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; tales of lake-dwellers, 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 in the fifth century BC, in Aubrey de Sélincourt's elegant and celebrated translation.
Translated by AUBREY DE SÉLINCOURT
Revised with an Introduction and notes by JOHN MARINCOLA
When Xerxes, King of Persia, crosses the Hellespont at the head of a formidable army, it seems inevitable that Greece will be crushed beneath its might. But the Greeks are far harder to defeat than he could ever have imagined.
As storms lash the Persian ships, and sinister omens predict a cruel fate for the expedition, Xerxes strives onward, certain his enemies will accept him as their king. But as he soon discovers, the Greeks will sacrifice anything, even their lives, to keep their liberty...
Great Journeys allows readers to travel both around the planet and back through the centuries – but also back into ideas and worlds frightening, ruthless and cruel in different ways from our own. Few reading experiences can begin to match that of engaging with writers who saw astounding things: Great civilisations, walls of ice, violent and implacable jungles, deserts and mountains, multitudes of birds and flowers new to science. Reading these books is to see the world afresh, to rediscover a time when many cultures were quite strange to each other, where legends and stories were treated as facts and in which so much was still to be discovered.