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The Histories (Penguin Press Ancient Classics) by [Herodotus]
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The Histories (Penguin Press Ancient Classics) Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews

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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)

About the Author

Tom Holland is the best-selling author of Rubicon, which won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize, Persian Fire, Millennium, In the Shadow of the Sword and, most recently, Dynasty. His translation of Herodotus' Histories was published by Penguin Classics in 2013.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 6447 KB
  • Print Length: 880 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (26 Sept. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F01IN6M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars 29 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #64,289 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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
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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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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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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By Biff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 19 Aug. 2015
Format: Paperback
Super read that provides an overview of the conflict between Greece and Persia.

Often described as the first historian, Herodotus is probably a little too accepting of the myths of the day and doesn't question too closely what his reseaches, be they oral or written, turn up.

It is however an easy read and the content is fascinating stuff. Ostensibly it is about Greek and Persian history leading up to the Persian War and indeed these two are covered in readable form, but he also touches upon many other areas of interest. Egypt is given a large chunk of the book looking at its history and traditions.

Herodotus gives great stories about the people involved, even if some of these tales are rather suspect. He brings the characters to life in a very accessible form.

Much more of an easier read than Thucycides Peloponnesian War which tends to be drier and more factually orientated.
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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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By BEE on 28 Jan. 2016
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I believe there are far better translation of Herodotus' Histories out there. I find many of the commentaries rather unnecessary and adds little or nothing to your understanding or enjoyment of the book.
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Format: Paperback
A facinating read, it gives very interesting insights into the culture, folklore and warfare of the ancient world at the time of the pelepponeser-war. Bit dry when Herodotus is going through geographical details, but still recommended!
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