The wholesale Landmark Herodotus: wholesale The Histories (Landmark Series) online sale

The wholesale Landmark Herodotus: wholesale The Histories (Landmark Series) online sale

The wholesale Landmark Herodotus: wholesale The Histories (Landmark Series) online sale
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From the editor of the widely praised The Landmark Thucydides, a new Landmark Edition of The Histories by Herodotus.

 

Cicero called Herodotus "the father of history," and his only work, The Histories, is considered the first true piece of historical writing in Western literature. With lucid prose, Herodotus''s account of the rise of the Persian Empire and its dramatic war with the Greek city sates set a standard for narrative nonfiction that continues to this day. Illustrated, annotated, and filled with maps—with an introduction by Rosalind Thomas, twenty-one appendices written by scholars at the top of their fields, and a new translation by Andrea L. Purvis—The Landmark Herodotus is a stunning edition of the greatest classical work of history ever written.

About the Author

Bob Strassler, a graduate of Harvard and Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar, is the president of Riverside Capital Management Corp., and an unaffiliated scholar whose articles have appeared in the Journal of Hellenic Studies. He received an honorary degree as Doctor of Humanities and Letters from Bard College in 1996. A viola da gamba musician, he is the chairman of the Aston Magna Foundation for Music and the Humanities.

 

Andrea L. Purvis received her Ph.D. in Classical Studies from Duke University in 1998 and teaches in Duke University''s Department of Classical Studies.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

Herodotus of Halicarnassusa here presents his research so that human events do not fade with time. May the great and wonderful deeds—some brought forth by the Hellenes, others by the barbarians—not go unsung; as well as the causes that led them to make war on each other.

Persian authorities of the past claim that the Phoenicians were responsible for the dispute. This is because, after they had come to and settled the land which they still inhabit from what is now called the Erythraean Sea, they at once undertook long sea voyages and brought back cargo from Egypt, Assyria, and elsewhere, but more to the point, they came to Argos.

At this time in the land we now call Hellas, Argos surpassed other places in all things, and when the Phoenicians reached Argos they set out their cargo for sale. On the fifth or sixth day after their arrival, when they had sold almost everything, many women came down to the sea, in particular, the king’s daughter. Her name, according to what the Hellenes also say, was Io daughter of Inachos. The women were standing by the stern of the ship intent upon their purchases when the Phoenicians, inciting each other, rushed upon them. The greater part made their escape, but some were seized and carried off. Io herself was among the captives. The Phoenicians put the women on board their vessel and set sail for Egypt.

This is how Io came to Egypt according to the Persians (though the Hellenes disagree), and this was the very beginning of grievances.

They say that following these events, certain Hellenes whose names they cannot specify came to the port of Tyre, in Phoenicia, and abducted the king’s daughter Europa. These Hellenes would be Cretans. And now the score was even.

But after this, the Hellenes were responsible for a second crime. For they sailed in a warship to Aia in the territory of Colchis and on to the River Phasis. And when they had finished the business that brought them there, they abducted the king’s daughter Medea. So the Colchian king sent a messenger to Hellas to demand satisfaction for the abduction and the return of his daughter. The reply was that, since they had received no satisfaction for the abduction of Io of Argos, neither would they pay anything to them.

They say that in the generation following these events Alexandros son of Priama heard the stories and wanted to abduct a wife from Hellas for himself, quite confident that he would pay no penalty since the other side had not paid either. And so he abducted Helen. The Hellenes decided that the first thing to do was to send messengers demanding the return of Helen and satisfaction for the abduction. When they made these proposals they were charged with the abduction of Medea, and besides, they said, how could they expect satisfaction from others when they themselves had neither paid nor surrendered her upon request?

Up to this point, there had been abductions only from each other, but after this the Hellenes were largely responsible for offenses. For they began to make war on Asiaa before their enemies made war on Europe. Now the Persians think that the abduction of women is certainly an act only unjust men would perform, and yet once they have been abducted, it is senseless to make a fuss over seeking vengeance. It is the way of sensible people to have no concern for abducted women; it is quite obvious that the women would not have been abducted if they had not been compliant. The Persians claim that while they themselves, Asiatics, thought nothing of the women being abducted, the Hellenes of Sparta, for the sake of a woman, mustered a huge expedition, went to Asia, and destroyed the power of Priam. From that time on they have considered the Hellenes to be their enemies. For the Persians assume Asia and the barbarian tribes living there as their own, and anything Hellenic is separate and divergent from themselves.

