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Herodotus and the invention of history
Herodotus and the invention of history

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Taking it further

If you liked these snippets of Herodotus:

  • Tom Holland’s Persian Fire (Little, 2005) is a lively and accessible modern retelling of the Histories that draws upon contemporary frames of reference (from Churchill’s Second World War speeches to the US-UK led invasion of Iraq).
  • Holland has also published a translation of The Histories (Penguin, 2015). Other popular English translations include those by Robin Waterfield (Oxford World Classics, 2008) and Andrea Purvis (the Landmark Herodotus, Anchor Books, 2009).
  • Alternatively, the Histories of Herodotus is freely available online (in both English and Greek) via the Perseus Classical Library [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .

If you want to find out more about Herodotus:

  • Melvyn Bragg’s long-running Radio4 show In Our Time has an episode dedicated to Herodotus, with a roundtable discussion among Herodotean specialists, Tom Harrison (formerly Professor of Ancient History at the University of St Andrews), Esther Eidinow (Professor of Ancient History at the University of Bristol), and Paul Cartledge (A. G. Leventis Senior Research Fellow at Clare College, University of Cambridge).
  • For the Radio4 show Great Lives presented by Matthew Parris, writer Justin Marozzi argues for his choice of Herodotus, with Professor Edith Hall as an expert witness.
  • In an episode of the joint BBC/British Museum production A History of the World in 100 Objects, former British Museum director Neil MacGregor examines a gold coin of Croesus, assisted by scientist Paul Craddock and curator Amelia Dowler.
  • A TEDEd animation addresses the question Why is Herodotus called “The Father of History”?, presented by Mark Robinson.
  • A map of all the places mentioned in the Histories is provided by the course author, using the free open-source annotation tool, Recogito, and the English text provided by Perseus.

If you’d like to know more about Homer:

This course is part of a series of courses under the title HeadStart Classical Studies. You can find details about this series as well as links to its other courses on this page.