Herodotus' Histories

Herodotus of Halicarnassus (c.480-c.429 BCE): Greek researcher, often called the world's first historian. In The Histories, he describes the expansion of the Achaemenid Empire under its kings Cyrus the Great, Cambyses, and Darius I the Great, culminating in Xerxes' expedition to Greece (480 BCE), which met with disaster in the naval engagement at Salamis and the battles at Plataea and Mycale. Herodotus' book also contains ethnographic descriptions of the peoples that the Persians have conquered, fairy tales, gossip, and legends.

In Antiquity, books consisted of papyrus scrolls. Our division of Herodotus' Histories in nine "books" goes back to an edition by third century BCE scholars, working in the great library of Alexandria. There are very strong indications that this is not the original division; probably, Herodotus thought about his oeuvre as a collection of twenty-eight lectures, in Greek called logoi.

This overview of the contents of Herodotus' Histories is essentially based on Silvana Cagnazzi's article 'Tavola dei 28 logoi di Erodoto' in the journal Hermes 103 (1975), page 385-423, except for book three.

Book 1

Book 2

Book 3

Book 4

Book 5

Book 6

Book 7

Book 8

Book 9