The Persians claim that this is how it happened, and they find in the sack of Troya the origin of their hostility toward the Hellenes. But the Phoenicians disagree with the Persians about Io. They say that it was not by abduction that they brought her to Egypt, but rather that she had intercourse with the captain of the ship in Argos, and when she realized she was pregnant, she was ashamed to face her parents and she voluntarily sailed away with the Phoenicians so that she would not be found out.

These are the stories told by the Persians and Phoenicians. I myself have no intention of affirming that these events occurred thus or otherwise. But I do know who was the first man to begin unjust acts against the Hellenes. I shall describe him and then proceed with the rest of my story recounting cities both lesser and greater, since many of those that were great long ago have become inferior, and some that are great in my own time were inferior before. And so, resting on my knowledge that human prosperity never remains constant, I shall make mention of both without discrimination.

Croesus was of Lydiana ancestry, the son of Alyattes, and the ruler of the peoples this side of the River Halys (which flows from the south between the Syrians and Paphlagonians, then goes toward the north and empties into the sea called the Euxine). Now Croesus was the first barbarian known to us who subjugated and demanded tribute from some Hellenes,a although he made friends with others. He subjugated the Ionians, the Aeolians, and the Asian Dorians, and made friends with the Spartans. Before the reign of Croesus, all Hellenes had been free. There had been an invasion by Cimmerians into Ionia prior to Croesus, but this was not for the subjugation of cities, but rather a raid for plunder.

The rule passed from the Heraklids to the family of Croesus, called the Mermnads, in the following way. There was a man named Kandaules, known to Hellenes as Myrsilos; he was the monarcha of Sardisb and the descendant of Alkaios son of Herakles. The first of the Heraklids to become king of Sardis was Agron son of Ninos, who was the son of Belos, who was the son of Alkaios. Kandaules son of Myrsos was the last. The kings who ruled this land before Agron were descendants of Lydus son of Atys, from whom the whole Lydian people derives its name; earlier they had been called Meionian. From these Lydians, the Heraklids were entrusted with the rule, obtaining it through the sanction of an oracle.

The Heraklids were descendants of a slave-woman of Iardanos and Herakles. They governed for twenty-two generations, 505 years, handing down the rule from father to son until it reached Kandaules son of Myrsos.

Now this Kandaules fell in love with his own wife and, being in love, thought he had the most beautiful of all women. Therefore, he used to tell his favorite among his bodyguards, Gyges son of Daskylos, not only about serious matters but [especially] about the beauty of his wife, and with extravagant praise.

It was fated that things would turn out badly for Kandaules, and so this had not gone on long when he said to Gyges, “Since I don’t think you believe me, Gyges, when I tell you about my wife’s beauty (and it just so happens that people believe their ears less than their eyes), I am asking you to do something to make sure you see her naked.” Gyges responded with a sharp cry and said, “My Lord, what are you saying? Insanity! You order me to see your mistress naked? When a woman’s dress is removed, so is her dignity. People long ago recognized what principles are noble and good, and we should learn from them. Among them is this one: ‘Look only at what belongs to you.’ I do believe that she is the most beautiful of all women, and I beg you not to ask for what is against all decency.”

Gyges said such things to thwart the king’s desire, dreading the thought of how badly things could turn out for him because of this. Then Kandaules replied, “Don’t worry, Gyges, and don’t be afraid of me or my wife; I didn’t tell you this to test you, and no harm will come to you from her. I have a plan and will make sure she has no idea you’re watching her. I will position you in the bedroom behind the open door. After I come in, my wife, too, will be there to go to bed. Next to the doorway is a chair. She will set each of her garments on it one by one as she takes them off, and you may watch unobserved. But when she walks from the chair to the bed and her back is turned, be careful she doesn’t see you and then you can go out through the door.”

Since Gyges could not escape, he was won over. And when Kandaules thought it was bedtime, he led Gyges to the room, where before long the queen entered.

