Main Page > Ancient Historians (S11) > Herodotus bibliography

  • Egbert J. Bakker et al., Brill's Companion to Herodotus, Leiden, 2002 [PA4004.B75 2002]
  • Emily Baragwanath, Motivation and Narrative in Herodotus, Oxford, 2008 [PA4004.B37 2008]
  • Chiasson, C. C. Herodotus' use of Attic Tragedy in the Lydian Logos. Classical Antiquity v. 22 no. 1(April 2003) p. 5-35 HW Wilson Web
  • Peter Derow and Robert Parker (eds.), Herodotus and his World, Oxford, 2003 [D56.52.H45 H48 2003]
Roger Brock, author of 'Authorial Voice and Narrative Management in Herodotus' in Parker and Derow's book "Herodotus and his World" does a great job analyzing Herodotus' literary techniques and devices. The part of this chapter that caught my eye was the fact that Herodotus uses specific anticipatory techniques while telling his story. He commonly uses clever anticipatory adjectives and phrases to draw in the audience such as "Megacles and Pesistratus devised the silliest scheme.." or "the seer Hegesistratos performed an act beyond description... he contrived the most courageous act we know of." Herodotus uses these techniques in such a professional way that it controls the audience to move onward. Cpao03 16:37, April 7, 2011 (UTC)
  • Carolyn Dewald and John Marincola, The Cambridge Companion to Herodotus, Cambridge, 2006 [PA4004.C36 2006]
Carolyn Dewald and John Marincola, along with various other scholars, capture Herodotus and his literary mastery by tackling his works through different aspects. One aspect in particular was the portrayal of warfare in "Warfare in Herodotus" by Lawrence Tritle. According to Tritle, Herodotus's own experiences of war made him appreciate the stories of the combatants/veterans from whom he gathered information for his accounts. However, by gaining stories from the soldiers instead of the commanders who made the strategies and decisions during warfare, there is room for inaccuracy regarding battle details that prevent historians such as Herodotus to uncover the truth and rationalization behind battle strategies. This room for inaccuracy is further increased due to Herodotus's exaggeration of troop numbers and lack of topographic details. Tritle also believes that Herodotus provides accounts of anti-war sentiment in his works. This is achieved, according to Tritle, with Herodotus "attributing the irony and tragedy of war: in the peacetime sons bury their fathers but in war fathers bury their sons." Tritle also goes on to suggest that 'Herodotus did not spare the sensibilities of his audience in relating the horrors of war' by providing gruesome depictions of death, violence, and trauma upon soldiers in various battles. In short, Tritle believes that although Herodotus does indeed include warfare in his works, they are riddled with inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and personal beliefs of Herodotus himself.

Zaidi2013 21:10, April 6, 2011 (UTC)

  • J.A.S. Evans, Herodotus, Explorer of the Past: Three Essays, Princeton, 1991 [D56.52.H45 E93 1991]
  • Stewart Flory, The Archaic Smile of Herodotus, Detroit, 1987 [PA4007.F56 1987]
  • Steven Forde, "Thucydides on the Causes of Athenian Imperialism," The American Political Science Review 1986 (Vol. 80, No. 2), pp.433-448 JSTOR
In the first few pages of Steven Forde's article, he talks about why neighboring Greek states opposed the rebuilding of Athens after the Persian War. Even though the Athenians had the largest navy, Forde says that according to Thucydides, states were afraid that the Athenians had "come into being" (Thucydides 1.90.1). The experience that the Athenians gained through the hardship of war gave the citizens a great deal of confidence (Forde 437). The Athenian's way of thinking changed dramatically from the Persian War, when they (Themistocles and others) were hesitant to speak their minds with respect to the naval plans laid out by the Spartans, to the expansion of the empire when they believed that they were "worthy of rule" (Thucydides 1.76.2). Forde argues that is was this newfound confidence from the Persian War that gave the Athenians the belief that they could rule Greece. Pearlmanspencer 00:24, April 12, 2011 (UTC)
  • John Myres, HERODOTUS, FATHER OF HISTORY, Oxford, 1953 [PA4004.M9 1953]
The Histories certainly articulate that Herodotus had a sound understanding of story telling practices, in that; his own stories have managed to entertain readers for over 2400 years. Whether this mixture of mythology and objective recordation classifies Herodotus as “The Father of History”, is the primary subject of John Myres’: Herodotus: Father of History. Myres initially casts strong aspersions against Herodotus’ creativity, intimating that the moral ‘ups’ and ‘downs’ frequently balancing out should bore most readers. Critiquing to seemingly no end, Myres even goes so far as to say: “He annotates their opinion to his knowledge, quotes alternate versions, and reduces it to an absurdity” (Myres 136). Many of these, which dispel the historian’s documentation, rather than accredit him as the famous writer, as he is predominantly known, are cruelly phrased but valid. Herodotus is known to have paraphrased many of the details he passed on. Fortunately Myres’ unrestrained criticisms emphasize that it was Herodotus’ segmented writing style likely resulted in his recognition as a great writer. “What had seemed to many critics of Herodotus to be irrelevant is revealed by closer study of the subject-matter and clearer appreciation of his constructive skill to be deliberate and experimental, and to mark a turning point in Greek prose literature…”(Myres 64). Abrupt scene changes, which come as second nature to most modern authors, were in fact Herodotus’ groundbreaking contribution to the art of literature.

