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Herodotus' Histories Vol 2

By: Herodotus of Halicarnassus

The Histories of Herodotus is considered the founding work of history in Western literature. Written in 430 BC in the Ionic dialect of classical Greek, The Histories serves as a record of the ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of various cultures that were known in Greece, Western Asia and Northern Africa at that time. Although not a fully impartial record, it remains one of the West's most important sources regarding these affairs. Moreover, it established the genre and study of history in the Western world (despite the existence of historical records and chronicles beforehand).

Book IV (Melpomene)



  • The history of the Scythians (from the land north of the Black Sea)
  • The miraculous poet Aristeas
  • The geography of Scythia
  • The inhabitants of regions beyond Scythia: Sauromatae, Budini, Thyssagetae, Argippaeans, Issedones, Arimaspi, Hyperboreans
  • A comparison of Libya (Africa), Asia, and Europe
  • The rivers of Scythia: the Ister, the Tyras, the Hypanis, the Borysthenes, the Panticapes, the Hypacyris, the Gerrhus, and the Tanais
  • The culture of the Scythians: religion, burial rites, xenophobia (the stories of Anacharsis and Scylas), population (sections 59-81)
  • The beginning of Darius's attack on Scythia, including the pontoon bridge over the Bosphorus
  • The brutal worship of Zalmoxis by the Getae
  • The customs of the surrounding peoples: Tauri, Agathyrsi, Neuri, Androphagi (man-eaters), Melanchlaeni, Geloni, Budini, Sauromatae
  • The wooing of the Amazons by the Scyths, forming the Sauromatae
  • Darius's failed attack on Scythia and consequent retreat
  • The story of the Minyæ (descendants of the Argonauts) and the founding of Cyrene
  • The kings of Cyrene: Battus I, Arcesilaus I, Battus II, Arcesilaus II, Battus III (and the reforms of Demonax), Arcesilaus III (and his flight, restoration, and assassination), Battus IV, and Arcesilaus IV (his revolt and death)
  • The peoples of Libya from east to west
  • The revenge of Arcesilaus' mother Pheretima
Books in 'Herodotus' Histories' series
  1. Herodotus' Histories Vol 1 by Herodotus of Halicarnassus
  2. Herodotus' Histories Vol 2 by Herodotus of Halicarnassus
  3. Herodotus' Histories Vol 3 by Herodotus of Halicarnassus

Book Details



Original Language

Ancient Greek

Published In

430 BCE


Herodotus was an ancient Greek writer and geographer who was born in the ancient Greek city of Halicarnassus, part of the former Persian Empire (now modern-day Bodrum, Turkey).   Credited as bein...

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