While she came in and set down her garments, Gyges watched. And when she went toward the bed with her back turned, he slipped out from behind the door and went out. But the woman spied him as he left and, realizing that this was her husband’s doing, she neither cried out, even though she felt shamed, nor let on that she knew, since she intended to get even with Kandaules. For among the Lydians, as well as nearly all other barbarians, it is a great disgrace for even a male to be seen naked.

Thus she revealed nothing and remained silent for the time being.

But as soon as day dawned, she prepared her most faithful servants for what she intended and had Gyges summoned. He came at her request, assuming she knew nothing of what went on, just as he had always come to the queen whenever she had summoned him before. When he arrived, she said, “Now, Gyges, there are two roads before you, and I shall let you choose which you want to take. Either kill Kandaules and have me and the kingdom of the Lydians,a or you yourself must die at once so that in the future you will never see things you should not see in your complete obedience to Kandaules. At any rate, either he should die, since he planned the deed, or you should, since you saw me naked, which violated all decency.”

At first Gyges was dumbstruck by what he heard; then he begged her not to force him to make such a choice. Nevertheless, he could not persuade her, and when he saw that he really was confronted with the necessity to kill his master or to be killed by others, he decided that he would survive. He asked her, “Since you are compelling me to slay my master, please tell me how we’re going to assault him.” “The attack will be made from the very place he revealed me naked,” she replied, “and the assault will be made upon him in his sleep.”a
Together they worked out the plan, and when night fell—for Gyges was not getting out of this; there was no escape—either he or Kandaules had to die—Gyges followed the woman to the bedroom. She gave him a dagger and hid him behind the same door. Then, when Kandaules was sleeping, Gyges crept up, slew him, and obtained the woman and the kingdom. It is this Gyges that the poet Archilochus of Paros,a who lived at the same time, mentions in his verses.

Gyges was supported in obtaining the kingdom by an oracle from Delphi. For the Lydians thought that what had happened to Kandaules was dreadful and were up in arms. However, the partisans of Gyges and the rest of the Lydians came to an agreement: if the oracle declared him king, he would be king; if not, he would return the rule to the Heraklids. The oracle did in fact declare for him, and thus Gyges became king. But the Pythiaa added this: retribution would come from the Heraklids to the fourth descendant of Gyges. The Lydians and their kings disregarded this part of the oracle until it actually came to pass.

Thus the Mermnads obtained the kingship by taking it from the Heraklids. When Gyges became king, he sent quite a few dedications off to Delphi, and of all the silver dedications in Delphi, most are his. Besides silver, he dedicated an unbelievable amount of gold. Most worthy of mention among them are the bowls; six golden bowls are his offerings; they weigh thirty talentsa and stand in the treasury of the Corinthians, although the truth is that it is not the treasury of all the Corinthians, but of Kypselos son of Eetion. Of all barbarians known to us, it was Gyges who first dedicated offerings to Delphi, after Midas son of Gordias, the king of Phrygia. Midas in fact dedicated a royal throne worth seeing, on which he sat when he gave judgments. This throne sits in the same place as Gyges’ bowls. The gold and silver dedicated by Gyges is called “Gygian” by the Delphians, named after its dedicator.

After Gyges had gained control of the government, he led his army in an invasion of Miletus and Smyrna, and he took Colophon. But since no other great deed was done by him during his kingship of thirty-eight years, we shall bypass it, having mentioned so much already.

But I will mention Ardys son of Gyges, who became king after him. It was this man who took Prienea and invaded Miletus. While he was ruling in Sardis, the Cimmerians, expelled from their homeland by Scythiand nomads, came into Asiae and took all of Sardis with the exception of the acropolis.

When Ardys had been king for forty-nine years, Sadyattes son of Ardys succeeded him and ruled as king for twelve years, followed by Alyattes son of Sadyattes. This king made war on Cyaxares, the descendant of Deiokes, and on his army of Medes. He drove the Cimmerians out of Asia, took Smyrna (a colony founded from Colophon), and invaded Klazomenai. From the latter he did not come away as he wished but suffered a great defeat.

