Herodotus: The Father of History : The Great Courses: Western Literature

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Elizabeth Vandiver
  • Series: The Great Courses: Western Literature
  • 12 hrs and 17 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Witness the "works and wonders" of the ancient world through the eyes of its first great historian in this sparkling series of 24 lectures from a much-honored teacher and classical scholar.
Herodotus (c. 484-420 B.C.E.) was a Greek who was born in what is now the modern Turkish resort town of Bodrum and who died, so tradition says, in the south of Italy. In between, his tirelessly inquiring mind took him from one corner of the known world to another. And he reported on or visited all of its continents (Europe, Asia, and Africa) to write about the vast array of subjects that captured his interest. These included the "great works" of the ancient land of Egypt; the remarkable kings who built the vast Persian Empire; and the strange customs and unlikely origins of the Scythians, a warlike, mounted people who lived beyond the Danube and whose repulse of Darius and the Persians in 513 B.C.E. made them the first Europeans to throw back an eastern invasion.
The book that emerged from these "inquiries" - The Histories - is Herodotus's only known work, yet it still made Herodotus one of the rare, landmark figures in the story of thought. In these lectures, Professor Vandiver introduces you to Herodotus and The Histories, tracing the influences he assimilated and the new methods he used in crafting this monumental work. You learn how that work looked at the past in new and fresh ways, seeing it not as a distant recess shrouded in legend and rumor, but as something that lies close at hand; as something that immediately affects the here and now, and as a subject whose great personalities and patterns of events can be studied in order to make the reasons behind them as clear as possible.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

If you love Herodotus, listen to this!

This course is both educational and enjoyable to listen to, providing greater context and insights into the Histories. I have read Herodotus more than once, and will be reading it again with a different view after this course. It also helps that the lecturer is passionate and engaging.
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- Michael

Fascinating

A very learned and engaging lecture series. Now to hit the arbitrary 20 word requirement.
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- Robin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses