Herodotus: A Very Short Introduction
Herodotus has come to be respected by most scholars as a responsible and important historian. Herodotus was both a critical thinker and a lively storyteller, a traveller who was both tourist and anthropologist. Like Homer, he set out to memorialize great deeds in words; more narrowly, he determined to discover the causes of the wars between Greece and Persia and to explain them to his fellow Greeks. In his hands, the Greeks' unforeseeable defeat of the Persian kings Darius and Xerxes, with their vast hosts, made for fascinating storytelling. Influenced by the work of the natural scientists and philosophers of his own and earlier eras, Herodotus also brought his literary talents to bear on a vast, unruly mass of information gathered from many interviews throughout his travels and left behind him the longest work that had ever been written in Greek - the first work of history, and one which continues to be read with enjoyment today. Herodotus: A Very Short Introduction introduces readers to what little is known of Herodotus's life and goes on to discuss all aspects of his work, including his fascination with his origins; his travels; his view of the world in relation to boundaries and their transgressions; and his interest in seeing the world and learning about non-Greek civilizations. We also explore the recurring themes of his work, his beliefs in dreams, oracles, and omens, the prominence of women in his work, and his account of the battles of the Persian Wars. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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1 The world of Herodotus
2 Origins and the historian
3 Greeks and Persians at war
4 Herodotus as ethnographer
5 Women in history women in The Histories
6 Herodotus and the divine
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5th century Almásy Amazons Amestris Arion Aristagoras Artabanus Arta˙nte Artemisia Astyages Athenians Athens audience Babylon Bacchiads battle believe birth Cambyses Candaules cities claim Corinth course Croesus Croesus’s cultural customs Cyrus Cyrus’s Darius dead death defeat Delphi Demaratus divine Egypt Egyptians ethnographers fact father fellow Greeks fighting fought gods Greece Greek Greek victory Greeks and Persians Gyges Halicarnassus Hecataeus Hermotimus Herodotus reports Herodotus says Herodotus tells Herodotus’s Herodotus’s account Herodotus’s day Herodotus’s narrative Herodotus’s text historian Histories Homeric hoplite human Iliad Ionian John Kapuściński killed king king’s Leonidas live logoi Lydia Marathon Mardonius Masistes Massagetae Michael Miletus motif Mycale never nomoi nomos non-Greeks Odyssey offered oracle Panionius Periander Persian Empire Persian Wars PHILOSOPHY Plataea prose queen readers recounted Rhampsinitus role Salamis scepticism Scythians ships shrine soldiers Solon Spartans story tale Themistocles Thermopylae things Thrasybulus Thucydides Tomyris tradition wife woman women wonder writing Xerxes