodotus as boring, full of digressions and hot air.He is, however, the First Historian, and therefore needs to be digested by any educated person.I first tried the Rawlinson translation,The Histories (Everyman's Library (Paper)) managed to struggle through it, but found it turgid and indeed boring.I then looked at Walter Blanco's translation in the Norton Critical Edition.Herodotus: The Histories : New Translation, Selections, Backgrounds, Commentaries (Norton Critical Editions)Blanco's version is easier to read than Rawlinson's, but is full of modern American casualisms which seemed incongruous.Blanco's version is also incomplete, and if I were going to read Herodotus, I wanted to read his entire story,just not selections.Some of Blanco's omissions are significant, including most of Book IX, which contains most of the incidents that link the history of Herodotus to that of Thucydides.The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War

I then read David Grene's translation.I still found the early sections on the history of Egypt and Persia and all the digressions about the Scythians and Libyans tedious, but Grene's language is easy to follow and appropriate to the subject, and as I continued reading the narrative began to flow and became quite enjoyable.(I haven't read the MacaulayThe Histories (Barnes & Noble Classics) or SelincourtThe Histories (Penguin Classics) translations.)

R.G. Collingwood in "The Idea of History" The Idea of History: With Lectures 1926-1928rates Herodotus, with all his faults, as superior to Thucydides.This surprised me, as I had always heard Thucydides held up as the paradigm of what a true historian should be.But Collingwood has a point.With all his digressions, myths, and tall tales, Herodotus does his best to evaluate his sources and then tries to tell us as best he can what actually happened, without taking sides and without pointing morals.Thucydides wants to teach and has a definite moral point of view, which no doubt influenced his selection and presentation of the facts.

Herodotus should be read and digested by every educated person, and David Grene's translation makes that easier to do.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent, also try others
The translation, as I see it, makes this classic contemporary but also brings one--perhaps--into ancient minds that are like ours but also unlike ours. Nothing will ever be perfect here until educated people in this culture become scholars of Greek again, like that'll ever happen.

Kudos to Sally from Florida down below who is reading such Classics to fill in the gaps in her education. Sally, you are scarcely alone and I can cite endless examples of recent conscientious graduates from decent-to-great schools who feel the same way. Curiously, while we have been emphasizing education in the cultures of other "peoples," we've simultaneously been ignoring or actively dismantling the history and traditions of this culture. I'm stunned that anyone can complain about Euro-centrism and related bug-a-boos when few college graduates know anything at all about Euro-American history or culture!

5-0 out of 5 stars Grene wins on the strength of his translation
By an costly combination of circumstances, I wound up recently linking three different translations in reading through Herodotus. Here's a comparative review of each, which I'm posting for each work.

1. Translation by G.C. Macaulay and revised throughout by Donald Lateiner; published by Barnes and Noble Classics in 2004, but the Macaulay translation is from around 1890.

I started with this one, attracted by the extensive introduction by Donald Lateiner. That intro was solid and revealed much that I hadn't been aware of. But the translation, even after Lateiner's revisions, is awkward and stilted. Many of the pronoun references are confusing, making it difficult to follow the narrative thread.

Here's about half of a single sentence: "Now Miltiades son of Kimon had thus taken possession of Lemnos:--After the Pelasgians had been cast out of Attica by the Athenians, whether justly or unjustly,--for about this I cannot tell except the things reported, which are these:--Hecataios on the one hand, the son of Hegesander, said in his history that it was done unjustly: for he said that when the Athenians saw the land which extends below Hymettos, which they had themselves given them to dwell in, as payment for the wall built round the Acropolis in former times, when the Athenians, I say, saw that the land was made good by cultivation, which before was bad or worthless, they were seized with jealousy and with longing to possess the land, and so drove them out, not alleging any other pretext: ..."

The footnotes are generally helpful, although many only state the obvious. They are all integrated with the text, making it unnecessary to keep paging to the back. The text is followed by some interesting additions: A "Repertory" of English translations, a list of comments and works "inspired" by Herodotus, further "comments and questions", an extensive bibliography, and two good Indices with that of proper names separate from the general index.

Maps: There are eight, all of which appear to be from the original Macaulay publication. In any case, they do not appear to be based on the most recent cartography. The first, more extensive maps are helpful, but, to my mind, the others are crudely drawn and lack important detail.Still, I'd give this edition a good rating for maps, since it turns out that eight is a comparatively generous serving.

2. Translation by Aubrey de Selincourt in 1954; revised by John Marincola in 1972, 1996, and 2003; published by Penguin Classics.

Disappointed by the Macaulay/Lateiner translation, I picked this one up on the basis of the strong reputation of Penguin Classics. It has another good introduction, followed by a limited bibliography. The translation itself is much easier to digest.

Here's how it renders the same passage as above: "The events which led to Miltiades' capture of Lemnos were as follows. The Athenians had forced certain Pelasgians to leave Attica. Whether or not they were justified in doing this is not clear; all I can offer are the two contradictory accounts, that of the Athenians themselves, on the one side, and of Hecataeus the son of Hegesander on the other. Hecataeus in his History maintains that the Athenians were in the wrong. According to him, they had given the Pelasgians in payment for building the wall round the Acropolis a tract of land, of poor quality and in bad condition, at the foot of Mt Hymettus; the Pelasgians had improved the land, and when the Athenians saw it changed out of recognition and in first-rate order, they grudged the gift and longed to take it back, until without further justification they forcibly ejected the occupants."

The footnotes, which are more extensive and informative than Lateiner's, are unfortunately all gathered as endnotes, necessitating frequent paging back and forth. There's a brief Glossary, which is far from adequate. A decent Index closes the edition.

Maps: There are only four, gathered together at the front. None of the battle sites are represented. The maps are well-drawn, but sacrifice detail for clarity. This was this edition's weakest aspect. It also lacks the many extras provided by Lateiner.

3. Translation by David Grene; published by the University of Chicago Press, 1987

A friend who owns a used book store provided this in time for the last 2 books of The History. There's a long Introduction, with a deeper focus than the others. Grene says this about his translation: "The English in which Herodotus comes before us should be direct, powerful, and clear but also, I think, a little odd." I found this to be a worthy approach and one which Grene achieves in practice, with little loss of clarity.

