I’ve always enjoyed Herodotus’ peripatetic ways and investigative curiosity, not to mention his gift for, erm, let’s just call it embellishment. His histories can be hard to follow, though, packed as they are with unfamiliar locations and meandering references.
Well, there’s a new Herodotus in town: The Landmark Herodotus.
Maps — 127 of them — outline Herodotus’ world; even the text is clearly mapped out, with wide margins offering summaries of each paragraph and identifying the time period.
The headings, index and footnotes let you know precisely where you are in this notoriously winding narrative, providing a set of landmarks far more detailed than anything Herodotus could have found during his tours. The appendices, nonjargony bits of scholarship by various authors, come at Herodotus from as many perspectives as he brings to his inquiries: Herodotus and Athenian government, Herodotus and tyranny, Herodotus and the poets. Photographs of artifacts and statues, most as little worn by the intervening millenniums as Herodotus’ conversational prose, help make history’s abstractions concrete.