Romm has made a judicious selection of the most important passages from the Histories and he has joined them with concise summaries of the intervening events so as to make the book a unified, coherent whole. The translation (provided mainly by Shirley, although many key passages have been translated by Romm) is lively and readable, and Romm's notes provide just the sort of information that a first-time reader of Herodotus would need. Romm's 'Introduction' is perhaps the most valuable aspect of the book. By highlighting the main themes and explaining Herodotus' use of imaginative material, Romm helps the reader make sense of a text that is sometimes unwieldy. Romm also situates Herodotus' work within its historical context, providing sensible answers to important questions such as the publication date of the Histories and Herodotus' views on events in the Peloponnesian War. The volume also includes a chronology of the Archaic Age, maps, and a glossary of important characters and places. In short, Romm and Shirley have produced a valuable desideratum: an excellent, one-volume introduction to Herodotus' Histories. It would be eminently suitable for undergraduate readers, particularly in a Greek History or Ancient Greek Civilization class. --Susan O. Shapiro, The Classical Outlook
James Romm is Associate Professor of Classical Studies, Bard College.
Samuel Shirley, (1912-2006), was Classics Exhibitioner of Balliol College, Oxford, and Latin Lecturer at Cardiff University.