Read The Great Books

A Curated Guide for Autodidacts


by Herodotus

Histories is an account of the world as of mid-400 BC. Written by ancient philosopher and historian Herodotus, this book covers much of what was known history-wise of Greece and the cultures surrounding it at that point.

While a rather small-sphere view of the ancient world, Herodotus goes into great detail on ancient Greece, the Persian Empire, and other neighboring civilizations. Historians, bibliophiles, and many others view this work as a strong beginning to western literature and historic content as written today.

For this book, Hackett Publishing has a great edition to look into. Not only is it well translated and annotated; it also contains various maps and illustrations to help readers of any level. The index alone is enough to make this a definite pick, but it doesn’t hurt that they have Pamela Mensch and James Romm, both with some seriously good translated classics already under their belts, as the editor and translator of this edition. There is also both a Penguin Classic and Oxford World Classic edition, both of which are heavyweights in translations of classics. Penguin even offers a deluxe version with a gorgeous cover as well as maps and a well though out index to boot.