Here's that same passage: "Now this is the story of how Miltiades took Lemnos. The Pelasgians had been driven out of Attica by the Athenians--whether justly or otherwise I cannot say, only that Hecataeus, son of Hegisander, mentions it in his account and says that it was unjustly; for, he says, the Athenians had given the Pelasgians a piece of land to live in, under Hymettus, in payment for the wall that was at one time drawn around the Acropolis; and when the Athenians saw this place, which had before been very poor and worthless, now well tilled, they were seized with envy and longing to possess it and drove the Pelasgians out, urging no other pretext against them."

Grene has both footnotes and endnotes, the latter being longer and applicable to whole sections. There is a good Index that also attempts to provide explanatory material. That was a good idea, but it's applied somewhat randomly and was thus more frustrating than helpful.

Maps: There are 4 maps at the end and an additional 4 within the text. Of the 3 editions, this is the only one to include a map of Xerxes' route, but it has a major error. It also has the best map of Ionia.

I'd recommend Grene on the strength of his translation. But Lateiner has the best additional material. None of the three has sufficient maps for anyone who, like I, gets hung up on the many unfamiliar place names in Herodotus. You'll need a companion book for a better understanding of the geography; I haven't found an ideal solution, but both Wars of the Ancient Greeks by Victor Davis Hanson and The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece were helpful.

5-0 out of 5 stars Try another translation
Herodotus is great. Don't look to him for accurate facts and figures, which a lot of people expect out of a history these days, because I doubt he was truly concerned with how many Persians there were exactly but rather with illustrating a point about the nature of the Persian regime. So when you run across the footnotes poking fun at him for his "inaccuracies," "mistakes," etc, just skip over them as it's really not relevant. Grene's translation is better than I could do yet, but I'm sure there are better ones out there closer to the original in spirit. I haven't read any others though, so I may be wrong. ... Read more

6. Herodotus: The Histories (Penguin Classics)
by Herodotus
Paperback: 688 Pages (1996-09-01)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$89.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0140446389
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (30)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fact, Fiction, and Political Insight
Herodotus (c. 485 BC-427 BC)was one of the first if not the first Western historian. His book titled THE HISTORIES is a collage of historical accounts, social and political commentary, plus geography. Herodotus'work contains exaggerations and misconceptions, but he also reveals that many of the Greek rulers were as tyrannical as their "Asian" counterparts.

One useful characteristic of this book is that Herodotus gave his readers a detailed geography of Egypt and parts of Western Asia. Some of these descriptions are in error, but some of his descriptions are good. What may surprise readers is Herodotus' attempt to combine geography with history. Given the fact that too many people in contemporary America cannot locate the oceans on a globe or world map, Herotodus' goegraphical accounts were surprisingly accurate given his limited resources. Readers should know that geography has influenced historical events.

Probably the best known sections of the book are Herodotus' treatment of the Persian Wars. Some of his commentary on the Persian Wars is obviously exaggerations. For example, Herodotus states that the Persians invaded Greece with an army of five million men which was well beyond the resources of the Ancients and even many countries today. Yet, his accounts of the Battle of Marathon (490 B.C.)are detailed. Herodotus informed readers of Miltiades (c. 520 BC-c. 480 BC)military ability in defeating a Persian army twice the size of the Athenian army.

Herodotus gave readers careful accounts of political maneuvering of the Athenian admiral Themistocles (c. 527 BC-c. 460 BC ) successfully commanded Athenian naval forces vs. the Persians at the Battle of Salmais in 480 BC. Yet, Themistocles ended his days in the court of Xerces who was the Persian emperor. Herodotus showed insight into the nature of politics and undermined the notiond of political virtue by detailing the political designs of the Greeks.

As stated above Herodotus exaggerated the size of the Persian forces during the second Persian War which began in 480 BC. On the other hand, Herodotus showed himself as a careful writer regarding the Battle of Thermopylae. Herodotus' surprisingly detailed account of this battle exaggerates the Spartans at the expense of the Persians. He could have mentioned that Persian military tactis were disigned for flat desert and steppe terrain. But Herodotus gave vivid detail of the three day battle. Readers should note that some popular descriptions of this battle are simply wrong. The Spartan commanded, Leonides, had more than his 300 elite troops. He also had Spartan allied forces of approxmiately 7,000 men. Herodotus' account of this battle is probably the best we have.

As mentioned above, Herodotus knew how treacherous and dangerous political power was and is. A good example of this understanding is Herodotus' account of the Corinthian tyrant named Periander. According to Herodotus Periander sent a herald to visit the tyrant of Miletus named Thrasybulus. Supposedly Thrasyulus to this herald to a corn field and destroyed the best crops without saying much. The herald reported to Periander these obversations and complained that Thrasybulus was apparently mad in the wanton destruction of the best of the crops. Yet,Periander understood well how he as a tyrant should rule. The message was that Periander should destroy the best and most talented of his citizens to remain in firm control of Corinth.

Other reviwers have chided Herodotus for digressions from his themes. This is an accurate obversation. Herodotus stated he would return to a certain topic after such digression and apparently forgot. Herodotus's THE HISTORIES is an oleo of social/political commentary, geography, history, and at times gossip. Yet this book has interesting anecdotes and some good detailed descriptions. Herodotus' THE HISTORIES is an early history and written record that informed readers of important events in Ancient Greek history. Readers should not be too critical of Herodotus given his limited resources. Readers should also note that Herodotus' THE HISTORIES is one of the very few written resources we of have of an important era in Ancient Greek history.

5-0 out of 5 stars . . . excellent for Graduate students and pundits as well.
The Histories, as pointed out by a previous reviewer, are a vital text that every person who has succeeded in graduating high school should be exposed to. It should be included in all World Literature approaches, which is why, if you are reading this review for a reference or encouragement to read the Histories, take it just as that.

