Herodotus has been called by Cicero and other ancient critics `the father of history'. He was in fact the first to make the events of the past the subject of research and verification (historie) and then relate their consequences to the present. The main subject of his Histories is the struggle between Persia and Greece from the time of Croesus to that of Xerxes; added to this are frequent digressions, varying in length, giving a wealth of
information on customs and cultures of people foreign to the Greeks.
The new paperback edition of How and Wells's standard commentary on the Histories (in print continuously since 1912) deals with the last five books (out of nine) covering Sparta under King Cleomenes, the Battles of Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis, and the final rout of the Persians at Plataea in 479 BC. The detailed commentary, though of interest to the scholar, is aimed primarily at the student: short summaries introduce the subject-matter of sections of the text, and
there are eight appendixes addressing problems raised in the commentary. This volume also contains an index to the complete commentary. 4 maps