The Way of Herodotus: Travels With the Man Who Invented History

The Way of Herodotus Travels With the Man Who Invented History During the classical age of Greece Herodotus wrote the first history text But what he created was much than this Informed by his own travels his historical work digresses than it chronicles with ta

  • Title: The Way of Herodotus: Travels With the Man Who Invented History
  • Author: Justin Marozzi
  • ISBN: 9780306816215
  • Page: 144
  • Format: Hardcover
  • During the classical age of Greece, Herodotus wrote the first history text But what he created was much than this Informed by his own travels, his historical work digresses than it chronicles, with tales of the lands and peoples he visited As Michael Ondaatje once famously suggested, What you find in him are the cul de sacs within the sweep of history In ThDuring the classical age of Greece, Herodotus wrote the first history text But what he created was much than this Informed by his own travels, his historical work digresses than it chronicles, with tales of the lands and peoples he visited As Michael Ondaatje once famously suggested, What you find in him are the cul de sacs within the sweep of history In The Way of Herodotus, intrepid travel historian Justin Marozzi retraces the footsteps of Herodotus through the Mediterranean and Middle East, examining his 2,500 year old observations about the cultures and places he visited, and finding echoes of his legacy reverberating to this day It is a lively yet thought provoking excursion into the world of Herodotus, with the man who invented history ever present, guiding the narrative with his discursive spirit.

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    1 thought on “The Way of Herodotus: Travels With the Man Who Invented History”

    1. I finished reading this not long after Ryszard Kapuściński’s older book with a very similar title (see my review here). Both are classified as travel writing, both connect places with episodes and ideas from the ancient Greek writer and traveler, Herodotus’. Both men are described as historians, journalists and travelers. Kapuściński spent his working life as a journalist, working mostly in Africa, and Marozzi’s website (justinmarozzi/about/) says he has travelled extensively in the Mi [...]

    2. Not a great travel book, which is too bad because I was excited to read this one. While it's ostensibly about the author retracing Herodotus' journeys and visiting the places that he did, there's actually very little travel writing. Way too much of the book is just a rehash of The Histories, and while interesting, it just feels like padding. The only really interesting section was when the author visited Patrick Leigh Fermor, but even that section involved recounting Leigh Fermor's own books. I [...]

    3. I was expecting something different from this book - something more on the lines of Scott Huler's No Man's Lands, where he traced the locations in the Odyssey around the current-day Mediterranean. Marozzi uses Herodotus as a starting point for trips to places included in Herodotus' work, but there's less emphasis on Herodotus and more on the modern day. I learned too much about the author's view of Baghdad in 2004, in the middle of the Iraqi insurgency, than I did about what Herodotus wrote abou [...]

    4. When I was a freshman, we all had to sign up for a course designed just for freshman. So, being in my classics stage, I signed up for a class on Herodotus. I didn't have a clue. There were (I think) only six people in the class which is the smallest class I've ever been in including grad school. The professor was elderly and used to fall asleep sometimes when we sat in a circle. I still don't have a clue. But I remember how odd Herodotus seemed. This book seemed odder perhaps because his leaping [...]

    5. I enjoyed The Way of Herodotus, and thought it was a good introduction to Herodotus' Histories, since I have never read them in the entirety.The same book was issued in Britain as The Man Who Invented History: Travels With Herodotus.I liked [author Justin Marozzi]'s attempt to follow in Herodotus' philosophical footsteps, even when he did not follow exactly in his geographical footsteps. The only part I felt was a bit jarring was a chapter on Iraq that became an anti-American tirade. Given Herod [...]

    6. Herodotus is a person I have heard of before (“The Father of History”), but have never actually read his work. After enjoying “The Way of Herodotus,” I feel as if I now know the man, Herodotus, and the highlights of his works. As author Justin Marozzi follows the path of Herodotus’ travels to Egypt, Greece, Turkey and other lands, the reader has a chance to come to know these places both as they were in Herodotus’ time and as they are now. I generally don’t enjoy travel writing, bu [...]

    7. I picked up this book to read for research purposes as I had read Herodotus' Histories. This is a wonderful compendium to the Histories and pays due homage to the first travel and history writer.I am fan of Herodotus and thought the treatment by his predecessors and scholars was unfair. Justin Marozzi's does well to dismiss the antagonist views with his unique perspective and in following in Herodotus' steps. He also highlights the uniqueness of Herodotus' storytelling and points out many factua [...]

    8. As a modern travelogue and observation of the various cultures Marozzi encounters on his journey, this is a light, entertaining read. Not so entertaining is Marozzi's handling of Herodotus himself. Admittedly working with a daunting dearth of information, Marozzi settles for making far too much of Herodotus' seamier side, cackling on for pages over every innuendo and double entendre, chuckling over every Herodotean editorial.Useful mainly as an introduction to the actual text of Herodotus, and t [...]

    9. I had a very hard time finishing this book. The topic is interesting but the author's writing is very dry with little to no humor. I did not care for the author's style of writing, but the locations were beautifully described and well researched.

    10. Favorite book so far this year. Can't report more at the moment due to there is a cat sitting on my left arm, making computing difficult.

    11. I bought this book 4 years ago and took it with me on an extended trip to Turkey this spring. I enjoyed reading it on the road, although I was not near most of the places Marozzi traveled to with Herodotus.He starts first in Cambridge, England with a discursive narrative about his own education and how he came to study history at all and came to Herodotus indirectly that way. Herodutus he writes. "The thing about Herodotus, and it was years before I discovered this, he doesn't really feature on [...]

    12. An interesting tour around the eastern Mediterranean by an historian retracing the steps of Herodotus. The author has a few annoying habits, including a rather old-fashioned attitude to women, who tend to be described and judged first and foremost in terms of their attractiveness regardless of their qualifications or what they have to say. He also indulges himself in both florid prose and pointless imaginings, trying to describe scenes of Herodotus' private life about which he can't possibly kno [...]

    13. This book has very little to do with Herodotus and a lot about travel writing and whether history plus travel writing equals truth. Once I figured that out, the book was okay, although I found some of the author's rabbit trails more interesting than others. I particularly appreciated the introduction to Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor, who is described as a writer and and Second World War Hero. I am looking forward to reading his books. I enjoyed the section on Greece the most. perhaps because it was a [...]

    14. Just started this, I did a little Herodotus at school but he always struck me as being a bit, shall we say, fantastical, in his 'history', but to discover he was meticulous in his research and often right in his pronouncements on customs and origins of ancient cultures is very interesting. Whether this book will provide good context or skim a little over the surface remains to be seen, and Marozzi loves his purple prose a little too much for my liking, but its helping while away the time on my c [...]

    15. I must admit that I found this book hard going and left it for a while to read a Philippa Gregory for light relief. It did make Herodotus seem an interesting man worth knowing more about and some of the anecdotes, particularly the ones taken from Herodotus's 'Histories' made a good read. However this was off set by other parts that I found slow and rather tedious. Altogether the book was too disjointed and the theme of following Herodotus's travels failed to hold the various parts together for m [...]

    16. This travelogue introduces the reader to both history and the recording of travels. Although there has been much discussion as to the veracity of Herodotus' writings, if you allow yourself to be drawn into the adventure, you will be inspired to continue to search history for other observations that will capture your fancy. Somehow I feel that Robert Byron must have read Herodotus before writing "The Road to Oxiana." Be aware, this is not a translation of Herodotus, but a journey attempting to "w [...]

    17. The author looks at some of the themes of Herodotus through the modern day context in Egypt, Greece and Turkey. He travels to some of the key locations mentioned in the Histories meeting various characters that have their own take on Herodotus. This is an accessible and in some parts humorous approach/introduction to the original text. Aspects of the book point to an author who was possibly going through a bit if a mid life crisis though.

    18. A great book! Chatty, informative, fun, and rewarding just like Herodotus. A friend in Grad School had the classic question for his Oral Comps for the PhD. Which do you prefer, Herodotus or Thucydides as a historian? He choose Herodotus, even though his adviser did not like it. Tim still got his Phud. (Tim was also famous for not being able to go into Canada because of his pro IRA bumper stickers)

    19. I got bored. I thought it would be more about history and less about modern travel -- my fault more than the author's. What is his fault, though, is how much this guy LOVES Herodotus. I came into the book liking him, too, and having had a rewarding experience reading The Histories, but Marozzi almost inspired a Herodotus backlash in me by so relentlessly propagandizing the man.

    20. A rousing tale of travelling alongside the man who invented history. Full its fair share of digressions and debauchery, Marozzi manages to emulate Herodotus in every way possible. You feel the emotional highs and lows of his journey through the Mediterranean; the spirit of Herodotus watches over you as you read. If you weren't on Team Herodotus, you will be after reading this book.

    21. I have the feeling that both Herodotus and author Marozzi would make excellent traveling companions – knowledgeable, tolerant, and highly curious. I enjoyed retracing Herodotus’ journeys, learned quite a lot about past and present-day issues and cultures, and was sorry when this book came to an end!

    22. The premise behind this book seemed pretty good at the time: writer tracing the steps of Herodotus. I thought it could not fail. However, the text is extremely dry, full of a lot of digressions (and I don't mean that in a good way), and overall, the book failed to hold my interest after two chapters or so. If you want the Herodotus experience, just go back and read Herodotus.

    23. Trite statement: I liked this book. It's an offbeat approach to travel writing that also combines an educational bent with some terrific wordsmithing. However, if you don't have much of a classical background, you might want to consider passing on it.

    24. Chatty but erudite guide to the world of the ancient Greek historian, who remains surprisingly topical. Marozzi is a charming companion, never bogs down in too much detail while sharing his enthusiasms.

    25. It's neither my favorite nor what I expected. the only point I like is what author wrote about Herodotus as an anthropologist and I see his book is about the traditions and culture of people and nations not just about their wars and kings.

    26. I read this as a modern-day "historical footsteps" adventure, which didn't work out as well as I'd hoped; the book is loaded with references to and examples of Herodotus' writings, which didn't hold my interest. I'd certainly recommend the book for those interested in The Classical World.

    27. The author follows in the footsteps of the Father of History: Herodotus. A wonderful read. I couldn't put it down and read it in one day. Time flew. A lovely chapter on Patrick Leigh Fermor. A great book for historians and for the lovers of classic Greek history.

    28. The way I like my travel books: witty, bawdy, and informative. I learned everything I'll ever need to know about Herodotus, WHILE feeling like I was traveling through the Middle East. Lovely.

    29. Rambling hero-worship, many of the topics only connected with the subject matter by drawing the longest of bows. Needed more robots.

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