The Man Who Invented History
By Justin Marozzi
Herodotus is known as the Father of History, but he was much more than that. He was also the world's first travel writer, a pioneering geographer, anthropologist, explorer, moralist, tireless investigative reporter and enlightened multiculturalist before the word existed. He was at once learned professor and tabloid journalist, with an unfailing eye for fabulous material to inform and amuse, to titillate, horrify and entertain. In his masterpiece the Histories, tall stories of dog-headed men, gold-digging ants and flying snakes jostle for space within a mesmerising narrative of the Persian Wars, from which Greece emerged triumphant in 5BC to give birth to Western civilisation.Using the effervescent and profoundly modern Herodotus as his guiding light, Justin Marozzi takes the reader back to his world with eclectic travels to Greece, Turkey, Egypt and war-torn Iraq.
By Patrick Leigh Fermor
This is Patrick Leigh Fermor's spellbinding part-travelogue, part inspired evocation of a part of Greece's past. Joining him in the Mani, one of Europe's wildest and most isolated regions, cut off from the rest of Greece by the towering Taygettus mountain range and hemmed in by the Aegean and Ionian seas, we discover a rocky central prong of the Peleponnese at the southernmost point in Europe.Bad communications only heightening the remoteness, this Greece - south of ancient Sparta - is one that maintains perhaps a stronger relationship with the ancient past than with the present. Myth becomes history, and vice versa. Leigh Fermor's hallmark descriptive writing and capture of unexpected detail have made this book, first published in 1958, a classic - together with its Northern Greece counterpart, Roumeli.