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Publisher's Summary

In this, the first prose history in European civilization, Herodotus describes the growth of the Persian Empire with force, authority, and style. Perhaps most famously, the book tells the heroic tale of the Greeks' resistance to the vast invading force assembled by Xerxes, king of Persia. Here are not only the great battles - Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis - but also penetrating human insight and a powerful sense of epic destiny at work.

Public Domain (P)2016 Naxos AudioBooks

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Best of Audible's "The Histories" by Herodotus

Any additional comments?


"The Histories," by ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, is full of myths, folklore, legends, historical facts and tall tales. Herodotus basically traveled around the ancient world asking people questions about their lives and cultures and histories, and then wrote down whatever they told him. Because of this reporting style he is known as both the Father of History and The Father of Lies. Whether he records true tales or tall tales, it is interesting to know what ancient people said and thought about their world.

He covers a lot of ground, figuratively and literally. His writing style flows like the Meander river; full of twists and turns. I've listened to all the versions available on Audible, and David Timson's narration is best suited to Herodotus' tangential asides. His conversational style is engaging and enthusiastic. It's nice to hear someone giving the proper excitement for topics like the Battle of Marathon, Persian Culture, Egyptian Culture, Peloponnesian War, Greek-Persian Wars, the Artemesium battle, the Amazons and the Spartans at Thermopylae.

The 9 books are named after the 9 Muses, so here's a breakdown of topics:

Book 1
Lydia, Medes, Persia, Cyrus

Book 2
Egyptian And African History, Customs, Geography

Book 3
Cambyses Conquers Egypt; Cambyses' Death; Smerdis;
Darius; 20 Persian Satrapies

Book 4
Europeans; Darius Fails To Conquer Scythia;
Greek Colonies In Libya (Cyrene, Barca); Persia Invades Libya

Book 5
Persia Conquers Thrace, Paeonians;
Ionian Revolt Under Aristagoras Of Miletus;
Former Athens-Sparta Conflicts;
Athenian Tyrants & Democracy;
Conflict Between Athens And Darius Begins

Book 6
Miletus Conquered & Ionian Revolt Quelled;
Thrace, Athos, Macedonia Fall;
Rivalry Between Spartan Clemenes & Demaratus;
Athens-Aegina Conflict;
Athens & Plataeans Defeat Persia At Marathon Under Miltiades

Book 7
Darius Dies--Xerxes King;
Invasion Of Thrace, Thessalia;
Athens And Sparta Unite;
Shipwrecks Of Persians;
Leonidas' Defeat At Thermopylae

Book 8
Battle At Artemesium;
Attacks On Phocis, Boeotia, Delphi, Plataea, Athens;
Victory At Salamis

Book 9
Greek Victories At Plataea (Mardonius Killed); Greeks Attack Thebes; Victory At Mycale, Siege Of Sestos

31 of 33 people found this review helpful

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Very Entertaining

Any additional comments?

I am a big history fan. However, I hesitated to purchase Herodotus' Histories as I was concerned it might be excessively archaic, difficult to follow, etc. Not so! The narrative is very entertaining, mixing history, anthropology, and myth. The reader is terrific--he seems perfectly suited to the material. I highly recommend this audio book to fans of history, and of the ancient Near East in particular.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Best Narrator Ever

David Timson makes this classic a real pleasure to listen to. His voice kept me engaged the whole time. Highly recommend!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Bobby
  • Vergennes, VT, United States
  • 11-07-16

Great!

The narrator sounded as though he wrote the book. To the point bare bones history at its best.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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It's like story time with a grandparent.

It's like story time with a grandparent. David Timson delivers an engaging presentation of an accessible translation.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Bloody Good Read!

The father of historical writing describes the granddaddy of all wars, the Greco-Persian conflicts, in biblically gory detail. This is much too exciting and dreadful to listen to right before going to bed. It's a magnificent tale, not only of wars but of cultures, customs and shocking rituals. Anyone who loves histories will eat this book up, and it's read charmingly too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Delightful Classic

I always enjoy Herodotus, and David Timson does a truly wonderful job as narrator. Many hours of thought-provoking listening pleasure.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Toby
  • 01-06-17

Masterpiece

The irony of how patterns repeat throughout history. What is essentially an Ancient Greek History Textbook, is eloquently delivered so as not to bore the audience with a wooden pitch that might so readily be associated with the reading aloud in a classroom.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Jaspal
  • 04-12-17

Beautifully narrated

What did you like most about Histories?

The scope, it covers a broad span of time and topics.

What does David Timson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

He just gets it right. I can almost imagine his voice is that of Herodotus reading his own work, albeit in English.

Any additional comments?

Lion cubs destroy the womb as they are born? Hmm Mr Herodotus, you may have wanted to fact check some of those stories you heard!

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  • Daveyboy
  • 02-12-17

Storytelling at its finest

I was surprised at how accessible and enjoyable I found Histories. Whilst there is a bit 'begatting' I was happy to let it roll over me until it got to the story again. The narrator is excellent.

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  • G Douglas Whistler
  • 10-29-16

Excellent

Fascinating text, & very well read. The translation is fresh & engaging, while maintaining the authority of formality. Would recommend, even to those not usually inclined to classical texts.

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  • karen
  • 09-27-16

great listen

listened to this several times. Recommend it to anyone with a love of ancient history.

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  • R. Mcintyre
  • 09-06-16

Beautifully delivered

This was, for me, unexpectedly delightful. I was sad when it ended.

Can't say any more about the author than has already been said, but the reader, David, son of Tim, has a most easy-to-listen voice.