Jeremy's Reviews > The History

The History by Herodotus
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's review
Aug 25, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: politics, sociological

Really enjoyable. Herodotus nails down the social and political fabric of his reality in a sprawling, widely digressive work that serves as history, social commentary, geography, philosophy, and scientific rumination all at once without ever reducing to any one of these. Sure, you need an atlas and probably a glossary to keep track of all the places and names, and yes there are many inaccuracies, but that's the point, the ancient world can be a big, messy, place, and nothing is too big or too small to escape commentary. An inquiry of what happens when two separate civilizations meet and are forced to interact (not to mention the starting point for all further issues regarding 'east vs. west')? Check. Examinations of the movements and actions taking place during battles which regularly involve over 5,500,000 people? Check. A brief lesson on the spawning habits of Nile river fish? Check. An oral history of local customs and folk-lore told from opposing perspectives which forces the reader to filter through and actively engage with the beliefs of this age? Check. Twenty five centuries later, and still lively.
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