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The Histories (Penguin Hardback Classics) Hardcover – 26 Sep 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 880 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (26 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713999772
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713999778
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 5.4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Holland's text makes for energizing reading . . . unquestionably the best English translation of Herodotus to have appeared in the last half-century . . . fast, funny, opinionated, clear and erudite . . . I am in awe of Tom Holland's achievement (Edith Hall TLS)

Tom Holland has been captivated by Herodotus since he was a child. His pleasure shines through his relaxed, idiomatic, expansive and often dramatic translation . . . He, like Herodotus, is a storyteller par excellence (Peter Jones New Statesman)

A labour of love . . . full of rattling good yarns . . . the minister for education should present each of his cabinet colleagues with a copy of Holland's admirable translation (Economist) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

TOM HOLLAND is the author of Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic, which won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. Persian Fire, his history of the Graeco-Persian wars, won the Anglo-Hellenic League's Runciman Award in 2006. His most recent book, In the Shadow of the Sword, describes the collapse of Roman and Persian power in the Near East, and the emergence of Islam.

He has adapted Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides and Virgil for the BBC, and is the presenter of BBC Radio 4's Making History. In 2007, he was the winner of the Classical Association Prize awarded to 'the individual who has done most to promote the study of the language, literature and civilisation of Ancient Greece and Rome'. He served two years as the Chair of the Society of Authors 2009-11.

PAUL CARTLEDGE is the inaugural A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge. His numerous books include Sparta and Lakonia: A Regional History 1300-362 BC; The Greeks: A Portrait of Self and Others; Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed the World; Ancient Greece. A Very Short Introduction; and After Thermopylae: The Oath of Plataea and the End of the Graeco-Persian Wars. He is an Honorary Citizen of Sparta, Greece and holds the Gold Cross of the Order of Honour conferred by the President of the Hellenic Republic.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Thinking Through on 3 Oct 2013
Format: Hardcover
A brilliant, engaging translation by Tom Holland. I should also add that the forward and notes by Paul Cartledge are a real bonus too. Cannot recommend this highly enough.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By H. M. Sykes on 5 Nov 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Inspired by the film The English Patient, I thought I had better get this from "The Father of History" Herodotus. I bought the Penguin book some ten years ago (not reading ancient greek I needed it in translation) but it was a bit "sticky". This version is such easy reading and with an excellent introduction.

It is not cheap but it is essential reading for all people who want to know a background to the ancient world and this translation makes it good reading too.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert E. Clough on 16 Dec 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Histories is a first rate book. I bought it after seeing a review in the Economist because I am interested in Greek and Roman history. It is an easy read and the included maps are very helpful. I also like the presentations done where several, often conflicting, explanations of certain historical events are made.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. GM De La Bedoyere on 25 Aug 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The hardback edition is quite a large book (it's 51mm thick, 160mm wide and 242mm high) but this also makes the type easier to read for those of us confounded by the microtype of small paperbacks. I started reading a copy in Barnes and Noble while on holiday in the US and couldn't put it down so I ordered it for delivery when I got home. Oddly the US edition has a far more attractive orange and black cover design featuring a Greek and Persian fighting (as well as possessing a dustjacket) so it is a shame the UK edition is so drab by comparison with a dreary grey cover featuring just a couple of partial hoplites popping over the edges. I wish I’d bought my copy in the US.
Unlike so many translations of ancient texts this has been written in the lively, readable, and entertaining spirit of the original rather than feeling a need to produce a literal translation. Purists will prefer the latter; those after a gratifying and absorbing read will prefer the former.
So, for example the Persians 'kept on badgering him [Croesus] until he told them about Solon' (p. 44) and 'The Scythians had no idea what had hit them' (p. 302). I've no doubt the translator will be cursed by some Greek pedants for being overly 'free' in his version of the text, and it is worth bearing in mind that English translations vary wildly. In 1890 G.C. Macaulay provided this for the last part of Book I.20, '... sending a messenger told Thrasybulos [sic] in order that he might have knowledge of it beforehand and take such counsel as the case required'. Aubrey de Sélincourt's 1954 translation for Penguin gives, '...had thereupon sent to tell Thrasybulus all about it, knowing that to be forewarned is forearmed'. Holland has '... promptly sent a messenger to his friend, letting him in on the secret.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A good book for the indepth views of a philosopher writing his account of not just Ancient Greece but also Persia, Egypt and other civilisations around at his time. Herodotus also writes based upon what people have told him. Herodtus does seem to go off on tangents at times and leaves some stories unfished, but it gives a good view of life at the time, including culture and customs of different peoples.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Another fine publication by Tom Holland. This is a wonderful book giving readers a detailed knowledge of Herodotus' Histories and a greater understanding of the ancient world. This is a book for the casual reader or a text book for those who like history.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 20 Feb 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A matchless classic translated into modern English. It flows really we and every so often there is a laugh out loud moment. Such an easy way to learn early history.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Frank Schweitzer on 5 April 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A lovely unfussy prose written with humour and in a vernacular rather like the original text. wonderful introduction by co-editor
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