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The Histories

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  36,679 ratings  ·  1,033 reviews
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 colorful digressions - a description of the natural wonders of Egypt; an account of Eu ...more
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 716 pages
Published January 30th 2003 by Penguin Books (first published -450)
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Carla Toby The first to approach history from a scientific perspective. Herodotus vectored away from the Homerian style of compilation,and attempted to put…moreThe first to approach history from a scientific perspective. Herodotus vectored away from the Homerian style of compilation,and attempted to put history in order, backed with facts rather than the traditional collections of oral histories put to paper. Seminal work which should be required reading, not only for the history itself, but for the beauty of the language. Magnificent book.(less)
Amanda This book is both hard and easy. On a microlevel of individual narrative it's very enjoyable and easy - on a macrolevel it's really challenging to put…moreThis book is both hard and easy. On a microlevel of individual narrative it's very enjoyable and easy - on a macrolevel it's really challenging to put all the pieces together. I found it difficult to keep track of the order of events and the unfamiliar names of people and places - and I would have benefited from taking notes, creating a timeline and a map, and even making a a list of characters with identifying notes.

This is not pop history, nor is it a text book. I find Herodotus' style easy to read, and if you take it in small chunks, there are some really great narratives tucked away in this book. I read Harry Graham Carter's translation, which is what I had access to (from the 1950s or 1960s), and I found it a bit endearing and easy enough to understand. (less)

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Grace Tjan
Jan 18, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, classics, history
What I learned from this book (in no particular order):

1. Ancient Greeks are quarrelsome and love to waste each other’s city-states for the pettiest reasons.

2. From all forms of government known to man, democracy is the best. Tyrants and oligarchs suck.

3. The Persian Empire is a mighty barbarian nation, but being cowardly, effeminate and slavish, it is eventually defeated by the quarrelsome but brave and civilized Greeks.

4. Among the Greeks, the Spartans are the bravest. Gerard Butler with a si
What do Herodotus and Tristram Shandy have in common? Progress through digression.

I suppose my first acquaintance with the work of Herodotus was through that technicolor cold war drama The 300 Spartans in which a rampantly heterosexual force of Spartans defends freedom, liberty, and all that good stuff from allegedly ferocious yet ineffective, hordes of freedom hating Persians. The appalling, appealing, simplicity of that film is a grave disservice to the genius of Herodotus – already mauled by
Ahmad Sharabiani
Ἰστορίαι = The Histories, Herodotus
The Histories (Greek: Ἱστορίαι; also known as The History) of Herodotus is now considered the founding work of history in Western literature. Written in 440 BC in the Ionic dialect of classical Greek, The Histories serves as a record of the ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of various cultures that were known in Western Asia, Northern Africa and Greece at that time. Although not a fully impartial record, it remains one of the West's most impo
Riku Sayuj

Hubris in History: A Recurring Terror

“The conversion of legend-writing into the science of history was not native to the Greek mind, it was a fifth-century invention, and Herodotus was the man who invented it.”

~ R.G. Collingwood

The prime subject of The Histories is the twenty years (499-479 B.C.E) of war between Greece and Persia for domination of the Greek world, but he intersperses this main narrative with plenty of personal interest stories, “wonders” about firsts and bests, historical p
J. Watson (aka umberto)
Aug 20, 2009 rated it really liked it
I think I would like to invite my Goodreads friends to browse any Book you like, then take heart to start with Book I as the inception of the whole inquiry unthinkable to those Greek scholars at that time, but Herodotus could make it and you cannot help admiring him when you read his famous preamble:
Herodotus of Halicarnassus here displays his inquiry, so that human achievements may not become forgotten in time, and great and marvellous deeds -- some displayed by Greeks, some by barbarians -- m
Apr 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
The kids bought me this for Christmas and it is a thing of infinite beauty. I’ve been meaning to read these histories for years and never quite got around to it. I had never realised quite how remarkable this book would be.