I would simply like to stipulate that, while many view the book (as mentioned in previous reviews) as "fun" and for "the laymen," it is also a gateway to the classical works, of many that only lofty intellectuals clame credible interpretations; the rest of us laymens [sic] are in a state of perpetual comitatus. Herodutus is vital, credible (well, the read is credible), viable, and a neccesity to anyone who has an inkling of interest in the classics. If you fit in this category, READ THE BOOK!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome book by our Father of History
This book rocks the bookshelf! Not only do you get history, you get zoology, anthropology, myth, and geography. There are many funny things too. You will read about the gold digging ants and the ox that cooks itself. The history concerning the great Persian Wars are spiced up with the dramatics and an exaggeration of numbers. Herodotus believes that Xerses invading army was 3,000,000 strong not including the fleet. The army was so big that it took one week to cross the bridge over the Hellespont and they drank whole rivers dry, according to Herodotus. Read about the heroes of Marathon and Thermopylae in this epic battle between East and West. This is surely a classic for all the ages. Read it today!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for undergraduates and the layperson
Herodotus is often called the "father of history" or if one is more picky and less kind the "father of lies".Regardless of which title you believe he deserves, his "Histories" are a valuable source of information about the Ancient Greek world and their opinions and experiences with other ancient peoples.This translation by de Selincourt and Marincola flows smoothly, students and laypeople should have little trouble understanding the content at least on the surface.Furthermore they have done all of us a great service by keeping traditional enumeration of the lines.My only complaint are the endnotes -- I hate endnotes because I have seen how rarely readers will use them compared to footnotes.Currently (fall 2002) the professor I'm assisting is using this in his ancient survey course.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Just for Scholars
Let's assume you are not a classics major, and you are not all that interested in military history. Should you read the "Histories" of Herodotus? The answer is a resounding "Yes", and here are some of the reasons why:

While the bulk of the book is devoted to the Persian Wars (and you certainly can skip over the catalogs and battle details) it's the digressions and anecdotes that make Herodotus fascinating reading. Dates, numbers and even names are often of dubious validity, so you need not waste a lot of time on them. The political, social, ethnographic and anthropological commentary is more intriguing, albeit frequently wide of the mark. But that is exactly why you should read it: what and where is "the mark"? If a sophisticated writer and traveler like H. accepted obvious whoppers at face value and passed them on to credulous readers - what does that tell us about our own credulity?

The intrigues and deceptions involved in forging alliances; the constant juggling of self-interest vs. "the greater good"; the importance of skillful rhetoric and propaganda in promoting one's cause; the treachery and rapaciousness of famous leaders like Themistocles, and the self-indulgence and hubris of splendid figures like Xerxes; the extreme dependence of Greeks and Persians alike on oracles and omens ( nowadays we call them "polls"): all these phenomena are uncomfortably familiar to us.

Once you have become engrossed in H.'s narrative, you may want to linger a little over some of the "human achievements" and "great and marvellous deeds" he promises to record. There is for instance the canal Xerxes is said to have constructed across Athos, in order to avoid circumnavigation of the peninsula - an engineering feat and display of hubris reminiscent of "Fitzcarraldo". Until recently, no trace of this technical marvel had been found. But lo: a team of British and Greek geophysicists has located the structure with seismic measurements, as reported in the "Journal of Applied Geophysics". So, while a healthy dose of skepticism is in order (as with all historiographic literature), some achievements that had been doubted by scholars may turn out to be "real" after all.

H. closes his wide-ranging narrative with a statement attributed to Cyrus, whom he credits with foresight and wisdom: "Soft countries breed soft men. It is not the property of any one soil to produce fine fruits and good soldiers too." Therefore "the Persians should choose to live in a rugged land and rule rather than to cultivate rich plains and be slaves to others". Now there is a thought worth pondering!

A smooth translation and an exemplary critical apparatus combine to engage the reader's curiosity and invite reflection. ... Read more

7. Herodotus: The Histories : New Translation, Selections, Backgrounds, Commentaries (Norton Critical Editions)
by Herodotus, Walter Blanco
Paperback: 433 Pages (1992-01)
list price: US$14.20 -- used & new: US$11.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0393959465
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for history buffs.
If either "The English Patient" or "300" peaked your interest in Herodotus and Greek history, you couldn't do much better than this version, with a great deal to say about the first historian, or the first gossip columnist.If you didn't find time to read Herodotus as an undergraduate, it's never too late, since he is as readable as ever.A good read for a non-Historian.

4-0 out of 5 stars The First Historian.
Herodotus was the first historian as we now understand the term.That is, he was the first to examine and compare sources of information about past events and to write them down.His reputation has waxed and waned over the centuries, and at the present time he is less well thought of than Thucydides.Yet CollingwoodThe Idea of History: With Lectures 1926-1928 favors Herodotus over Thucydides because Herodotus simply tries to tell us as best he can what actually happened, while Thucydides has a moral tale to tell, and may have (we can't be sure) tailored his narrative to fit his moral.

Be that as it may, Herodotus should be read by every educated person, since Western culture and civilization began in his time, and the events he describes affect us to this day.

Since most of us do not read ancient Greek, the question then arises as to which translation to read.Walter Blanco's translation in this Norton Critical Edition is quite good, but is by no means perfect.He tends to use casual language modern Americans are comfortable with, but this probably isn't the tone in which Herodotus wrote his books.There is evidence that he declaimed them orally to audiences in rather formal performances, more like modern dramatic readings than reading silently to oneself.

Blanco's version is definitely an improvement over the 19th century standard by RawlinsonThe Persian Wars (Modern Library College Editions), but David Grene's more formal language in The History seems more appropriate to me.There is also a very interesting online version by Shlomo Felberbaum, available at www.losttrails.com.

Here is a famous incident from Book VIII in each version:

Rawlinson:"And Themistocles succeeded in detaining the fleet in the way which I will now relate.He made over to Eurybiades five talents out of the thirty paid him, which he gave as if they came from himself; ..."

Grene:"This is how Themistocles made the Greeks stop there.He gave a share - five talents - of the money to Eurybiades, as though the money came from himself."

Blanco:"This is how Themistocles induced the Greeks to stay.He took three hundred pounds of this silver and gave it to Eurybiades as it if were actually coming from himself."

Felberbaum:"Then Themistocles made the Greeks hold up this way: to Eurybiades of that money he gave as a share five talents as if from his own forsooth he were making the gift."

A significant limitation of the Norton Edition is that it is not a complete translation.Many sections are left out, for example most of Book IX, which gives some of the links with the events later taken up by Thucydides.If you want to read all of Herodotus you won't get it in this translation, which is why I gave it four stars rather than five.

