Herodotus: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | July 23, 2011

byJennifer T. Roberts

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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, hedetermined 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 avast, 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 inseeing 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.

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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, hedetermined to discover the causes of the wars be...

Jennifer Roberts was educated at Yale and has taught since 1992 at the City University of New York, where she directs the doctoral program in Ancient History at the Graduate Center. She has published widely in the field of Greek history and historiography and has particular interests in ancient and modern democracy, Herodotus, Thucydi...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:144 pages, 6.85 × 4.37 × 0.07 inPublished:July 23, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199575991

ISBN - 13:9780199575992

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The world of Herodotus2. Origins and the historian3. Greeks and Persians at war4. Herodotus as Ethnographer5. Women in history, women in the histories6. Herodotus and the divine7. Herodotus as storyteller8. Herodotus as historian