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Gregory J. Casteel
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The best English edition of Herodotus you''re likely to find
Reviewed in the United States on June 9, 2018
As a general rule, I don''t review classics. Classics are classics for a reason—they have withstood the test of time—and there is very little of value that I can add to what countless generations of readers and scholars have already said about them. You ought to read... See more
As a general rule, I don''t review classics. Classics are classics for a reason—they have withstood the test of time—and there is very little of value that I can add to what countless generations of readers and scholars have already said about them. You ought to read classics *because they are classics*, not because they get good reviews on Amazon or GoodReads. And if you are interested in ancient history, and especially the history of Ancient Greece and the Persian Empire, you really ought to read ''The Histories'' by Herodotus.

So, let''s assume that you''ve decided to read Herodotus. Now you''ve got to decide which edition of ''The Histories'' to get, because there are several editions to choose from. That is where a book review can actually be of some help, and that is why I have written this review—not to offer my opinions about what Herodotus wrote, but to share my thoughts on one specific edition of his classic text: ''The Landmark Herodotus,'' translated from the original Greek by Andrea L. Purvis and edited by Robert B. Strassler, with contributions from various other scholars.

Assuming that you are looking for an English language edition of ''The Histories'', you are unlikely to find a better edition than this one. While I can''t comment on the accuracy of the translation, since I have never read Herodotus in the original Greek (alas, my Ancient Greek is not yet good enough to even attempt it), I can say that it is very readable. Andrea L. Purvis has translated Herodotus''s text into clear, easy-to-understand, modern English that is a delight to read. I might even go so far as to say that Purvis''s translation of ''The Histories'' is a "page turner." I never once got bored with what I was reading—not even when Herodotus went off on one of his notoriously long digressions—and I was always eager to find out what would happen next in the story.

But there are plenty of good English translations of Herodotus out there to choose from. What makes this edition of ''The Histories'' so special has less to do with the translation itself than with the "bonus materials" that accompany the text. First of all, there are the maps—lots and lots and lots of maps! (If you love maps as much as I do, this edition is worth getting just for the maps alone.) Every three or four pages in the book you''ll find a map showing the various locations that Herodotus mentions in the surrounding text. Every landmark (e.g. town, temple, battle site, river, mountain, sea, country) that Herodotus mentions in his text is identified on these maps, if its location is known (though the locations of some of the places he mentions have not yet been identified). These maps really help the reader follow the narrative and visualize where the various events in ''The Histories'' took place. (I must presume that this edition is called the "Landmark" Herodotus because of these maps.)

In addition to the maps, there are a number of photos and illustrations that help readers to better visualize the places and things that Herodotus talks about in his narrative. There are also tons of footnotes that provide map references and other information of interest to the reader. Plus, at the beginning of each "chapter" in the text (most of which are only one or two paragraphs long), there is a marginal note indicating when and where the events recounted in that chapter took place (if known) and giving a brief summary of what the chapter is about. In addition to these useful features, there is a long introduction by Rosalind Thomas discussing the significance of Herodotus''s work, as well as 21 appendices at the end, written by various scholars, that shed additional light on the people, places, cultures, and events mentioned throughout ''The Histories.'' This edition also includes a detailed outline of Herodotus''s text, which gives the dates and locations for each section of the narrative. There is also a glossary of terms that are used in the book, a list of ancient authors referred to in the book, a short bibliography, a truly massive and detailed index (probably the most extensive index to Herodotus that you will find in print), and last but not least, even more maps!—in the very back of the book there is a series of detailed reference maps, with a comprehensive index, showing the location of every landmark mentioned in the text (excepting, of course, those whose location is unknown). I don''t think you''re likely to find another edition of Herodotus that is even remotely as chock full of features designed to aid the reader as this one is. I definitely recommend it.

Now, as much as I love this edition of ''The Histories'', it isn''t perfect, and I can''t in good conscience praise its many virtues without at least mentioning, in passing, its few vices. There are, quite frankly, a number of errors in the footnotes. Some footnotes are simply missing (i.e. there is a pointer to the footnote in the text but no corresponding footnote at the bottom of the page); others provide the wrong information (e.g. references to the wrong map). These errors are annoying, to be sure, and there are far more of them than there ought to have been in a well-edited book, but I don''t want to exaggerate their importance. No book can be expected to be perfect, and these mistakes aren''t severe enough to seriously detract from the overall value of this otherwise excellent book. ''The Landmark Herodotus'' is still worthy of an unqualified five-star rating as far as I''m concerned, despite the errors. I highly recommend it.