On the plus side, the background and commentary selections are very informative and helpful, and are alone well worth the price of the book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding New Translation
This is a supurb presentation of the masterpiece of ancient history. The comentaries and backgrounds are especially valuable in developing an appreciation for the richness of our cultural heritage.This should enhance the accessibility of Herodotus to a wide audience. There are no better sources available.

5-0 out of 5 stars A short moral history of the West
Often called "the father of history" Herodotus wrote the history of the Persian Wars more than one thousand years ago. The Persian Wars were aseries of wars between the Powerful Persian empires of Xerxes and Dariusand a handful of Greek cities, most notably Athens and Sparta.The PersianWars set the tone for many subsequent themes in Western Historyincluding:

1. The concept of preserving Western culture from Easterninvaders. This theme occurs again and again in the conflicts between Romeand Parthia, the latter Roman Empire and the Huns, Charlamagne and theSaracens, late Medieval Europe and the Mongols, and contemporary Hollywoodpropaganda films about Arab terrorists. 2. The idea of a highly motivatedand cunning underdog defeating a powerful but sloppy enemy.3. The needfor alliances and team work.

The most interesting part of The Histories,however is not the politics or the battles but the moral lessons thatHerodotus tried to impart. A recurring theme in The Histories is the ideathat the Greeks defeated the Persians because the Greeks acted in Harmonywith nature while the Persians defied nature. Herodotus provides countlessanecdotes of the hubris of Persian emperors who attempted to dominatenature by bridging the Hellespont , draining an offending river by diggingthousands of diverting canals, or throwing shackles into the ocean tosymbolize its submission to the Emperor. Herodotus viewed these actions asHubris because they contained a false assumption of man's superiority overnature.

It is interesting that the father of Western History derived hisculture's legitimacy from its respectful interaction with nature. What onEarth would he make of us now?

5-0 out of 5 stars the best of the Greeks
First of all, if you haven't had the pleasure of reading any of the Norton Critical Editions of any famous works, always opt for them.As usual, this is a superb edition with tons of scholarly material and backgroundinformation.If you like Greek history, it's hard to find anything thatyou would not like about Herodotus's histories.Many consider him thefather of all history, and after you read him, you'll see why.On top ofbeing a great historian, you'll find plenty of personal anecdotes about theRomans' escapes in Egypt, Cyrus's mistakes and achievments, and Xerxes'victories.This will make you a quick expert in Greek history and willentertain you with anecdotes from the Greek forays into Africa and theMediterrean.You'll never think of any of the Greek leaders the same wayagain after you read Herodotus' gossip column account.You can't alwaystrust him, but it's muchmore entertaining than Thucydides's histories. ... Read more

8. The Histories (Everyman's Library)
by Herodotus
Hardcover: 816 Pages (1997-03-25)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$12.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375400613
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Since the release of the film version of Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient, there has been renewed interest in the Histories of Herodotus--the book the dying patient treasures so much.

The writings of Herodotus are the ground zero of Western history.He lived during the fifth century B.C.E, and his Histories chronicle the events of the Persian Wars, which were within living memory when he wrote. He was the first writer to examine real, rather than mythical history, and although his work lacks the rigor of later histories, it has a breathtaking scope.Herodotus is a wonderful storyteller, and in recalling the wars with Persian invaders, he ranges across the ancient world, mixing politics with natural history and anthropology. These are traveler's tales, and a great deal of their appeal to a modern audience lies in the way Herodotus describes the cultures that influence his story. The societies of Scythians, Arabs, and Egyptians are depicted in detail, from their political structures to their dining habits. Herodotus created a sense of history for his people, and he gives us a picture of a distant past that reminds us of the vast continuum of civilization.Book Description
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

Herodotus is not only the father of the art and the science of historical writing but also one of the Western tradition's most compelling storytellers. In tales such as that of Gyges—who murders Candaules, the king of Lydia, and unsurps his throne and his marriage bed, thereby bringing on, generations later, war with the Persians—he laid bare the intricate human entanglements at the core of great historical events. In his love for the stranger, more marvelous facts of the world, he infused his magnificent history with a continuous awareness of the mythic and the wonderful. For more than a hundred generations, his supple, lucid prose has drawn readers into his panoramic vision of the war between the Greek city-states and the great empire to the east. And in the generosity of his spirit, in the instinctive empiricism that took him searching over much of the known world for information, in the care he took with sources and historical evidence, in his freedom from intolerance and prejudice, he virtually defined the rational, humane spirit that is the enduring legacy of Greek civilization. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (12)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
A great book! For any history buff out there, this is a must read! Herodotus clearly is the, "Father of History."

1-0 out of 5 stars Herodotus: The Father of History
A must have for any history buff. Not only is this book facinating but it teaches important lessons about human nature.Through Solon and Croesus' conversations one can learn what it truly means to be "happy". Or, through the actions of the 300 Spartans one can learn what bravery realy is.This is a very important work and it is my opinion that everyone should read it at some point in their life.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Time Machine
The nine books of History by Herodotus try to be a history of the Persian Empire and its wars with the Greeks, but by telling both peoples' story, the author ends up by narrating the history of the whole world known to him. Although Herodotus is the first known "serious" historian, he is not the first "scientific" one (that would be Thucydides), due to the fact that Herodotus still believes in gods and their direct intervention in human affairs. Nevertheless, in an interesting sort of transition to "modern" history, he has doubts about the stories and legends he picks up, and then he tries to give rationalized explanations of the events he relates. Even so, with inexactitudes and mixing fact with fiction, he renders a most vivid portrait of the Ancient World, so like ours in substance and so different in form. Something to remark is how much we have inherited and preserved from the Greeks, our most influential cultural ancestors.

In Book I, H. talks about the mythical precedents of clashes between Greek peoples and Asian "barbarians". Then he tells the story of the richest man in the world, Croesus, the king of Lydia, the first man to attack and conquer the Ionians, Greek peoples inhabiting the Eastern coast of the Aegean sea. Croesus then consults an oracle asking if he should attack the powerful Persians, to which the oracle answers: "do it and you will destroy a great empire", as he does: he destroys his own empire. Thus begins the expansionist policy of the Persians. H. then goes on to tell the ancient history of the Medes, the predecessors of the Persians, and how king Cyrus takes power. Cyrus proceeds to attack practically all his neighbors, increasing his empire before dying.

