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The Histories is commonly thought of as the classic chronicle of the great 5th century BCE wars between the underdog confederacy of Greek city-states and the mighty Persian Empire. To the modern reader of military history, this implies an overriding focus on causes, strategy and tactics as well as detailed, extensive descriptions of pivotal battles. Herodotus, commonly referred to as the "father of history," takes a much broader approach with his work. While he does cover the heroic battles of Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis and Plateau, their treatment is surprisingly shallow, with the bulk of the book dedicated to narration of the gathering storm of Persian power and related expository coverage of the many lands, nations and peoples, intrigues, power struggles and heroic achievements of classical times. Contemporary expectations aside, this is a fascinating book, consistently entertaining and, with proper attention to editor John Marincola's notes, highly educational.

Herodotus covers a remarkable swath of time and space, ranging from Egyptian pharaohs from c. 3000 BCE to the final expulsion of the Persians from European soil in 479 BCE and from Libya in the west to India in the south to central Asia in the east and Thrace in the north. His recurrent thematic elements include justice through vengeance, the contrast between free and enslaved peoples, the power of the gods as expressed through oracles, the constantly shifting fortunes of mankind and the disastrous consequences of arrogance and excessive pride.

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The Histories is commonly thought of as the classic chronicle of the great 5th century BCE wars between the underdog confederacy of Greek city-states and the mighty Persian Empire. To the modern reader of military history, this implies an overriding focus on causes, strategy and tactics as well as detailed, extensive descriptions of pivotal battles. Herodotus, commonly referred to as the "father of history," takes a much broader approach with his work. While he does cover the heroic battles of Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis and Plateau, their treatment is surprisingly shallow, with the bulk of the book dedicated to narration of the gathering storm of Persian power and related expository coverage of the many lands, nations and peoples, intrigues, power struggles and heroic achievements of classical times. Contemporary expectations aside, this is a fascinating book, consistently entertaining and, with proper attention to editor John Marincola's notes, highly educational.

Herodotus covers a remarkable swath of time and space, ranging from Egyptian pharaohs from c. 3000 BCE to the final expulsion of the Persians from European soil in 479 BCE and from Libya in the west to India in the south to central Asia in the east and Thrace in the north. His recurrent thematic elements include justice through vengeance, the contrast between free and enslaved peoples, the power of the gods as expressed through oracles, the constantly shifting fortunes of mankind and the disastrous consequences of arrogance and excessive pride. More...

 
    Herodotus, Father of History
  Herodotus, Father of History
Herodotus of Halicarnassus was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC in Halicarnassus, Caria; Bodrum in modern Turkey. He is regarded as the "Father of History" in Western culture. He was the first historian known to collect his materials...
 
       
 
         
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