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The Histories | [Herodotus]

The Histories

Herodotus is not only the father of the art and the science of historical writing, but also one of the Western tradition's most compelling storytellers. In tales such as that of Gyges, who murders Candaules, the king of Lydia, and usurps his throne and his marriage bed, thereby bringing on, generations later, war with the Persians, Herodotus laid bare the intricate human entanglements at the core of great historical events.
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Publisher's Summary

Herodotus is not only the father of the art and the science of historical writing, but also one of the Western tradition's most compelling storytellers. In tales such as that of Gyges, who murders Candaules, the king of Lydia, and usurps his throne and his marriage bed, thereby bringing on, generations later, war with the Persians, Herodotus laid bare the intricate human entanglements at the core of great historical events.

In his love for the stranger, more marvelous facts of the world, he infused his magnificent history with a continuous awareness of the mythic and the wonderful. For more than a hundred generations, his supple, lucid prose has drawn readers into his panoramic vision of the war between the Greek city-states and the great empire to the east. And in the generosity of his spirit, in the instinctive empiricism that took him searching over much of the known world for information, in the care he took with sources and historical evidence, in his freedom from intolerance and prejudice, he virtually defined the rational, humane spirit that is the enduring legacy of Greek civilization.

(P) Blackstone Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (265 )
5 star
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Overall
4.3 (113 )
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Story
3.5 (115 )
5 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Dan East Peoria, IL, United States 01-01-12
    Dan East Peoria, IL, United States 01-01-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hard to keep up but well worth the effort"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, first person reporting centuries before Christ. 5th century BC


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Herodotus of Halicarnassus. Interviews, dates and a clear difference from what the considered fact (or likely) from stories.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Difficult listening. I'll never buy a book narrated by Bernard Mayes
    again. In part 3 it seems there good microphone stopped working so they replaced it with one from a speak n spell. Very course, gave me a headache trying to listen. No amount of radio tuning could correct it. That's right I'm not happy about it.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    A good purchase for any history buff. Stop watching television and do your own research.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Moorhead, MN, United States 06-30-14
    J. Moorhead, MN, United States 06-30-14 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Maps would help"

    It's hard to call yourself an historian and not to have read Herodotus, the Father of History. Every time I'd pick up the written version, I found the beginning so slow (and so steeped in fable as to be of questionable historical value) that I would set it aside as a chore to be tackled when I really needed to do penance. Listening to the audio version has strengths and weaknesses of its own. One gets through the fables and the travel book accounts of the first book more easily, though I found times where my attention lapsed. There are so many odd names of persons and places, that it's difficult to keep them straight without seeing their spelling or location on a map. This might be one of those books that are best listened too and read simultaneously. Keep an ancient atlas with you as well. The story picks up with the recounting of Persia's invasion of Greece and the resistance made by Sparta and Athens. It's then one realizes just how much of our understanding of the Persian Wars trace back to Herodotus. Many later texts on the period draw on him almost exclusively. Parts of the work are worth many re-reads, but as I say, keep some maps at hand. As for Bernard Mayes's narration, yes he comes off as a Greek oral traditionalists, but his dry voice make dry sections seem particularly desiccated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    adam Jersey City, NJ, United States 06-24-13
    adam Jersey City, NJ, United States 06-24-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Clear translation by soporific narrator."
    Where does The Histories rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Roughly in the middle of the pack.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Histories?

    Lots of amazing, colorful moments. Men being cleaved in half over insults, thieves stealing body parts, women commanding ships!


    What three words best describe Bernard Mayes’s performance?

    Clearly-read. Inaccurately-pronounced. Sleep-inducing.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Hahaha.


    Any additional comments?

    This is inestimably better than the free version available on another site.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stan Lavery APO, AE USA 10-17-12
    Stan Lavery APO, AE USA 10-17-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Incomplete recording"
    Would you try another book from Herodotus and/or Bernard Mayes?

    Yes, if complete.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Histories?

    Book VIII is missing the first 22 paragraphs(!), quite a chunk of text. Secondly, the translation replaces the names of the Greek gods with the Roman names, which is odd.This is a flawed recording.


    Have you listened to any of Bernard Mayes’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lauren northampton, MA, USA 02-25-10
    Lauren northampton, MA, USA 02-25-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    "clear and well read"

    very enjoyable to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Geekazoid Prairie Village, KS USA 12-24-05
    Geekazoid Prairie Village, KS USA 12-24-05 Member Since 2002

    Larry

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The case against tyrants."

    The histories of Herodotus were meant to be read aloud in the theater, so they are more properly called narratives. They contain case after case of tyrants going to war for no good reason. At one point a Spartan general has captured Persian servants prepare a meal as they normally would for the Persian officers and then had his men prepare a Spartan meal. He laughed out loud at the result, called his men in and said "What fools these Persians are to leave their luxury and come to do battle with us to take our penury." Apparently it was ever thus; tyrants, not content with what they control try to control more and reap destruction. It's enlightening in it's tragic repetition of this theme.

    10 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    04-06-10
    04-06-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    38
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "A good purchase"

    I enjoy this audio book. The quality of the story as accurate history is debatable, but it is terribly interesting as much for the perspective of Herodotus as anything else. The quality of the sounds varies at times, but it is generally pretty good.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. H. Wolverton 03-24-10 Member Since 2008

    Okthorse

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent material, marginally read"

    Herodotus is a classic, but this reading is only average. Try to find a better version if you can.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie new york, NY, USA 03-03-10
    Jamie new york, NY, USA 03-03-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    8
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    Overall
    "ugh, what is this guy saying?????"

    the narrator sounds like the old man character off "Family Guy" he even whistles when he says "s's ... not sure how i'm going to get through 20 hours of this : ( ugh.

    i was so looking forward to this, but i can barely understand what this guy is saying.

    does AUdible give money back?

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
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