Boys' and Girls' Herodotus

Boys' and Girls' Herodotus

by John S. White, Herodotus
Trade Paperback, 328 pages
Current Retail Price: $23.99
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Historical Setting: Ancient History

This is a reprint of an 1884 classic that will bring Herodotus to life for middle-school students. Herodotus has been described as the father of history. He was born at Halicarnassus in 484 BC and died at Thurium in Italy around the year 425 BC. The design of Herodotus was to record the struggles between the Greeks and the barbarians, but in carrying it out (as Wheeler, the English analyst of the writings of Herodotus, has happily expressed it), "he is perpetually led to trace the cause of the great events of his history; to recount the origin of that mighty contest between liberty and despotism which marked the whole period; to describe the wondrous manners and mysterious religions of nations...

The Boy's and Girls' Herodotus is significantly pared down from the original, but White preserved the original 9-book format and addedover40 illustrations. A chronological table of the principle events is included in the back.In Book 1 (titled"Clio") kids will read about the Medes, the origin of Athens and Sparta, and the conquest of Assyria.By the time they have finished Book 9 ("Calliope") they will have hit all the major points of The Histories: the Battle of Marathon, the Battle of Thermopylae and the rule of Darius and Xerxes.

First published in 1884, nothing seems dumbed down or overly-simplified in this version. Parents should be aware that while this is a children's edition, not all of the violence has been censored: White includes the section recounting the Sythian custom of scalping their dead enemies, among other barbaric practices. This book isn't really for young kids anyway-- it's far more appropriate for middle schoolers or high schoolers who don't have the time or attention to tackle the entire Histories. Ancient History: A Literature approach (written by Rea Berg and published by Beautiful Feet Books) recommends this book for high schoolers.

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