The Histories of Herodotus, completed in the second half of the 5th century BC, is generally regarded as the first work of history and the first great masterpiece of non-fiction writing. Few history books since can compare for sheer drama with Herodotus's narrative of the Persian invasions of Greece. His accounts of the great battles of Marathon and Thermopylae, of Salamis and Plataea, retain to this day a matchless epic quality. More than this, though, The Histories is also the source of much of our knowledge of the ancient world. Herodotus was an endlessly curious man, and gathered information about the world around him from as many people and places as he could investigate. History was only the beginning of his interests. Whether it was the pyramids of Egypt, the cannabis habit of the Scythians, the flora and fauna of Arabia or the table dancing of the Athenian aristocracy, he was fascinated by them all. To this day, phrases derived from The Histories - from 'rich as Croesus' to 'tall poppy syndrome' - are part of the mental furniture even of those who haven't read him. Sometimes he is sceptical, and sometimes credulous, but his love of recounting what he has learned never ceases. Above all, as Tom Holland says in his introduction, "Herodotus is the most entertaining of historians. Indeed he is as entertaining as anyone who has ever written - historian or not." This absorbing new translation, by one of Britain's most admired young historians, allows all the drama and mysteriousness of this great book to be fully appreciated by modern readers. The sources of our information about the world are now more in flux than they have been for generations: there could be few better moments to read and reflect upon the book which first sought to organise knowledge. TOM HOLLAND is the author of Rubicon: The Triumph and Tragedy of the Roman Republic, which won the Hessell-Tiltman Prize for History and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize. Persian Fire, his history of the Graeco-Persian wars, won the Anglo-Hellenic League's Runciman Award in 2006. His most recent book, In the Shadow of the Sword, describes the collapse of Roman and Persian power in the Near East, and the emergence of Islam. He has adapted Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides and Virgil for the BBC, and is the presenter of BBC Radio 4's Making History. In 2007, he was the winner of the Classical Association Prize awarded to 'the individual who has done most to promote the study of the language, literature and civilisation of Ancient Greece and Rome'. He served two years as the Chair of the Society of Authors 2009-11, and is currently on the committee of the Classical Association. PAUL CARTLEDGE is the inaugural A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge and President of the Fellowship, Clare College. His numerous books include Sparta and Lakonia: A Regional History 1300-362 BC; The Greeks: A Portrait of Self and Others; The Cambridge Illustrated History of Ancient Greece (winner of the John D. Criticos Prize); Thermopylae: The Battle That Changed the World; Ancient Greek Political Thought in Practice; and Ancient Greece. A Very Short Introduction. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, holds the Gold Cross of the Order of Honour (conferred by the President of the Hellenic Republic) and is an Honorary Citizen of Sparti, Greece.
In AD68 Nero's suicide marked the end of the first dynasty of imperial Rome. The following year was one of drama and danger, though not of chaos. In the surviving books of his Histories the barrister-historian Tacitus, writing some thirty years after the events he describes, gives us a detailed account based on excellent authorities. In the 'long but single year' of revolution four emperors emerge in succession: Galba, Otho, Vitellius and Vespasian - who established the Flavian dynasty. Rhiannon Ash stays true to the spirit of Wellesley's prose whilst making the translation more accessible to modern readers.
In AD 68, Nero?s suicide marked the end of the first dynasty of imperial Rome. The following year was one of drama and danger, with four emperors?Galba, Otho, Vitellius, and Vespasian? emerging in succession. Based on authoritative sources,The Histories vividly recounts the details of the ?long but single year? of revolution that brought the Roman empire to the brink of collapse.
The book leads the reader through these vibrant stories, from the origins of the gods through to the homecomings of the Trojan heroes. All the familiar narratives are here, along with some less familiar characters and motifs. In addition to the tales, the book explains key issues arising from the narratives, and discusses the myths and their wider relevance. This long-overdue book crystallises three key areas of interest: the nature of the tales; the stories themselves; and how they have and might be interpreted. For the first time, it brings together aspects of Greek mythology only usually available in disparate forms - namely children's books and academic works. There will be much here that is interesting, surprising, and strange as well as familiar. Experts and non-experts, adults, students and schoolchildren alike will gain entertainment and insight from this fascinating and important volume.
'Do you see your son, standing over there, in the antechamber? Well, I am going to shoot him.' The story of the great and mad Cambyses, King of Persia, told by part-historian, part-mythmaker Herodotus of Halicarnassus. Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions. Herodotus (c.484-425 BCE). Herodotus's The Histories is also available in Penguin Classics.
Drawing on the cutting edge of modern scholarship, this astonishing book completely undermines the traditional history of Christianity that has been perpetuated for centuries by the Church and presents overwhelming evidence that the Jesus of the New Testament is a mythical figure. “Whether you conclude that this book is the most alarming heresy of the millennium or the mother of all revelations, The Jesus Mysteries deserves to be read.” —Fort Worth Star-Telegram Far from being eyewitness accounts, as is traditionally held, the Gospels are actually Jewish adaptations of ancient Pagan myths of the dying and resurrecting godman Osiris-Dionysus. The supernatural story of Jesus is not the history of a miraculous Messiah but a carefully crafted spiritual allegory designed to guide initiates on a journey of mystical discovery. A little more than a century ago, most people believed that the strange story of Adam and Eve was history; today it is understood to be a myth. Within a few decades, authors Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy argue, we will likewise be amazed that the fabulous story of God incarnate—who was born of a virgin, who turned water into wine, and who rose from the dead—could have been interpreted as anything but a profound parable.
Why Were the Teachings of the Original Christians Brutally Suppressed by the Roman Church? • Because they portray Jesus and Mary Magdalene as mythic figures based on the Pagan Godman and Goddess • Because they show that the gospel story is a spiritual allegory encapsulating a profound philosophy that leads to mythical enlightenment • Because they have the power to turn the world inside out and transform life into an exploration of consciousness Drawing on modern scholarship, the authors of the international bestseller The Jesus Mysteries decode the secret teachings of the original Christians for the first time in almost two millennia and theorize about who the original Christians really were and what they actually taught. In addition, the book explores the many myths of Jesus and the Goddess and unlocks the lost secret teachings of Christian mysticism, which promise happiness and immortality to those who attain the state of Gnosis, or enlightenment. This daring and controversial book recovers the ancient wisdom of the original Christians and demonstrates its relevance to us today. From the Trade Paperback edition.