This version of the book is the third that I now own – I’ve also got a copy of the Penguin Classics and I’ve just finished listening to this as a talking book. But I am going to make my way through this book eventually, as it is hard to focus on many of the details of the wars
May 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brian by: Hadrian
Shelves: ruard_referred
It wasn't just Vollmann's fourth reference to Herodotus in a span of 20 pages in Rising Up and Rising Down, it was the reality and shame that I'm in my 40s and the most I know about the war between Persia and the Hellenic city states is what I learned from the movie 300. Thus, The Histories.

First: I can't imagine what it would have been like reading these nine books by Herodotus in any format other than this simply amazingly researched and presented volume. The Landmark has to be the final word
Huda Aweys
لم تكن تلك فكرتي عن (تاريخ هيرودوت) قبل قراءتي له ، كنت أطنه أكثر علمية من ذاك لكثرة ماتم الإستشهاد به و الرجوع إليه أكاديميا
حكايات لطيفة و مشوقة على أي حال :) ، و من أكثر حكاياته التي لفتت ناظري حكاية قمبيز مع ملك إثيوبيا ...، و
كنموذج من النماذج الأنثوية الفريدة في التاريخ القديم
peiman-mir5 rezakhani
دوستانِ گرانقدر، با آنکه زنده یاد «هرودوت» این مورخ نامی، در برخی از اخباری که ارائه نموده، در مورد ایران خصمانه برخورد کرده و در جاهایی نیز نوشته هایش بسیار با واقعیت فاصله دارد، امّا در هر حال میتوان گفت که یکی از کتبِ تاریخی مرجع میباشد که برخی از اخبار و رویدادهایی که نوشته، تنها در همین کتاب یافت میشود... این مورخ نامی زحمات بسیار زیادی برای بر جای ماندن تاریخ برای انسانهای امروزی کشیده است و مشکل فقط و فقط همان تحریف هایی است که بعضاً به دلیل دشمنی دیرینه با ایرانیان، وارد اخبارش کرده است. ...more
John Conquest
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I read: Histories by Herodotus

What I expected: Thucydides + Persians

What I got: Mountable battle dolphins
The complete discography of Kid Rock
Eyewitness testimony that Ethiopians produce pitch black semen (no homo)
"Our flying snakes will block out the sun!"
On all levels except physical I am a Mede *Whips the sea*
"Herodotus can I borrow 100,000 Persians?" "1,000,000 Persians? What do you need 5,000,000 Persians for?"
The Virgin Greek pederasty, the Chad Persian piss fetish
Lazarus P Badpenny Esq
"When the moment finally came to declare their purpose, the Babylonians, in order to reduce the consumption of food, herded together and strangled all the women in the city - each man exempting only his mother, and one other woman whom he chose out of his household to bake his bread for him."

As the British Government bludgeons the nation with its ideologically-driven 'Austerity Budget', note that the ancients had a strategy or two for surviving straitened times themselves. And they managed to pr
Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Years ago, I was on jury duty in LA. This was back when jury duty largely consisted of waiting around in a large room each day for a week. I brought along a copy of The Histories (the Rawlinson translation published by Everyman's Library) and found myself engrossed by all the stories, tall tales, gossip, rumors, etc. It's a wonderful panoply that's on offer here! Sure, Herodotus was criticized by many for not writing "facts," but the power of stories is far greater, and he knew it.
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you are an English speaker there is no reason for you to consider buying any other edition of this text. Brilliantly translated, filled with just the right amount of footnotes, maps and pictures, and there is an appendix for pretty much everything you could think of.
Nov 10, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, history, non-fiction
This was way outside of my comfort zone and I doubt if I'd have undertaken it if it hadn't been read as a group read. I went into it without any prior conceptions. I just thought it would be interesting, and it was.

A long read and in parts a difficult read as I initially found it challenging to grasp the differing but similar sounding names. (it took some getting used to)

However it was interesting, fascinating in parts learning of the cultures, mores, people who challenged and changed the world
Nathan "N.R." Gaddis
More Infinite Jest than The History of the Peloponnesian War. Honest.