Before I go, I should note that ''The Landmark Herodotus'' is only one volume in a series of classic historical texts edited by Robert B. Strassler, and I look forward to one day soon reading the other books in this series, which include ''The Landmark Thucydides,'' ''The Landmark Xenophon''s Hellenika,'' ''The Landmark Arrian,'' and ''The Landmark Julius Caesar,'' plus the forthcoming ''The Landmark Xenophon''s Anabasis'' and ''The Landmark Polybius.'' If these turn out to be even half as good as ''The Landmark Herodotus,'' they will be an absolute treat to read.

- - -

CAVEAT: Be sure you are ordering the right edition! I have noticed that, when there are multiple editions of the same book available on Amazon, reviews for one specific edition will sometimes show up on the product pages for other editions of that same book. My review is specifically meant for ''The Landmark Herodotus,'' edited by Robert B. Strassler. Please make sure that you are ordering that edition and not some other one.
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Alex
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A wonderful edition of a classic work
Reviewed in the United States on March 17, 2018
This is an absolutely crucial book in the chronology of Western thought, for it is humanity''s first attempt at tracing recent events (in his case, the Persian War) through rational means to human-understandable causes. With all of this said, it is crucial to... See more
This is an absolutely crucial book in the chronology of Western thought, for it is humanity''s first attempt at tracing recent events (in his case, the Persian War) through rational means to human-understandable causes.

With all of this said, it is crucial to understand that "History", as a modern word and concept, did not exist when Herodotus was writing. The entire paradigm of history only came out of the work of Herodotus and his successor Thucydides. Thus, Herodotus will not conform to many modern aspects of historical writing that twenty-first century readers would expect. Herodotus is blending ethnography, oral tradition, and writing conventions inspired by the Homeric Epics and Greek Tragedies all together to produce a type of narrative never before seen. It is important to keep this in mind, as many critics of Herodotus see him as lesser than Thucydides for failing to measure up to modern standards of historical narrative. Without Herodotus, there probably would have never been a Thucydides. It is unjust to measure Herodotus against a paradigm which took millennia to develop after he wrote his Histories.

Now, onto the subject of his history and the the Landmark Edition of his work. This history culminates in the story of the Persian invasion of mainland Greece, and the Greek (partial) unification to oppose that invasion. Many of the legendary stories about Athens and the Spartans come from here: the battle of Marathon, where Athens achieved its first big victory; the battle of Thermopylae, where 300 Spartans and their often-forgotten allies and slaves fought to the death against the Persians; and other battles as well. All of this happens in the second half of his work. The first half of this work is a vast ethnography of multiple different cultures. Herodotus surveys cultural norms, origins, and encounters with the expanding Persian Empire. Here, he shows a surprising amount of care, respect, and sophistication when comparing foreign customs against his own. This section is crucial for background information and for defining the Persian war as a particular instance of a larger East-West conflict. Herodotus traces this conflict to a series of abductions of women, eventually leading to the famous Trojan War. Many people today would say that an East-West conflict is a Muslim-Christian conflict, but Herodotus shows that the hostility between the two go much further back.

The Landmark Series has unequivocally set a new standard for producing ancient historical narratives. Any subsequent publication of Herodotus must match or surpass the work Robert Strassler has done on this series. Most editions of Herodotus will have a bundle of maps at either the beginning or end of the work. Any time the reader wants to find a particular location, he or she must flip through the entire book, find the relevant map, search the entire map for the location (often overlooking it), and doing this all while having a finger in the middle of the book so that he or she doesn''t lose their place. The Landmark Edition has relevant maps printed on (more or less) every other page. The reader never has to flip through more than a handful of pages to find the relevant map. When they do get to the map, there is often a series of maps: one map of the general area, then a zoomed-in box which blows up the specific region. This specific map will have the relevant cities, geographical features, battle sites, etc.

There are over twenty academic articles in the appendices which could, in of themselves, form a wonderful book on the classical world. There are articles on the structure of Athenian government, the Spartan society, the roles of women in classical society, ancient units of measurements, and much more.