Macminnd April 19, 2011 (UTC)TD 12:58

  • John Gould, Herodotus, New York, 1989 [D56.52.H45 G68 1989]
  • Thomas Harrison, Divinity and History: The Religion of Herodotus, Oxford, 2000 [D58.H7 H37 2000]
  • W.W. How and J. Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus, 2 vols., Oxford, 1928 online
Authors W.W. How and J. Wells demonstrate an in depth understanding of Greco-Roman culture which they use in the identifying Herodotus’ subtle opinions regarding sophists. By referencing the common distaste for the widely accepted greedy nature of these ancient wandering teachers, the authors of ‘A Commentary on Herodotus” revamp Herodotus’ portrayal of Solon as a sort of con artist rather than a gentleman. Although masked by his seemingly noble intentions to help individuals with personal conflicts by imparting his wisdom (e.g.: Croesus, ruler of Lydia) and better the world, How and Wells recognize Herodotus’ true desire to highlight the stereotypes many Romans held against the traveling preachers. The authors site Herodotus’ use of word order in the original Greek script “ἄλλοι τε οἱ” meaning ‘an other particular being’ rather than “οἵ τε ἄλλοι” meaning ‘being a particular other’. This is a slight grammatical change implying that he is not just another person, but rather he is particularly different, potentially in an insidious way. Wells and How seem to maintain that Herodotus would have recognized the obvious implications of this slight creative change and therefore the construction must have been intentional to imply a natural distrust for Solon. This commentary also supports that Solon was a not considered “οἵ τε ἄλλοι” or ‘a master of his trade’ but still managed to become “ἀκμαζούσας πλούτῳ” or ‘a full bloom of wealth and riches.’

MacMinn April 5,2011 (UTC)TDMacminnd 17:12, April 5, 2011 (UTC)

  • Mabel L. Lang, Herodotean Narrative and Discourse, Martin Classical Lectures, 1984 [PA4004.A534 H40]
  • Donald Lateiner, The Historical Method of Herodotus, Toronto, 1989 [D56.52.H45 L37 1989]
  • Rosaria Vignolo Munson, Telling Wonders : Ethnographic and Political Discourse in the Work of Herodotus, Ann Arbor, 2001 [D58.M86 2001]
  • James Redfield, "Herodotus the Tourist," Classical Philology 80 (1985), pp. 97-118 JSTOR
In Redfield's article, there is great emphasis on Herodotus' anthropological side. He remarks about not only how Herodotus enjoyed seeing the sights, but how much attention he payed to the customs of the people, mainly those that differ from the customs of romans. Toward the end of the second page Redfield remarks, "Herodotus was interested in natural wonders and imposing monuments, but he had a special interest in the life of the peoples, in that which we would call their culture." I think that Herodotus is important as a writer and has great accounts of physical attributes of the places he has traveled, but more importantly is a great mind and distributer of information pertaining to people and their customs. Diestelt 21:20, March 30, 2011 (UTC)TD
A good contribution except that it does not give a specific example of what Redfield does with a specific quote of Herodotus. For this, we have to find a place where Redfield quotes Herodotus' words and use that as our example. The idea is to give the class an example of something a critic does to interpret the text directly. I'll look for this in your future bibliographic annotations. Wareh 00:54, March 31, 2011 (UTC)
  • James S. Romm, Herodotus, New Haven, 1998 [D56.52.H45 R66 1998]
  • Rosalind Thomas, Herodotus in Context: Ethnography, Science and the Art of Persuasion, Cambridge, 2000 [D58.T46 2000]
  • Herodotus, Samuel Shirley, and James S. Romm. On the War for Greek Freedom: Selections from the Histories. Indianapolis: Hackett Pub., 2003.
  • Welser, C. Two Didactic Strategies at the End of Herodotus' Histories. Classical Antiquity v. 28 no. 2 (October 2009) p. 359-85 JSTOR
    • While most scholars are of the general opinion that Herodotus' Histories are written in a didactic manner, Wesler goes further than this and provides two distinct strategies of didacticism that Herodotus seems to employ. These involve 1) getting the reader to know Herodotus' own personal values and beliefs concerning certain matters so that the reader may apply these to future events in the book, and 2) to warn the readers of the moral dangers outlined in many of the stories by showing the outcome of moral actions. Wesler's examples include a comparison of two instances in which a King's love for a woman leads to an ignoble deed that subsequently ends up poorly for the king: the tale of Candaules in the beginning of the book and Xerxes' infatuation with two women, his brother's wife and then her daughter. Wesler points out that in both of these stories we are warned of the misfortune of an important character, and in both stories the main character ends up trying to placate the angered women. Gyges' claim, an example of Herodotean morality, "We should obey the rules of morality devised for mankind ages ago" (Herodotus 1.8), as the author points out, is very similar to the language used by Masistes in the Xerxean episode (9.111 but omitted from our edition of the book). This is but one example of the many times Herodotus uses this motif throughout his writings to teach and morally encourage his readers. Aglids 17:36, May 24, 2011 (UTC)