Hērodotou Halikarnēssēos Historiōn Logoi 9 Epigraphomenoi Mousai = Herodoti Halicarnassei Historiarum Libri IX Musarum Nominibus Inscripti

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by Herodotus

Hērodotou Halikarnēssēos Historiōn Logoi 9 Epigraphomenoi Mousai

Title page from Hērodotou Halikarnēssēos Historiōn Logoi 9 Epigraphomenoi Mousai, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Herodotus
Editor Lodewijk Caspar Valckenaer, with notes of Petrus Wesseling
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published Amstelodami: Sumptibus Petri Schoutenii
Date 1763
Edition {{{edition}}}
Language Greek and Latin in parallel columns
Volumes {{{set}}} volume set
Pages [26], 868, 177, [69]
Desc. Folio (43 cm.)
Location Shelf N-5
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]
Herodotus (c. 484 BCE–425 BCE) was the first Greek historian, and perhaps the first true historian to commit history to writing. Born in Halicarnassus, an Ancient Greek city in present-day Turkey on the Aegean Sea, Herodotus wrote during the third quarter of the fifth century BCE. He, and Thucydides following him shortly after, embraced the systematic approach of true historia, meaning inquiry, observation and research of events and people. Though his methods were still in the early untested stages which would be greatly improved upon by more modern historians, Herodotus began a crucial intellectual endeavor for which Ancient Greece became known.[1]

Now considered one of the foundational books of history, Herodotus’s Histories, or The History, was originally criticized and discounted by his peers. His anthropological approach to history was much less desired than more political works. Analyzing the importance of culture in key historical events, Herodotus’s work fell to the wayside behind the “sharper but narrower political historiography of Thucydides.” [2]

Bookplate of Thomas S. McClelland, front pastedown.

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as "Herodotus Gronovii. Gr. Lat. fol." and given by Thomas Jefferson to his grandson Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The Brown Bibliography[3] lists the 1763 edition published in Amersterdam while Barbara Dean suggests the 1761 Foulis edition in her bibliography.[4] George Wythe's Library[5] on LibraryThing states "Precise edition unknown. Several folio editions were published." The Wolf Law Library followed Brown's recommendation and purchased the edition published in Amsterdam in 1763.

Bookplate of Beloit College Library, front free endpaper.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in full period leather binding with new spine in speckled calf. Red morocco label with gilt lettering on spine. All edges stained red. Contains the bookplate of Thomas S. McClelland on the front pastedown and that of Beloit College Library on the front free endpaper. Purchased from Rose's Books.

Images of the library's copy of this book are available on Flickr. View the record for this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

See also


  1. G.E.M. De Ste. Croix, “Herodotus,” Greece & Rome Second Series 24, no. 2 (Oct. 1977): 130-31.
  2. Carl E. Schorske, “History and the Study of Culture,” New Literary History 21, no. 2 (Winter 1990): 409.
  3. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433.
  4. Memorandum from Barbara C. Dean, Colonial Williamsburg Found., to Mrs. Stiverson, Colonial Williamsburg Found. (June 16, 1975), 4 (on file at Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary).
  5. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on April 21, 2013.

External Links

Read this book in Google Books.