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An exciting series that provides students with direct access to the ancient world by offering new translations of extracts from its key texts. Herodotus, writing in the second half of the 5th century BC, is the first historian of western civilisation. His narrative tells of the expansion of the Persian Empire in the 6th and 5th centuries BC and the wars between Greece and Persia in 490 and 480 BC. Some of the most famous battles of history, Marathon, Thermopylae and Salamis, are dramatically described in his work. His purpose is to explain why the wars happened and his sophisticated and complex answer encompasses the relation of gods to men, the nature of different peoples and the character of individuals.