In Book II, Cambises inherits the Persian throne and decides to invade Egypt, which is the subject of the whole book. Herodotus, always and thankfully the king of digression, tells us the whole story of myths, geography, habits and "recent" history of Egypt, in one of the most fascinating parts of his work. Book III tells the story of Cambises's rule, the rebellion of the Magicians, the plot of the Seven and the ascension of Darius, whose kingdom is described in the last part. Book IV relates Darius's (failed) campaign against the Scythes, peoples from the Nothern coast of the Black Sea, truly exotic, primitive and savage guys. He elaborates on the habits and strange life they live. Book V includes the Thracian and Macedonian invasions, as well as the Ionian revolt. Book VI brings us to the First Median War's first part, the expedition of Mardonius which finishes in the massive shipwreck of the Persian fleet in Mount Athos. Then comes a digression (a fascinating one) on the history of Sparta, and then the second expedition, which ends up in disaster in the battle of Marathon. In Book VII we see the start of the Second Median War. It includes preparations and the beginning of the invasion, as well as the naval battles of Magnesia and the battle of Thermopylae. Book VIII tells the end of the operations of year 480-479 B.C.: the naval battle of Arthemisius, the Persian advance through Central Greece, the evacuation and sack of Athens, the battle of Salamis (a crucial turning point of Western Culture's history), Persian King Xerxes's flight and the winter recess at Thessalia. Finally, in Book IX Herodotus talks about the military operations of the following year, the second take of Athens, the battle of Plathea, the Greek decisive victory, the Persians' escape, and the final digression over the wisdom of Cyrus.

Few books are so rich in information, stories, legends, and analysis as this one. Herodotus comes alive as a superb, good-willed historian, a hard worker. For all its depth and amplitude, his style is always quick and easy to read. He includes many a good story and has a sense of humor. It's fun to hear his admonitions and preventions like you were a man of his time, a contemporary reader. He was born in Halycarnassus, where today is South Western Turkey. Born to a rich family, they are forced to escape, for political reasons, to the island of Samos. There he decides to travel around for ten years, time during which he collected the material for his masterpiece. Almost always, he tries to give more than one account of facts, leaving the reader to decide whcih one to believe. He interviews everyone he can, compares official records and documents, analyzes the situation, and when he tells his own opinion, he is straightforward about it. Fun, interesting, educational, this book is truly a time mechine.

5-0 out of 5 stars The father of History is also a good historian
The Histories is sheer ecstasy and emotion, and the reader is kept attentive trough the many fascinating histories narrated by Herodotus, always keen on given the reader the most accurate version to the many stories he was told regarding some important issue. By this many accounts he begins to end the tradition of oral transmission in the Greek culture, a powerful tradition which was responsible for the preservation to posterity of works of such caliber as the Odyssey and the Iliad, from Ulysses. In Herodotus view, the written report of the many different points of view would adduce credence to the histories.

The main focus of The Histories is on the battles of the Peloponnesus war, and the chapters revolve around the feats of the Persians and Greeks for the supremacy of Europe and Asia Minor. His is a 360 degrees analysis of customs, culture and habits of war and peace of the most variegated people, being him eyewitness to many events reports. Above all, and part of the merit must be given to the excellent translation to English, Herodotus is an expert with words and narrates many pretty interesting tales in a way reminiscent of Arabian nights: the dialogues between Solon the legislator and Croesus, the richest man in the world, the customs of some people who ate their deceased kin, but not if they died sick, the battle between the cavalry of Croesus and the camel riders of Cyrus, the detailed descriptions of the customs of Egypt and the supposition by Herodotus that the Greeks inherited much of their pantheon from them, the origin of the myth of Cyrus having a bitch as a suckling mother (paralleling the myth of the foundation of Rome), and many etceteras.

I was quite surprised with the overall quality of the book and, mostly, by the many excellent ideas Herodotus gives for each and every act of the likes as Cyrus, Darius, Croesus and many more. His geographical descriptions of each and every territory he interested on, adds luster to his narrative and are not all boring, quite to the contrary, serving always as a background to some historical events he analyses. His demystifying of Greek ideal of being the center of the earth, his projection of the fulfillment of the Red Sea by the Nile water flow in the next 20.000 years gives a vague idea of the man that lies behind the book and who has a lot to teach, even if he does not say so, to future generations, also to our.

I think that every reader interested in the ideas of great thinkers of the Humanity, should take a look upon Herodotus and his Histories. I am sure he/she will not be disappointed, being the Histories, in my humble opinion, one of the 100 best books to be read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Father of History
Herodotus is called "the father of history" and this book is the reason why. It's the earliest attempt at unbiased history, and that attempt was the catalyst for those historians who followe:Thucydides, Xenophon, etc. Even the common usage of the word "histories"--meaning "inquiries"--is due to Herodotus.

This book is filled with stories of all of the people with whom Herodotus was familiar in the ancient Mediterranean world, and a remarkable number of his stories and his descriptions are still considered to be accurate. Of course, some are off a bit, and some are way off the mark, but understanding how well he did--given the information and the means of communication and transportation that were available to him--leave me in awe.
The stories are colorful and wonderful. I was often amazed at how I'd known of many of them before without realizing that they'd come from Herodotus. Still, there are some major drawbacks to reading Herodotus.

First of all, it helps to have an understanding of the ancient world that Herodotus describes. A good map would have been a helpful appendix, but Google searches and some good historical websites are great aids to understanding all of the peoples and places he describes.

Second, Herodotus' writing is not linear in the way that history is written today. His narrative is multi-leveled and sometimes circular as he describes an area or a group of people, then describes those who came before them or influenced them. If you can keep this in mind, it helps to understand why he describes what seem to be tangential topics.

If you're interested in ancient history or like colorful stories, I HIGHLY recommend reading Herodotus. I wish that I had read him earlier as he would have provided a better basis for understanding the thoughts and writings of others who followed him. ... Read more

9. Herodotus Book I (Greek Commentaries Series; Book 1)
by George A. Sheets
Paperback: 292 Pages (1981-06)
list price: US$12.95 -- used & new: US$10.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0929524136
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

Customer Reviews (2)

1-0 out of 5 stars It's all Greek to me
I was really looking forward to reading this but when I got it, I found that it was all in Greek (eventhought it said that it was all in english).

