Herodotus by Herodotus
The History

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Synopsis

David Grene, one of the best known translators of the Greek classics, splendidly captures the peculiar quality of Herodotus, the father of history.

Here is the historian, investigating and judging what he has seen, heard, and read, and seeking out the true causes and consequences of the great deeds of the past. In his History, the war between the Greeks and Persians, the origins of their enmity, and all the more general features of the civilizations of the world of his day are seen as a unity and expressed as the vision of one man who as a child lived through the last of the great acts in this universal drama.

In Grene's remarkable translation and commentary, we see the historian as a storyteller, combining through his own narration the skeletal "historical" facts and the imaginative reality toward which his story reaches. Herodotus emerges in all his charm and complexity as a writer and the first historian in the Western tradition, perhaps unique in the way he has seen the interrelation of fact and fantasy.

"Reading Herodotus in English has never been so much fun. . . . Herodotus crowds his fresco-like pages with all shades of humanity. Whether Herodotus's view is 'tragic,' mythical, or merely common sense, it provided him with a moral salt with which the diversity of mankind could be savored. And savor it we do in David Grene's translation."—Thomas D'Evelyn, Christian Science Monitor

"Grene's work is a monument to what translation intends, and to what it is hungry to accomplish. . . . Herodotus gives more sheer pleasure than almost any other writer."—Peter Levi, New York Times Book Review

 

About Herodotus

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Published May 15, 2010 by University of Chicago Press. 710 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Herodotus

Kirkus Reviews

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As he recounts, he quickly realized that he knew nothing, that “the more words I knew, the richer, fuller, and more variegated would be the world that opened before me, and which I could capture.” Inspired by the commonsensical Herodotus, who tried to explain the world beyond their gates to his f...

Apr 01 2007 | Read Full Review of Herodotus: The History

The Guardian

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Travels with Herodotus by Ryszard Kapuscinski Allen Lane £20, pp275.

Jun 16 2007 | Read Full Review of Herodotus: The History

The Guardian

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Part autobiography, part valediction, it follows his career reporting from the world's bloodiest and most brutal conflicts (he witnessed 27 coups and revolutions and was sentenced to death four times), all interwoven with the epic adventures of Herodotus, the fifth-century Greek historiographer, ...

Apr 19 2008 | Read Full Review of Herodotus: The History

The Guardian

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Travels with Herodotusby Ryszard Kapuscinski, translated by Klara Glowczewska 282pp, Allen Lane, £20.

Jun 29 2007 | Read Full Review of Herodotus: The History

BC Books

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With The Way of Herodotus: Travels with the Man Who Invented History, Justin Marozzi uses his skills as a travel and history writer to introduce us to the fifth century BC Greek known as the West's "Father of History".

May 11 2009 | Read Full Review of Herodotus: The History

BC Books

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Before his death in January of this year, Ryszard Kapuściński was often mentioned as a possible candidate for the Nobel Prize in Literature.

Jul 07 2007 | Read Full Review of Herodotus: The History

BC Books

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If you ever find yourself thinking, “I know I’ve read this excerpt from Herodotus somewhere,” and would like to read it in context, you’ll be ecstatic!

Mar 18 2010 | Read Full Review of Herodotus: The History

Open Letters Monthly

It was a long wait, but, as Panagiotis Polichronakis reports, The Landmark
Herodotus is finally here in all its definitive glory.

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Large Print Reviews

While some may disagree with the notion that Herodotus was the first historian, in part because his works lack the chronological cohesiveness of modern historical works and because he is not beyond adding some tall tales to his history to enliven the narrative, no one will disagree with the fact ...

Jan 06 2002 | Read Full Review of Herodotus: The History

Austin Chronicle

The phenomenal Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski left behind a sticky legacy when he died earlier this year at the age of 74.

Aug 17 2007 | Read Full Review of Herodotus: The History

The New York Review of Books

In his review of Gershom Scholem’s memoirs [NYR, December 18], Arnaldo Momigliano cites my Gershom Scholem: Kabbalah and Counter-History as an instance of “how remote most American Jews now are from nineteenth-century trends of German thought.” He goes on to write: “For someone like myself who in...

Apr 30 1981 | Read Full Review of Herodotus: The History

Project MUSE

Lloyd's monumental commentary on Book II (Brill, 3 vols., 1975–1988), and then with the new series of commentaries on individual Books of Herodotus, published for the Fondazione Lorenzo Valla by Mondadori (Milan), of which the jewels in the crown were those by David Asheri on Books I (1988) and I...

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Project MUSE

Flower and Marincola's commentary on book 9—the first commentary in English on book 9 in over a century (the commentaries of How and Wells and of the splendid R.

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Fred Beauford

Tom Bissell in his New York Times Book Review of Travels with Herodotus wrote, “When the last page of this book is turned note how much smaller and colder the world now seems with Kapuscinski gone.” What makes Kapuscinski such a great writer?

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