The Histories

Reading Year: 2023
Book # 31
Great Books
Pages: 906
Translation by Andrea Purvis
Version: The Landmark Herodotus
Year: 430BC
Date Started: August 2, 2023
Date Finished: September 11, 2023
35h 40m 23s

My Thoughts

If you’re going to read Herodotus’ Histories, read this version. It contains a robust introduction, 21 appendices, and maps and footnotes throughout. I know it’s hard to fathom, but Herodotus didn’t get everything right, so it’s good to have references handy while reading. Also, I can’t imagine not having a map right there as Herodotus mentions different places, many of which no longer exist under the same name.

This is a monumental book. I am stunned that we have it in its entirety like this. I only saw one lacuna (missing piece) in this edition. There are so many other books we are completely missing from this time that to have a book of this size and magnitude is incredible.

This book took me 35+ hours to read (including the intro & all appendices) and I loved every minute of that time. This was such an exciting book. I had never heard of many of these people groups, places, battles, and cultural quirks. It’s like reading about groups in the Lord of the Rings, only this happened (for the most part).

Herodotus, called the father of history and referred to in this edition as the father of ethnography, deserves all the accolades. I loved seeing his personality come through. His absolute love of learning and fascination with people groups. His tangents are legendary and show the mind of someone delightfully curious.

The Histories is easily housed in my top 10 books of all time list. I have a strong desire to download an audio version of the book and to just play it in the car, on runs, or while doing chores. There are so many stories I’ve heard before and didn’t know the source. There are so many intriguing tales, memorable characters, and grand arcs. If you haven’t read it, stop what you’re doing and start.

Ancillary Books & Further Reading

Additional Reading
The Scythians
The Scythians

Additional Resources

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