5-0 out of 5 stars AN EXCELLENT COMMENTARY.
At last: a commentary that actually helps the student who wants to read Herodotus' Greek. It prints the O.C.T, which is what most students are asked to read, explains the main differences between Ionic and Attic, andthen proceeds to comment, clearly and unpretentiously, on all the usefullinguistic information, explaining the Ionic dialect, difficult verb forms,tricky constructions etc.Herodotus is such a fascinating author that allscholars have wanted to do over the centuries is debate his historicalmethods, view of the cosmos, and argue about whether he is reliable ormaking the whole thing up.This has meant that for 2500 years those thatreckon they can make their own mind up on those issues but would like somehelp just working through his Greek have been completely abandoned.Howand Wells, the only English commentary on the whole of Herodotus, is aclassic example of masses and masses of history but no linguisticinformation. But this commentary has filled the gap superbly. It hasidentified the real needs of the reader of Herodotus and has met themexactly. I found it incredibly useful when reading Herodotus 1 and I thinkothers will too. I hope something similar is on the way for books 2-9. ... Read more

10. The Histories of Herodotus volumes 1 & 2
by Herodotus
Kindle Edition: Pages (2007-12-31)
list price: US$0.99 -- used & new: US$0.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00123D7NQ
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
A very entertaining book full of amusing stories antidotes and observations. Some true and some Mythical. So much more then a history book its really a historical novel as the author invented dialogue for the historical figures. It’s for this reason that the text is sometimes called “The Book of Lies” by more exacting historians.. this book is the first History book. In fact we get the word history from this book. The Greek writer Herodotus traveled all over the ancient world and collected stories, tales and fables from Greece and Egypt. This is the main source of the last stand at Thermopoly by the 300 Spartans. This is the original story of the “Boy on the Dolphin”. This is the book that was being read by the Gregory Fines in “The English Patient” ... Read more

11. Herodotus: Histories Book VIII (Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics)
by Herodotus
Paperback: 274 Pages (2008-01-07)
list price: US$36.99 -- used & new: US$30.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521575710
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
The Battle of Salamis was the first great (and unexpected) victory of the Greeks over the Persian forces under Xerxes, whose defeat had important consequences for the subsequent history and self-image of Europe. This battle forms the centre-piece of book VIII of Herodotus' Histories. The book also illuminates Greek views of themselves and of peoples from the East, the problematic relationships between different Greek states in the face of the invasion, and the role of the divine in history.This introduction and commentary pays particular attention to the history and culture of Achaemenid Persia and the peoples of its empire. It offers much help with the language of the text (which has been prepared for ease of reading), and deals with major literary and historical questions.It will be of especial use to intermediate and advanced Greek students, but also provides up-to-date scholarly materials for graduate students and professional classicists. ... Read more

12. Herodotus, Books V-VII: The Persian Wars (Loeb Classical Library)
by Herodotus
 Hardcover: 592 Pages (1922-01-01)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674991338
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description

Herodotus the great Greek historian was born about 484 BCE, at Halicarnassus in Caria, Asia Minor, when it was subject to the Persians. He travelled widely in most of Asia Minor, Egypt (as far as Assuan), North Africa, Syria, the country north of the Black Sea, and many parts of the Aegean Sea and the mainland of Greece. He lived, it seems, for some time in Athens, and in 443 went with other colonists to the new city Thurii (in South Italy), where he died about 430. He was 'the prose correlative of the bard, a narrator of the deeds of real men, and a describer of foreign places' (Murray).

Herodotus's famous history of warfare between the Greeks and the Persians has an epic dignity which enhances his delightful style. It includes the rise of the Persian power and an account of the Persian empire; a description and history of Egypt; and a long digression on the geography and customs of Scythia. Even in the later books on the attacks of the Persians against Greece there are digressions. All is most entertaining and produces a grand unity. After personal inquiry and study of hearsay and other evidence, Herodotus gives us a not uncritical estimate of the best that he could find.

The Loeb Classical Library edition of Herodotus is in four volumes.

... Read more

13. Herodotus: Book VI (BCP Greek Texts)
by E.I. McQueen
Paperback: 192 Pages (2001-03-19)
list price: US$23.50 -- used & new: US$23.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 185399586X
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
The Sixth Book of Herodotus covers the history of Greece in the first decade of the fifth century BC, including such momentous events as the Ionian revolt and the Marathon Campaign. This commentary, aimed at undergraduates and sixth-formers, is intended to introduce them to the work of one of the most significant and entertaining writers of his day, whose influence on the development of prose literature in general and historiography in particular was of paramount importance. This edition is intended to replace that of E.S. Shuckburgh, first published in 1889 at a time when the student's knowledge of Greek grammar and syntax was very much greater than is the case today. In addition several generations of scholars have broadened immeasurably our understanding of Greek history since Shuckburgh's day. Accordingly this commentary explains points of grammar and syntax while at the same time covering the historical interpretation. The book reproduces Schuckburgh's Greek text, but comes with a new introduction and up-to-date bibliography. ... Read more

14. The Cambridge Companion to Herodotus (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
Paperback: 400 Pages (2006-06-19)
list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$25.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0521536839
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
Popularly known as the 'Father of History', Herodotus is the first major prose writer in the history of Western literature whose work has survived in full. At a time when the ancient Greeks' knowledge of the past relied on orally transmitted memories, he was a pioneering historical practitioner who explored the interplay of myth and history and the role of narrative in history. Contributors to this volume analyze Herodotus' Histories and their influence. Taking a thematic approach, they explore the Histories and their context, techniques and themes, representation of the Greeks' relationships with foreigners and reception. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Herodotus's Workshop
Herodotus, called at times the "father of history" and the "father of lies," was the most important early non-fiction writer in Greece.This is an excellent collection of essays on Herodotus.

The emphasis is more on the literary than the historical context, so the reader might want to supplement this work with other writings, such as Nino Luraghi's excellent THE HISTORIAN'S CRAFT IN THE AGE OF HERODOTUS. ... Read more

15. The Persian Wars, II: Books 3-4 (Loeb Classical Library)
by Herodotus
Hardcover: 448 Pages (1921-01-01)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$24.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674991311
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description

Herodotus the great Greek historian was born about 484 BCE, at Halicarnassus in Caria, Asia Minor, when it was subject to the Persians. He travelled widely in most of Asia Minor, Egypt (as far as Assuan), North Africa, Syria, the country north of the Black Sea, and many parts of the Aegean Sea and the mainland of Greece. He lived, it seems, for some time in Athens, and in 443 went with other colonists to the new city Thurii (in South Italy), where he died about 430. He was 'the prose correlative of the bard, a narrator of the deeds of real men, and a describer of foreign places' (Murray).