Wish I had the Landmark edition at the time. But Oxford does make nice books.
“These are the researches of Herodotus of Halicarnassus, which he publishes, in the hope of preserving from decay the remembrance of what men have done, and of preventing the great and wonderful actions of the Greeks and the barbarians from losing their due meed of glory; and withal to put on record what were the grounds of feud.”

Herodotus’s reference to his “researches” (sometimes translated “inquiries”) uses the Greek word historie, from which we get “history.” This is the first recorded use o
Jun 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bir solukta okursunuz, destansı üslubunu seversiniz, başta sayfa sayısı çok gibi gelir, ne zaman bitti anlamazsınız.

Yunan-Pers mücadelesi özellikle Leonidas ve Kserkses arası mücadeleleri anlatıldığı bölüm nefisti!

Kütüphaneden alarak okudum, Calibromda e kitap olarak var ama en kısa zamanda basılı bir versiyonu da kütüphanemizde olsun isterim.

Baş ucu eseri!

Ayrıca Müntekim Ökmen'de harika dip notlar hazmış. Kafanız takılınca hızır gibi yetişiyor. Ölmeden mutlaka okuyun, okutun!
Camille Stein

Heródoto, con y sin acento | el librero web -


La originalidad de Heródoto se sustancia en la amenidad de la expedición histórica que propone. No es tan relevante la exactitud de los hechos como la intención de involucrarse en el transcurso de los mismos: ser a la vez testigo y protagonista de una realidad que se convierte en aventura literaria, cercana y tremendamente atractiva.
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cajonera
Superb book, it immersed me in ancient Greece. Herodotus skills are unmatched as a story teller, although the speeches are far better in Thucydides.

Written at the outset of the Peloponnesian War this book comes across as Athenian propaganda some times. However, all the detail provided of the different civilizations the Greeks had contact with is just great. For anyone who enjoys reading on the subject this is a fun, thorough and excellently crafted book.

Props to Herodotus for being more entertai
How to review Herodotus? It's much like trying to review the Bible. Most would probably say something like, "I liked the blood and guts and stories about the cheating wives of kings; the genealogies were boring." But I found the entire book utterly captivating. It's something special to be able to lose yourself in a world that's completely different from your own, that has a rich history of its own with strange characters and stranger frontiers.

Herodotus is truly a child of the world, marveling
Apr 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although he is the very first historian in Western Civilization, Herodotus has something of a bad reputation for being too gullible. Current critical opinion tends to favor Herodotus's near contemporary, Thucydides, the author of an equally great history of The Peloponnesian War. And yet, as I re-read the earlier book, I was surprised that Herodotus frequently notes that he doesn't always believe what he has been told, but presents it anyhow, if only because the Greek word for "history" is the s ...more
Oct 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
لم أكن أظن بأن الكتاب سيكون مثيرا لي..إلا أن كتب التاريخ قديما تشابه كتب أدب الرحلات من حيث وصف الحياة الاجتماعية وطبيعة الحيوانات المدجنة والمستوحشة ونوع الأمر والثمار في كل بلاد..لذا كان الكتاب ممتعا من حيث تحقيقه لفتا لأنظاري واهتمامي.

فيه قصص هي من العجب..كقصة الخاتم الثمين الذي رماه أحد حكام الإغريق على ما أذكر في البحر،ثم يعود له الخاتم بعد تكريم الحاكم لصياد بسيط..فما كان من الصياد إلا أن أهداه سمكة كان الخاتم فيها!

أيضا سمعت قصة عجيبة كنت أظن سابقا أنها من أمراض عصرنا بسبب كثرة الفجور والخ
Nov 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, rth-lifetime
Herodotus, as advertised, writes with a breezy, conversational, scandalous tone; the Histories can be confusing, and the events related in them are only sometimes of any real interest, but it's fun to just hang out and listen to Herodotus tell stories.

