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Herodotus (Hermes Books Series) Paperback – December 11, 1998


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Editorial Reviews

Review

[Romm] explores succinctly Herodotus' double roles as an historian and a spinner of yarns (it's sometimes hard to tell when one begins and the other leaves off), and he makes it clear that the ancient world was populated by folks who could be as duplicitous or heroic as any alive today. -- Herbert Kupferberg, Parade --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Hermes Books Series
  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (December 11, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300072309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300072303
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,198,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Romm was born in 1958 in New York. After receiving his B.A. in Classics from Yale, he went on to earn a Ph.D. from Princeton in 1988. He has taught Greek language, literature and history at Bard College since 1990.

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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By T. Kearns on July 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
Herodotus does not need to be made interesting or enjoyable. He has always been loved and for good reason. Nevertheless, for a deeper understanding of the text and a critical examination of the features of Herodotus' style as a master storyteller, James Romm's Herodotus is a superb volume. With clarity and skill, Mr. Romm takes the reader through the Histories, always with one eye focused on the man, on Herodotus himself. This volume lives up to the foreward and the expectations set forth by Mr. Herrington, the Hermes Books foudning editor, in that foreward. The general reader will find this volume useful and enjoyable. I should not overstate, however. Romm's book does not provide what we might call a reading of Herodotus but rather it allows the reader to appreciate the Histories more by pointing out continuing themes and main features of Herodotus' storytelling. This book will be recieved well by any serious student of Herodotus, ancient history, or the classics.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jesse Steven Hargrave on June 6, 2006
Format: Paperback
This "Herodotus" is not the work of the "father of history" but a commentary on that work. Author James Romm takes a thematic approach to his explication of "The Histories". His chapters - with titles such as "From Homer to Herodotus", "The Structure of the Earth", and "Persians and Greeks" - choose certain aspects of Herodotus' treatment and subject them to further analysis and explanation.

Romm has no particular ax to grind or thesis to extol. He evidences an enthusiasm and appreciation of Herodotus without needing to take him at face value. Although there is much retracing of "The Histories" necessary to providing the right context for his discussions, Romm tries as much as possible to avoid simply retelling Herodotus.

Much of what Romm accomplishes is the pulling together of threads from various parts of "The Histories" and exposing us to aspects of the work that we might not have fully grasped in a first reading. For example in a chapter titled "The Kingdom of Culture", Romm treats the frequently evenhanded way in which Herodotus deals with other cultures. Along the way, Romm reminds us that it was only in Herodotus' day that the Greeks had begun to think of themselves as possessing a common cultural identity of their own. In Romm's reading, it was in fact the Persian invasions of Greece that both accelerated the Greek development of self-identity and their recognition of cultural variability within the "non-Greek-speaking" world, a variability which Herodotus exalts in discovering and presenting.

Romm further illuminates this cluster of ideas through his apparently deep knowledge of the history of the Greek language. In Homer, he tells us, the collective words "Hellenes" and "barboroi" do not appear.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Charles Day on November 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
The first two reviews are excellent and cover the book well. I have just one bone to pick with Romm: on p. 12f he says, "...Milton, author of the last long epic that is still widely read (even if mainly by college students)...." I wonder why he does not mention Nikos Kazantzakis' The Odyssey: A Modern Sequel - 333,333 lines - perhaps it is the author's impression that it is "not widely read". I've read it and found it to be very powerful and inspired me to read Homer, Virgil and Joyce - no small accomplishment.

As a newcomer to the classics I found Romm very helpful in preparing me to read the Histories.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John M. Wasilnak on January 17, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Always loved the old historical stories. Great book, great price, with fast ship. Thanks for the old world charm & grace.
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