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On the War for Greek Freedom: Selections…

On the War for Greek Freedom: Selections from the Histories

by Herodotus

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This is a good option for those who are interested in reading the Histories of Herodotus, but aren't willing or able to make the commitment involved in reading them in their entirety. This volume is significantly abridged, with major attention given to the historical and personal backgrounds, strategic approaches, and battle specifics of the Greco-Persian conflict up through and including the reign of Xerxes.

The histories, as told by Herodotus, are both fun and informative. The writing is easily accessible, and is colored by significant back-story, personal anecdotes, and mythological/religious explanations which often make it read like good historical fiction.

There are a few things to say about the editing in this edition:
- The translation is great, I have no complaints on that score.
- Some of the portions the editor chose to omit should have been left in. This is especially clear when there are large chunks of editorial inserts explaining what had happened in the omitted sections, and some of these "summaries" include significant portions of battle scenes or personal backgrounds of major players. That said, the editor does do a good job of recapping what has been left out in many of these sections.
- Some of the portions the editor chose to leave in should have been omitted. There are a couple of places in the text where the reader is left with Herodotus' long, meandering tangents which are only minimally related to the story-line at hand. This isn't of itself a negative, since this is how Herodotus wrote, but given that some obviously important and pertinent info was excluded, it's unclear why, then, other sections were left in.

Overall, I'd rate Herodotus' story-telling and historical account 4.5 stars, but give the editor's abridgment 3.5. Overall, a 4-star read. ( )
  philosojerk | Mar 7, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 087220667X, Paperback)

Designed for students with little or no background in ancient Greek language, history, and culture, this new abridgement presents those selections that comprise Herodotus' historical narrative. These are meticulously annotated, and supplemented with a chronology of the Archaic Age, Historical Epilogue, glossary of main characters and places, index of proper names, and maps.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:03:36 -0400)

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