If anyone decides to read Herodotus''s Histories in English, it would be foolish to use any other edition of his work than the Landmark Edition. This edition has rendered all others obsolete.

I hope that this review has given the reader a sense of what this work does, why it is still important, and why the Landmark Edition is the absolute best out there right now.
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MarkTop Contributor: Star Wars
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Reader-friendly Herodotus
Reviewed in the United States on March 7, 2016
In The Landmark Herodotus, Strassler & co. throw open this antique work and make it extremely accessible. On about every fourth page or so there is a detailed map that points out every location on the past few pages, which makes things a lot easier to follow. With detailed... See more
In The Landmark Herodotus, Strassler & co. throw open this antique work and make it extremely accessible. On about every fourth page or so there is a detailed map that points out every location on the past few pages, which makes things a lot easier to follow. With detailed appendices and footnotes, it is seemingly impossible to get lost with the sheer wealth of helpful information. The translation is a tad dry, but I imagine that''s just how the original text is anyway.

As far as Herodotus goes, it''s a pretty diverse array of information that lacks a true focus beyond the general narrative of the Greco-Persian war. The bulk of the work is devoted to a geographic, cultural, and historical analysis of the entire Eastern Mediterranean. Much of what Herodotus conjectures is apparently wrong, as the footnotes point out, but a great deal of it as well is incredibly important primary source information. Approach Herodotus not for a narrative of the Greco-Persian war, but for a snapshot of "everything a Greek like Herodotus knows about his world at that time."
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B. Lewis
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Perfect if you didn''t major in Classics
Reviewed in the United States on September 28, 2019
The writing of Herodotus is exquisite, but I''m giving 5 stars for the way this book presents him. There are so many maps throughout that it may seem to some like overkill. There are helpful margin notes explaining further context, where needed, and pointing out where the... See more
The writing of Herodotus is exquisite, but I''m giving 5 stars for the way this book presents him. There are so many maps throughout that it may seem to some like overkill. There are helpful margin notes explaining further context, where needed, and pointing out where the historicity of certain events is dubious. There are wonderful essays in the appendix that give a much fuller understanding of this period of Greek history, written by giants in the field (e.g. Paul Cartledge, a favorite of anyone who''s read up on Sparta or listens to the In Our Time podcast). I can''t recommend the Landmark series highly enough.
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Tacitus2
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not as interesting as the others in the series
Reviewed in the United States on February 27, 2020
I have read the Landmark series on Caesar, Alexander, and Thucydides and the Herodotus doesn''t keep my attention. You can skip pages and not miss anything. The notes on the side of the pages giving a brief summary of the paragraphs helps with skipping over some parts.... See more
I have read the Landmark series on Caesar, Alexander, and Thucydides and the Herodotus doesn''t keep my attention. You can skip pages and not miss anything. The notes on the side of the pages giving a brief summary of the paragraphs helps with skipping over some parts. Nonetheless, the book has lots of helpful footnotes and maps so you can see what Herodotus is writing about and it''s not just lists of unknown locations. I found the footnotes in this volume have rather snarky comments about Herodotus which are absent in the other volumes. I mean, come on, the guy was writing almost 3,000 years ago. Give him a break!
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M. Anderson
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Read Herodotus! And this is wonderful translation and collection of accompanying material to do it with!
Reviewed in the United States on December 11, 2014
Herodotus is FUN to read. He is thought of as the Father of History and this important book demonstrates what our first historian attempted to do. It is full of wonderful stories that may or may not be true, but Herodotus did his best to confirm oral accounts from all... See more
Herodotus is FUN to read. He is thought of as the Father of History and this important book demonstrates what our first historian attempted to do. It is full of wonderful stories that may or may not be true, but Herodotus did his best to confirm oral accounts from all sides.

The Landmark edition (and this is true of the other Landmark volumes too) is all you could want, with maps and footnotes that keep you clear about the places Herodotus wrote about. There is a series of essays as appendices on topics in Greek life that are extremely useful.

