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Herodotus – Tom Holland – Coming soon

March 19, 2013

The Histories

The Histories – Herodotus – A new translation by Tom Holland with an introduction by Paul Cartledge

Coming in September! £25 (Penguin)

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.

‘The two sides rained arrows down upon one another from a distance; then, when all their missiles were spent, they clashed and grappled together in close combat, stabbing with spears, fighting hand to hand with daggers.’ The Histories of Herodotus of Halicarnassus is considered the first work of non-fiction and the first work of history. Written about 440 BC, The Histories tells (among much else) the story of the war between the Persian Empire and the Greek city-states in the 5th century BC. It is full of bizarre stories, hearsay and pieces of information gathered – and is the way we know much of what we know about the ancient world. Tom Holland presents Herodotus in a fresh modern translation, showing how curious and quirky he was, and often how funny. It makes this great storyteller compelling reading once more.

This is a brand new translation of The Histories.


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