Hē tou Hērodotou Halikarnasseōs Historia = Herodoti Halicarnassensis Historia

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by Herodotus

Hē tou Hērodotou Halikarnasseōs Historia

Title page from Hē tou Hērodotou Halikarnasseōs Historia, volume one, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Herodotus
Editor Jacobus Gronovius
Translator {{{trans}}}
Published Glasgaue: In aedibus academicis, Excudebant Robertus et Andreas Foulis
Date 1761
Edition {{{edition}}}
Language Greek and Latin on opposite pages
Volumes 9 volume set
Pages {{{pages}}}
Desc. 8vo (16 cm.)
Location Shelf H-4
  [[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]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as Herodotus. 8.v. 12mo. Foulis and given by Thomas Jefferson to John Wayles Eppes. A nine-volume set produced by the Foulis Press in 1761 most closely fits Jefferson's notation.[3] Both Brown's Bibliography[4] and George Wythe's Library[5] on LibraryThing include this edition as the one intended by Jefferson. The Foulis 1761 edition also appears in the Dean Memo[6] and in Goodwin's pamphlet.[7] All four Wythe collection sources note a copy at the Library of Congress that includes a "marginal note on p. 129 of volume 1" which E. Millicent Sowerby attributed to Wythe.[8] Jefferson sold the set, nine volumes rather than the eight listed by Jefferson in his inventory, to the Library of Congress and it has no markings of Eppes' ownership. Perhaps Jefferson re-acquired Wythe's copy after Eppes' death in 1823? If so, did the missing volume reappear, or are two volumes within the set bound together? Because of the strong evidence that Wythe owned a copy, the Wolf Law Library purchased the 1761 Foulis edition.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in contemporary full polished calf with gilt spine decorated in compartments. Contains red title labels with volume number below and gilt roll on board edges. Purchased from A&F McIlreavy Buderim Rare 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 2nd ser. 24, no. 2 (October 1977): 130-31.
  2. Carl E. Schorske “History and the Study of Culture,” New Literary History 21, no. 2 (Winter 1990): 409.
  3. Philip Gaskell, A Bibliography of The Foulis Press, 2nd ed. (Winchester, Hampshire, England: St Paul's Bibliographies, 1986), 241.
  4. 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.
  5. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on November 18, 2013.
  6. 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).
  7. Mary R. M. Goodwin, The George Wythe House: Its Furniture and Furnishings (Williamsburg, Virginia: Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library, 1958), LII.
  8. E. Millicent Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, 1952-1959), 1:7-8 [no.13].

External Links

Read volume one of this book in Google Books.