The Histories of Herodotus with Gary Slator

Ref: C2346357

We will look closely at the various cultures and traditions of the 7th - 5th centuries BC described in detail by the historian Herodotus, and try to distinguish between the attitudes of the time and views based on modern research. During the term, we will discover the archaeological, historical and geographical background to his history, exploring the nature of civilisation in the Near and Middle East. We will begin with an examination of the man himself and his society, to try and establish the purpose and the key features of his book. We will go on to look at the Lydian and Babylonian cultures as described in Book I of the Histories, comparing the claims of Herodotus’ account against known historical or archaeological material. We will then go on to do the same for his account of the rise of Persia and the Persian conquests under their first great leader and king, Cyrus.

Course aim

The course aims to give a wide-ranging analysis of the first cultural and political book of history in Western civilisation, written by Herodotus, taking in the variety of cultures of the ancient world.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Demonstrate some awareness of the concept and methods of Herodotus' History and its key features
  • Describe at least two features of the character of the Babylonian Empire in the 6th century BC
  • Compare the known key archaeological features of the city of Babylon in the 6th century against the description given by Herodotus
  • Construct a simple chronology of the rise of the Achaemenid Empire

How will I be taught?

What kind of feedback can I expect?

What else do I need to know?

Recommended reading: Herodotus, The Histories (various publishers) “Shadows in the Desert” Dr Kaveh Farrokh (Osprey Publishing)

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

What can I do next?

View full course information sheet

The Histories of Herodotus with Gary Slator

Enrolment Conditions

As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
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  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2021
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

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