The Histories

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, 2003 - Fiction - 716 pages
254 Reviews
The work that established the study of history in the western world, Herodotus's The Histories is a dazzling contemporary account of the ancient world, translated from the Greek by Aubrey de SÚlincourt, revised with an introduction and notes by John Marincola in Penguin Classics. 'No one is fool enough to choose war instead of peace - in peace sons bury fathers, but in war fathers bury sons' One of the masterpieces of classical literature, the Histories describes how a small and quarrelsome band of Greek city states united to repel the might of the Persian Empire. But while this epic struggle forms the core of his work, Herodotus' natural curiosity frequently gives rise to colourful digressions - a description of the natural wonders of Egypt; an account of European lake-dwellers; and far-fetched accounts of dog-headed men and gold-digging ants. With its kaleidoscopic blend of fact and legend, The Histories offers a compelling Greek view of the world of the fifth century BC. This celebrated translation of The Histories has been extensively revised and includes an updated bibliography, chronology, glossary and additional notes. A Greek historian, Herodotus (c.485-25 BC) left his native town of Halicarnassus, a Greek colony, to travel extensively. He collected historical, geographical, ethnological, mythological and archaeological material for his histories. If you enjoyed The Histories, you might like Tacitus' Annals of Imperial Rome, also available in Penguin Classics.

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Herodotus arguably invented prose. - Goodreads
Herodotus certainly could spin a yarn. - Goodreads
I've found that a plot summary is indispensible. - Goodreads
No intro class needed, not much context needed either. - Goodreads
At the time of its writing, the - Goodreads

Review: The Histories

User Review  - Jodi - Goodreads

It is and always will be my favourite Ancient Greek text and I knew that the Tom Holland edition would make it that bit more understandable, that bit more modern. He is undeniably one of the greatest ... Read full review

Review: The Histories

User Review  - Rick - Goodreads

I read the book during more than half a year and it's a kind of goodbye to have ended reading. Great that such a monumental work has survived time. Very readable and entertaining. Read full review

About the author (2003)

Few facts are known about the life of Herodotus. He was born around 490 BC in Halicarnassus, on the south-west coast of Asia Minor. He seems to have travelled widely throughout the Mediterranean world, including Egypt, Africa, the area around the Black Sea and throughout many Greek city-states, of both the mainland and the islands. A sojourn in Athens is part of the traditional biography, and there he is said to have given public readings of his work and been friends with the playwright Sophocles. He is said also to have taken part in the founding of the colony of Thurii in Italy in 443 BC. He probably died at some time between 415 and 410 BC. His reputation has varied greatly, but for the ancients and many moderns he well deserves the title (first given to him by Cicero) of the Father of History .
John Marincola was born in Philadelphia in 1954, and was educated at Swarthmore College, the University of Pennsylvania, and Brown University. He has taught at the College of the Holy Cross in Massachusetts, and at Union College in New York, and is currently an Associate Professor of Classics at New York University. From 1997 to 1999 he was Executive Director of the American Philological Association, and in 1999-2000 he was a Junior Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, DC. He is the author of Authority and Tradition in Ancient Historiography (Cambridge, 1997), Greek Historians (Greece and Rome New Surveys in the Classics 31, Oxford 2001), and of several articles on the Greek and Roman historians. He is currently at work on a book on Hellenistic historiography.

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