Les Histoires d'Herodote mises en Francois

[HERODOTUS], . . DU-RYER, P., Translator.
Paris: Antoine de Sommaville, en la Galerie des Meiciers, & Augustin de Courbe, 1645. Illustrated with engraved tile page in red and black, chapter headings and tail pieces.
First edition in the French language. Some copies have the later title page of 1646 added, this copy does not since it was published in 1645.
Small folio, original vellum over stiff boards, expertly recased with new head and tail bands, hand titled in brown ink on spine. Vellum with some slight staining, spine with some dust soiling, pastedowns split at vellum wraps, else a nice, tall, crisp copy.

Herodotus (484 BC - c. 425 BC) is thought to have been born in Halicarnassus; he was at one time banished from his home to the island Samos by Lygdamis. He returned to Halicarnassus and participated in overthrowing the tyrant, however, he was not in favor with the citizens and left for Thurii, an Athenean led colony in southern Italy. He is thought to have died there.

Cicero named Herodotus "Father of History." His "Histories" first appeared about 425 B.C. in Athens, and translated from the Greek (Ionian) into Latin by Laurentius Valla in about 1450, revised by Heusbach in 1537; Aldus Manutius published an edition in Greek in 1502 in Venice, and thereafter several editions in Greek and Latin appeared: 1541, 1565, 1584, 1592, 1594.

He wrote in Ionian, which is a different language or dialect from Dorian used in Halicarnassus. He is considered "the Father of History" although he has also been referred to as "Father of Lies" for his subjective descriptions of peoples and events. Some of this is related to monies received or not received by Thebands, Corinthians, Athenians, etc. that he wrote about.

When The Histories were collected, they were broken into nine parts, each named after the nine Muses with Clio, the Muse of History taking claim over the first book. The rest of the book follows what can be seen as a loose history of four Persian kings. The history of Cyrus takes up the first book, Cambyses takes up Book 2 and some of three which leads into the dynastic history of Darius whose reign fills up the books up to 6, and finally Xerxes caps of The Histories in Books 7 and 8. This is perhaps the most broad way to get an overview of the crafting of The Histories although Herodotus learned, perhaps from Homer, that this method is excellent for storing great variety and movement of many narratives. The Persian-Greek Wars provided some time-line thematic structure (even though Herodotus would weave backwards and forwards in time at point), but other thematic structure is to be found as well throughout The Histories. One such theme was Herodotus's view of the interaction of human action and its influence on historical causation, that of retribution and vengeance and that those who wrong others will see their payment coming to them. Another such theme is Herodotus's commonly held Greek belief that pride goes before the inevitable fall. This hubris is often seen in Herodotus's histories as the expansion of empires. - egs(dot)edu.

Price: $500.00
SKU: 31900
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