That said, if you were to choose to read excerpts instead of the whole, I wouldn't judge you. Over 700 pages, it all starts to run together pretty badly. Book Two is really fun; Books 6 - 8 cover Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis, the famous, deci
Dani Rose
A wonderful start for someone looking to ease into classical primary sources. Not as dry or intimidating as Thucydides.
David Sarkies
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: David Hester
Recommended to David by: Lover's of history and the classics
Shelves: history
An anthropological and historical survey of Ancient Greece and the Near East
26 April

Located in the Ancient Agora in Athens, under the reconstructed Stoa (porch) of Herod Atticus, is a bust of what could be considered to be the world's first ever historian.

Herodotus – The World's first Historian

It always fascinates me that in an era long before photography was ever conceived, and the ability to paint was restricted to basic drawings and sketches (if indeed they have survived), that because of the skill and ability of the ancient scu
Michael Perkins
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Herodotus tells a story of how Croesus, King of Lydia, the richest and most favored leader of his time, asked Solon the Athenian, a leading question. He would not have asked it if he had he not been worried about the answer.'Who, he asked, 'is the luckiest person in the world?' He must have been eaten with doubt, and hungry for reassurance. Solon told him of three lucky people in old times. And Croesus more than likely did not listen; so anxious was he about himself. And when Solon did not menti ...more
"Inquiry" is the proper title of this work, from the Greek ἱστορία, but Herodotus will never be known as "The Father of Inquiries," so I guess he's stuck with the History tag. It is helpful to know that the goal of Herodotus was not strictly an accounting of events -- his primary purpose was to ask questions about remarkable things (including foreign cultures, bizarre landscapes, strange animals, and amazing tales) and report them in a way that might eventually explain the reasons for the Persia ...more
Alp Turgut
Tarihte yazılmış ilk tarih kitabı olma özelliği taşımasından ötürü dünya edebiyatı açısından önemli bir yere sahip olan Herodotos'un "Histories / Tarih"i benim gibi Antik Yunan Edebiyatı'nı tam anlamıyla bitirmek isteyen okuyuculara yönelik bir eser. MÖ 5. yüzyılda yazılmış olması nedeniyle içinde bir sürü yanlış barındıran eseri okurken yazarın harikulade gözlem ve araştırma yeteneğine ve de en önemlisi bunları bir araya getiriş şekline hayran kalmamak elde değil. Pers İmparatoru Cyrus / Kyros' ...more
Dec 08, 2008 added it
Shelves: school, histories
I absolutely adore this book! It is among my top favorites. What I'm sure most people identify it with, if they can identify it at all, is the movie 300. Yes, this book does relate the first, true story of the 300 Spartans and not with comic pictures. It is one of my favorite stories in this book (there are many: suicidal cats, burning of Athens, Croesus and Solon, etc.), but it is far from the baseness of the horribly inaccurate movie.
Ok, I am going to say I am officially done reading The Landmark Herodotus as of December 21, 2018. I finished the body of the text long ago but had been holding out with the intent of reading several of the critical essay appendices. I believe I did read one or two of those critical essays, but I don't expect to read more of them any time soon.
My main recommendation is yes, if you are going to read Herodotus, you should most definitely read The Landmark Herodotus. Having all those maps right the
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  • The History of Rome, Books 1-5: The Early History of Rome
  • The Persian Expedition
  • History of the Peloponnesian War
  • The Annals of Imperial Rome
  • The Rise and Fall of Athens: Nine Greek Lives
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  • The Campaigns of Alexander
  • The Conquest of Gaul
  • The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire: Volumes 1-3
  • The Peloponnesian War
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Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria (modern-day Bodrum, Turkey) and lived in the fifth century BCE (c. 484–425 BCE). He has been called "The Father of History", as well as "The Father of Lies." He was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent, and arrange them in a well-constructed and vivid ...more
“He asked, 'Croesus, who told you to attack my land and meet me as an enemy instead of a friend?'

The King replied, 'It was caused by your good fate and my bad fate. It was the fault of the Greek gods, who with their arrogance, encouraged me to march onto your lands. Nobody is mad enough to choose war whilst there is peace. During times of peace, the sons bury their fathers, but in war it is the fathers who send their sons to the grave.”
“Of all men’s miseries the bitterest is this: to know so much and to have control over nothing.” 148 likes
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