Herodotus's famous history of warfare between the Greeks and the Persians has an epic dignity which enhances his delightful style. It includes the rise of the Persian power and an account of the Persian empire; a description and history of Egypt; and a long digression on the geography and customs of Scythia. Even in the later books on the attacks of the Persians against Greece there are digressions. All is most entertaining and produces a grand unity. After personal inquiry and study of hearsay and other evidence, Herodotus gives us a not uncritical estimate of the best that he could find.

The Loeb Classical Library edition of Herodotus is in four volumes.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars It must be Greek to me
Reading the Greek texts in the original is quite rewarding, especially since classical Greek is a tough nut to crack. Although I studied Greek for several years in schools and still brush it up as I go along, I often need help to understand some passages, especially syntactic forms that include untranslatable particles where dictionaries are of little or no help.Thus, I consider the Loeb Classical Library series second to none. I must admit that sometimes the Loeb translated text is an interpretation rather than actual translation and this makes understanding the Greek text challenging.For instance, the popular Greek double negative may be translated as a positive, a true interpretation but not a linguistic translation that would help the students of Greek clearly understand the original.

I must also mention the fact that in early Loeb editions, some going back 80 plus years which are available as used books at lower prices than new reprints, some passages of the English translation not only seem somewhat stilted to the modern reader, the result of using period English, but sometimes even necessitate consulting an English dictionary. However, most recent Loeb reprints have adapted the translation to modern forms.

In sum, the Loeb editions are invaluable in the sense of supplying the Greek (or Latin) original alongside a translation and thus indispensable to lovers of the ancient languages. When reading Loeb's Xenophons's Hellenica (and other Loeb histories, for instance) it helps so much to have the year the event being described printed in the margin.Rich indices and fold-out maps also enhance understanding and enjoyment. Finally, the retail price of these thick, cloth-bound, gold-stamped volumes ($21.50) is closer to that of run-of-the-mill trade paperbacks and much lower than that of trade hardcovers.

4-0 out of 5 stars achtung!
A question for this volume's previous reviewer: if the quality of the translation matters so much, why even buy H's Histories in Greek?In fact, if you, prospective buyer, want a great translation, forget about Loeb.Recreating in English (as Loeb does) Greek syntax, grammar and sentence structure often results in awkward, harsh prose.H's Histories did not sound awkward or at all unnatural to the ears of ancient readers, so Loeb's strictly-by-the-book accuracy, while a boon for the translator, actually renders an inaccurate picture of the text for the casual reader.Contrary to what the previous reviewer has said, then, Aubrey De Selincourt's translation (Penguin press) is actually very faithful and accurate in every way that matters, managing to be smooth and eminently readable while minimally dishonest to the original text.

That said, I encourage you, prospective reader, to consider whether you want a translation of the Greek or the Greek itself. If a translation, buy Penguin's.If the Greek, Loeb is fine: using its translation to see how an expert deals with certain constructions and translation issues can be of great assistance.Personally, I prefer Oxford's editions, though for mostly aesthetic reasons; theirs use better paper, better bindings, are better looking, and their Greek typeface is less crowded--and thus easier to read--than Loeb's. Amazon's look inside option will give you a sample of each volume, in case you'd like to compare them for yourself (you'll need to do an advanced book search: author, herodotus; title, historiae [you'll need to search for 'volume I' and 'volume II' separately]; publisher, oxford university press).Oxford classical texts, however, don't come with a translation--a problem easily rectified if you're willing to spend an extra $7 on Penguin's H. (Actually, I prefer not to have a translation availible when I read Greek, since a very thin and easy-to-cross line separates checking one's translations against that of an expert, and using that expert's work as a crutch.)

The two editions cost about as much as one another, so your only choice is between the better-designed but less beginner-friendly Herodotus text from Oxford (two volumes), and the beginner-friendly but smaller and less 'kalos' text from Loeb (four volumes).

5-0 out of 5 stars No series captures Herodotus like Loeb (forget Penguin!).
Designed with both the amateur and the professional classicist in mind theLoeb series captures Herodotus (and all the other authors I have read)better than any other series.Unlike other publishers (for examplePenguin) the Loeb seems truer to the original Greek, although my skill atreading ancient Greek is by no means exceptional; however, I can honestlytell a difference between the Loeb and the economy-translations.The Loebsmay cost a bit more than these other translations, but the price is worthit: they are extremely well made.There are, of course, other goodtranslations of Herodotus, such as the <> but this text only contains portions of Herodotus' work. I recommend the Loeb version to anyone seeking not just an excellenttranslation but a piece to add to their library as well. ... Read more

16. A Commentary on Herodotus Books I-IV
by David Asheri, Alan Lloyd, Aldo Corcella
Hardcover: 800 Pages (2007-10-11)
list price: US$320.00 -- used & new: US$236.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0198149565
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
Herodotus, one of the earliest and greatest of Western prose authors, set out in the late fifth century BC to describe the world as he knew it - its peoples and their achievements, together with the causes and course of the great wars that brought the Greek cities into conflict with the empires of the Near East. Each subsequent generation of historians has sought to use his text and to measure their knowledge of these cultures against his words.This commentary by leading scholars, originally published in Italian, has been fully revised by the original authors and has now been edited for English-speaking readers by Oswyn Murray and Alfonso Moreno. It is designed for use alongside the Oxford Classical Text of Herodotus, and will replace the century-old historical commentary of How and Wells (1912) as the most authoritative account of modern scholarship on Herodotus.Books I-IV cover the history and cultures of Lydia, Egypt, Persia, and the nomads of Scythia and North Africa, in their contacts with the Greeks from mythical times to the start of the fifth century BC; these themes, with many digressions, are woven into an account of the expansion of the Persian Empire and its relations with the Greeks. ... Read more

17. The Persian Wars, IV: Books 8-9 (Loeb Classical Library)
by Herodotus
 Hardcover: 432 Pages (1925-01-01)
list price: US$24.00 -- used & new: US$19.20
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0674991346
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description

Herodotus the great Greek historian was born about 484 BCE, at Halicarnassus in Caria, Asia Minor, when it was subject to the Persians. He travelled widely in most of Asia Minor, Egypt (as far as Assuan), North Africa, Syria, the country north of the Black Sea, and many parts of the Aegean Sea and the mainland of Greece. He lived, it seems, for some time in Athens, and in 443 went with other colonists to the new city Thurii (in South Italy), where he died about 430. He was 'the prose correlative of the bard, a narrator of the deeds of real men, and a describer of foreign places' (Murray).

