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The Histories

By: Herodotus,Tom Holland
Narrated by: Frank Laverty
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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

This Penguin Classic of Tom Holland's 'stirring new translation' (Telegraph) of Herodotus' Histories, one of the great books in Western history, is narrated by Frank Laverty.

The Histories of Herodotus, completed in the second half of the fifth century BC, is generally regarded as the first work of history and the first great masterpiece of non-fiction writing. Joined here are the sheer drama of Herodotus' narrative of the Persian invasions of Greece, and the endless curiosity - turning now to cannabis, now to the Pyramids - which make his book the source of so much of our knowledge of the ancient world. 

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 listeners. 

©2013 Tom Holland (P)2021 Penguin Audio
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

"Unquestionably the best English translation of Herodotus to have appeared in the last half-century, and there have been quite a few...fast, funny, opinionated, clear and erudite.... I am in awe of Tom Holland's achievement." (Edith Hall, TLS)

"A labour of love...full of rattling good yarns...the minister for education should present each of his cabinet colleagues with a copy of Holland's admirable translation." (Economist)

"Tom Holland has been captivated by Herodotus since he was a child. His pleasure shines through his relaxed, idiomatic, expansive and often dramatic translation.... He, like Herodotus, is a storyteller par excellence." (Peter Jones, New Statesman)

What listeners say about The Histories

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Highly Recommended

I have adored The Histories for years and have enjoyed them in Greek and English. This translation is wonderful and an entry for those unfamiliar with the worlds first historian.

The mellifluous beauty of the narration is fantastic!

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Ancient History, Modern Translation

I'd never got around to reading Herodotus, It's rather long and doesn't he just relate a lot of hearsay? My Classics professor in 1990's turned me off this text. Turns out Tom Holland has done a lot to rehabilitate the reputation of this historian of the ancient world. The translation uses more current English idiom than my old Penguin Classics edition. Herodotus describes sacrificial practices among other things that might hurt a more delicate modern ear, so the combination of Holland's almost colloquial phrasing and the flowing Irish accent of the narrator never jars and even injects a light humour to the telling. Worth the listen.

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Entertaining

Herodotus was a funny guy, but that could also be the translation. Lots of war & war machinations, which get a little dull, but overall a good read. Frank Laverty’s narration is exceptional.

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