This book was Herodotus'' effort to establish the cause of the Persian Wars with Greece. (He thinks Croesus was the cause.) His thesis has been re-visited and challenged, but it is still one of the major sources of information about Greece and the Mediterranean (as well as Egypt and northern Africa) in the 5th century BC and before.
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Maps and annotations are worth the extra few dollars
Reviewed in the United States on December 5, 2020
The Landmark Herodotus provides a wealth of historical maps pulled from the ''Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World'' which are interspersed liberally throughout the text. They are constantly available without being overly repetitive or redundant. Additionally, the... See more
The Landmark Herodotus provides a wealth of historical maps pulled from the ''Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World'' which are interspersed liberally throughout the text. They are constantly available without being overly repetitive or redundant. Additionally, the annotations were useful for clarification at several points throughout the text; especially in regards to Herodotus'' more confusing tangents like fox-sized gold digging ants or hippopotamuses with horse-like features. The one gripe I have with the annotations is their repetitiveness in regards to certain frequent topics. As an example, throughout the text, whenever Lacedaemonians are mentioned, the annotations will provide the same note mentioning Herodotus'' use of ''Spartan'' and ''Lacedaemonian'' interchangeably. This example reappears dozens of times and can serve to pull one from the flow of the translation, which is really quite good. Of course, this is a minor issue and the reader should become accustomed to ignoring repetative annotations
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Aaa
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The only way to read Herodotus
Reviewed in the United States on July 15, 2013
This review will rate "The Landmark Herodotus" in two ways. First, it will review this particular edition, and second, it will review the Histories of Herodotus itself. I give five stars to this edition of Herodotus. I cannot imagine reading any other edition of... See more
This review will rate "The Landmark Herodotus" in two ways. First, it will review this particular edition, and second, it will review the Histories of Herodotus itself.

I give five stars to this edition of Herodotus. I cannot imagine reading any other edition of Herodotus; after looking through several other translations and editions, this one exceeds them all in many respects. The first and most relevant addition is the inclusion of maps every few pages. Herodotus mentions many different places in his work and unless you''re a professor of Greek history, you won''t know all of them. Every location that is known to modern scholars is plotted on the maps. Best of all, each map focuses on the places mentioned in the pages preceding it. That way the maps aren''t cluttered, making it difficult to find a place that you''ve read about (unlike almost every other Greek history book available).

Andrea Purvis''s translation is excellent. It is clear, easy to understand, and uses 20th century English, unlike many of the other translations available which use old-fashioned and pretentious language. The appendices are very helpful and worth reading as you move through the book. They help to pull together many aspects of Herodotus''s work.

I also give five stars to the Histories of Herodotus as a work in its own right. What Herodotus has to say is interesting and hugely relevant to ancient history. Herodotus has many detractors who say that he was not as critical of his sources as he ought to have been. I disagree. Herodotus repeatedly gives several viewpoints for an issue and then explains why he thinks that one of them is the best. For example, he gives numerous theories for why the Nile floods in the summertime and then explains why he thinks one of them is true.

Herodotus does claim that many of the oracles are credible and occasionally gives supernatural explanations to historical events (for example, the Greek victories at Plataea and Mycale). His reliance on the supernatural, however, is sensible or even progressive when compared with his contemporaries. Is he as empirically-minded as Thucydides? Perhaps not, but Herodotus''s work does seem to suffer less from personal bias than Thucydides'' "The Peloponnesian War". I fully recommend "The Landmark Herodotus" to anyone interested in Greek or Persian history or reading one of the classics of world literature.
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A real pleasure
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 5, 2009
Well presented and well edited with good clear maps and notes. A great book both to own and to read.
Well presented and well edited with good clear maps and notes. A great book both to own and to read.
6 people found this helpful
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Gareth Davies
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Excellent edition in an excellent series
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 15, 2010
Books like this are one reason why I have decided not to buy an eReader. I tend to buy the best editions of books because I appreciate them as much for their pure aesthetics as their content. This book, and indeed this series, are simply beautiful objects in their own...See more
Books like this are one reason why I have decided not to buy an eReader. I tend to buy the best editions of books because I appreciate them as much for their pure aesthetics as their content. This book, and indeed this series, are simply beautiful objects in their own right. Each page it seems is lavished with notes written in the margin as well as diagrams and maps to give the classics student a better understanding of the events on the narrative. If I were at university studying Herodotus I would want this book simply as a reference, and buy a cheap copy for note taking. Th print quality is excellent and the paper has a good feel and is not too thin. Highly Recommended
Books like this are one reason why I have decided not to buy an eReader.

I tend to buy the best editions of books because I appreciate them as much for their pure aesthetics as their content. This book, and indeed this series, are simply beautiful objects in their own right.

Each page it seems is lavished with notes written in the margin as well as diagrams and maps to give the classics student a better understanding of the events on the narrative. If I were at university studying Herodotus I would want this book simply as a reference, and buy a cheap copy for note taking.

Th print quality is excellent and the paper has a good feel and is not too thin.

Highly Recommended
15 people found this helpful
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William
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A wonderful edition
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 24, 2010
I had attempted to listen to this as an audiobook and found it quite difficult, so decided to go for this edition of the printed version, and I am truly glad I did. If you are interested in reading Herodotus then you really have to treat yourself to this edition. The very...See more
I had attempted to listen to this as an audiobook and found it quite difficult, so decided to go for this edition of the printed version, and I am truly glad I did. If you are interested in reading Herodotus then you really have to treat yourself to this edition. The very many helps make all the references Herodotus makes to places and people so much more easier to follow. Excellent, truly excellent.
I had attempted to listen to this as an audiobook and found it quite difficult, so decided to go for this edition of the printed version, and I am truly glad I did. If you are interested in reading Herodotus then you really have to treat yourself to this edition. The very many helps make all the references Herodotus makes to places and people so much more easier to follow. Excellent, truly excellent.
8 people found this helpful
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Semper Victor
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
L''oeuvre d''Hérodote présentée dans toutes ses dimensions (en anglais)
Reviewed in France on August 1, 2018
« The Landmark Herodotus » propose la traduction (en anglais) des livres d''Hérodote qui constitue les premiers travaux d''historien de l''histoire de l''humanité. Il ne s''agit en effet pas d''annales ou de chronique listant des données ou des événements, mais une véritable «...See more
« The Landmark Herodotus » propose la traduction (en anglais) des livres d''Hérodote qui constitue les premiers travaux d''historien de l''histoire de l''humanité. Il ne s''agit en effet pas d''annales ou de chronique listant des données ou des événements, mais une véritable « enquête » sur le monde tel que l''on pouvait le connaître à cette époque lointaine. L''édition pilotée par Robert B. Strassler est d''une grande qualité, tant pour le texte que pour les nombreuses cartes et encadrés qui viennent en éclairer le contenu. On ne peut que regretter qu''il n''en existe pas d''équivalent en français, sous la forme d''un volume aussi complet et aussi didactique.
« The Landmark Herodotus » propose la traduction (en anglais) des livres d''Hérodote qui constitue les premiers travaux d''historien de l''histoire de l''humanité. Il ne s''agit en effet pas d''annales ou de chronique listant des données ou des événements, mais une véritable « enquête » sur le monde tel que l''on pouvait le connaître à cette époque lointaine.

L''édition pilotée par Robert B. Strassler est d''une grande qualité, tant pour le texte que pour les nombreuses cartes et encadrés qui viennent en éclairer le contenu. On ne peut que regretter qu''il n''en existe pas d''équivalent en français, sous la forme d''un volume aussi complet et aussi didactique.
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Ian Chadwick
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A great service to readers of the classics
Reviewed in Canada on September 25, 2016
The entire Landmark series provides a great service to readers by annotating and illustrating these classic works. The maps, footnotes and photographs really complement the works and make them much more accessible. I am reading the Landmark Herodotus in parallel with Tom...See more
The entire Landmark series provides a great service to readers by annotating and illustrating these classic works. The maps, footnotes and photographs really complement the works and make them much more accessible. I am reading the Landmark Herodotus in parallel with Tom Holland''s new translation. While I prefer Holland''s wording, I like the notes and maps in this edition more. But get both - they each annotate different areas and the collected wisdom from both is so much better than reading just one!
The entire Landmark series provides a great service to readers by annotating and illustrating these classic works. The maps, footnotes and photographs really complement the works and make them much more accessible. I am reading the Landmark Herodotus in parallel with Tom Holland''s new translation. While I prefer Holland''s wording, I like the notes and maps in this edition more. But get both - they each annotate different areas and the collected wisdom from both is so much better than reading just one!
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