So begins The Histories, the very first work of history and one of the most dramatic accounts of the ancient world ever written, brought to life again in Tom Holland's gripping new translation.
The work that established the study of history in the western world, Herodotus's The Histories is a dazzling contemporary account of the ancient world, translated from the Greek by Aubrey de Sélincourt, revised with an introduction and notes by John Marincola in Penguin Classics.
'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.
This celebrated translation of The Histories has been extensively revised and includes an updated bibliography, chronology, glossary and additional notes.
A Greek historian, Herodotus (c.485-25 BC) left his native town of Halicarnassus, a Greek colony, to travel extensively. He collected historical, geographical, ethnological, mythological and archaeological material for his histories.
If you enjoyed The Histories, you might like Tacitus' Annals of Imperial Rome, also available in Penguin Classics.