The Histories by Herodotus (trans. Aubrey De Selincourt)

The Consolation of Reading

“Herodotus of Halicarnassus here displays his inquiry, so that human achievements may not become forgotten in time, and great and marvelous deeds – some displayed by Greeks, some by barbarians – may not be without their glory.”

“No one is fool enough to choose war instead of peace—in peace sons bury fathers, but in war fathers bury sons.”

Herodotus combined history, folktales, geography, zoology, astronomy, ethnography, and travel writing into a remarkable work of literature yet to be matched in its uniqueness. There really is nothing else quite like it. Readers expecting a traditional work of history in the modern sense of the word will be sorely disappointed. Herodotus loves digressions. All of this makes for a read that is both extremely entertaining at times, when focusing on the main historical narrative, the literary folktales, and the strange practices of other cultures, and which can be painfully dull at other…

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