Greek And Latin Voices - Herodotus

Series exploring the life and work of the Greek historian Herodotus.



Prof Christopher Pelling explores the work of the great Greek historian Herodotus, whose The Histories, the story of the Greco-Persian war in the 5th century BC, was considered the first work of history in western literature.


Author Tom Holland recalls his schoolboy passion for Herodotus' shaggy dog stories, complete with naked queens, dolphins and cannibals, and how, through Herodotus' account of the wars between Greece and Persia in the 5th century BC, he was given his first taste of tragedy.


Prof Emily Greenwood considers the enduring popularity of Herodotus' work and his importance in travel writing, journalism, anthropology, science, and the art of storytelling.

In the light of Herodotus' tales of cryptic gifts of animals and arrows, goat-footed men, and bald-headed tribes, she also explores what this 5th-century BC historian can tell us about cultural diversity today.

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Prof Paul Cartledge looks - through the writings of Herodotus - at the famous battle of Thermopylae, where the West met the East, as 300 Spartans faced the might of the Persian army at a pass known as the 'Hot Gates', and the West won and remained free - just.

Prof Cartledge looks at why the Persians lost, why this was such a crucial battle for both sides, and why the 300 Spartans, as they waited for the Persians to attack, spent their time combing their long hair.