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In the 5th century BC an adventurous Ionian Greek, Herodotus of Halicarnassus, journeyed extensively through the lands of the eastern Mediterranean, from Egypt to Asia Minor, collecting tales of the upheavals that had afflicted the region in the earlier part of the century. The fruits of his wanderings were The Histories, in which he used his narrative gifts not only to chronicle the rise of the Achaemenid Persian Empire and its war with the Greek city-states, but also to recount his experiences with the varied peoples and cultures he had encountered during his journey. Herodotus earned the nickname 'the father of history' for this, the first authentic work of historical writing in the Western literary canon. In it he explored such universal themes as the nature of freedom, the role of religion, the human costs of war, and the dangers of absolute power. But in addition to his narrative of the Greek-Persian conflict, he included in The Histories rich seams of anthropology, ethnography, geology, and geography, pioneering these fields of study. Successful navigation of this sprawling, monumental work requires an understanding of ancient geography and events that will often be unfamiliar to the modern reader. Ten years in the making, Robert Strassler's magisterial new edition of The Histories is amplified by a veritable battery of editorial features - illustrations, maps, annotations, explanatory synopses, and state-of-the-art appendices on such critical themes as Athenian government, Egypt, Persian weaponry and tactics, oracles, religion tyranny and the position of women - that makes Herodotus' masterpiece more comprehensible, more accessible, even more enjoyable than ever before. The Landmark Herodotus is the definitive edition of a Western cultural milestone. It belongs on the bookshelf of every literate individual.
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