Herodotus's famous history of warfare between the Greeks and the Persians has an epic dignity which enhances his delightful style. It includes the rise of the Persian power and an account of the Persian empire; a description and history of Egypt; and a long digression on the geography and customs of Scythia. Even in the later books on the attacks of the Persians against Greece there are digressions. All is most entertaining and produces a grand unity. After personal inquiry and study of hearsay and other evidence, Herodotus gives us a not uncritical estimate of the best that he could find.

The Loeb Classical Library edition of Herodotus is in four volumes.

... Read more

18. A History of Histories: Epics, Chronicles, Romances and Inquiries from Herodotus and Thucydides to the Twentieth Century
by John Burrow
Hardcover: 544 Pages (2008-04-08)
list price: US$35.00 -- used & new: US$23.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0375413111
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description

This unprecedented book by one of Britain&#8217;s most admired historians describes the intellectual impact that the study and consideration of history has had in the Western world over the past 2,500 years.

Treating the practice of history not as an isolated pursuit but as an aspect of human society and an essential part of the culture of Europe and America, John Burrow magnificently brings to life and explains the distinctive qualities found in the work of historians from the ancient Egyptians and Greeks to the present, including Livy, Tacitus, Bede, Froissart, Clarendon, Gibbon, Macaulay, Michelet, Prescott and Parkman. The author sets out not to give us the history of academic discipline but a history of choices: the choice of pasts, and the ways they have been demarcated, investigated, presented and even sometimes learned from as they have changed according to political, religious, cultural, and (often most important) partisan and patriotic circumstances. Burrow aims, as well, to change our perceptions of the crucial turning points in the history of history, allowing the ideas that historians have had about both their own times and their founding civilizations to emerge with unexpected freshness.

Burrow argues that looking at the history of history is one of the most interesting ways we have to understand the past. Certainly, this volume stands alone in its ambition, scale and fascination.

... Read more

19. Herodotus (Hermes Books Series)
by James Romm
Paperback: 232 Pages (1998-12-11)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$7.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0300072309
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Book Description
Herodotus, widely known as the father of history, was not only a historian but also a master story-teller, argues the author of this insightful book. James Romm gives general readers a fresh appreciation of the Histories and shows that Herodotus was more than a source of historical data-he was a masterful and artistic author who created a radically new literary genre. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

4-0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended for bridging readings of "The Histories"
This "Herodotus" is not the work of the "father of history" but a commentary on that work. Author James Romm takes a thematic approach to his explication of "The Histories". His chapters - with titles such as "From Homer to Herodotus", "The Structure of the Earth", and "Persians and Greeks" - choose certain aspects of Herodotus' treatment and subject them to further analysis and explanation.

Romm has no particular ax to grind or thesis to extol. He evidences an enthusiasm and appreciation of Herodotus without needing to take him at face value. Although there is much retracing of "The Histories" necessary to providing the right context for his discussions, Romm tries as much as possible to avoid simply retelling Herodotus.

Much of what Romm accomplishes is the pulling together of threads from various parts of "The Histories" and exposing us to aspects of the work that we might not have fully grasped in a first reading. For example in a chapter titled "The Kingdom of Culture", Romm treats the frequently evenhanded way in which Herodotus deals with other cultures. Along the way, Romm reminds us that it was only in Herodotus' day that the Greeks had begun to think of themselves as possessing a common cultural identity of their own. In Romm's reading, it was in fact the Persian invasions of Greece that both accelerated the Greek development of self-identity and their recognition of cultural variability within the "non-Greek-speaking" world, a variability which Herodotus exalts in discovering and presenting.

Romm further illuminates this cluster of ideas through his apparently deep knowledge of the history of the Greek language. In Homer, he tells us, the collective words "Hellenes" and "barboroi" do not appear. When we translate Herodotus' use of "barboroi" as "barbarians", we are perhaps giving it a modern interpretation that Herodotus did not usually intend. For him, it seldom carries a value judgment, instead simply marking the subjects as not of the Greek-speaking world. There are many such helpful linguistic insights in Romm's chapters.

Part of a series on ancient writers, this is a relatively short book, but manages to absorbingly treat many different themes. It concludes with a "Bibliographical Note" that gives useful perspectives on both alternative translations of "The Histories" and longer general studies of Herodotus.

Romm will best be read with an existing knowledge of Herodotus and his work. But it will certainly make a subsequent reading of "The Histories" yield up more of its nuances, presumptions, and purposes.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Companion
Herodotus does not need to be made interesting or enjoyable. He has alwaysbeen loved and for good reason. Nevertheless, for a deeper understanding ofthe text and a critical examination of the features of Herodotus' style asa master storyteller, James Romm's Herodotus is a superb volume. Withclarity and skill, Mr. Romm takes the reader through the Histories, alwayswith one eye focused on the man, on Herodotus himself. This volume lives upto the foreward and the expectations set forth by Mr. Herrington, theHermes Books foudning editor, in that foreward. The general reader willfind this volume useful and enjoyable. I should not overstate, however.Romm's book does not provide what we might call a reading of Herodotus butrather it allows the reader to appreciate the Histories more by pointingout continuing themes and main features of Herodotus' storytelling. Thisbook will be recieved well by any serious student of Herodotus, ancienthistory, or the classics. ... Read more

20. Herodotus: Persian Wars: A Companion to the Penguin Translation of "Books V-IX (Classical Studies Series) (Classical Studies Series)
by Herodotus
Paperback: 96 Pages (2002-11-13)
list price: US$18.00 -- used & new: US$11.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1853990302
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats