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The Man Who Invented History

Herodotus is widely known as the Father of History, but he was much more than that. He was also the world’s first travel writer, a pioneering geographer, anthropologist, explorer, moralist, investigative reporter, foreign correspondent and enlightened multiculturalist before the word even existed. He was at once learned professor and tabloid journalist, a man of great wit and wisdom with an unfailing eye for material to inform and amuse, to titillate, horrify and entertain.

The Histories, the world’s first great prose epic, was his compulsively readable masterpiece. Tall stories of dog-headed men, gold-digging ants, flying snakes and strange sexual customs from foreign parts jostle for space within a mesmerising narrative of the Persian Wars, the tumultuous encounter from which Greece emerged triumphant in the early fifth century BC. This victory, which he recorded in breathtaking detail, was one of history’s most important: it gave birth to Western civilisation.
Using the effervescent, humane and profoundly modern Herodotus as his guiding light, Justin takes the reader back to his world with eclectic travels to Greece, Turkey, Egypt and war-torn Iraq. The result is a sensational blend of travel and history in the spirit of the man who invented it.

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