The Man Who Invented History: Travels with Herodotus

Author(s): 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.


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'The most brilliant of the new generation of travelwriter-historians' -- Sunday Telegraph 'Justin Marozzi is that most precious rarity: a serious traveller who is also a real writer, with a wonderful feel for language, a gift for narrative and an enviable sensitivity and lightness of touch. Brave, romantic, erudite and humane, South from Barbary is a genuinely remarkable debut' -- William Dalrymple 'The perfect travel book ...observant, shrewd, patient and exceedingly well attuned ... It is a measure of Marozzi's skill that he handles the big themes of history and the small irritations of third-millennium camel travel with equal charm and felicity' -- Financial Times 'Excellent...a superbly rounded and vivid portrait of one of history's most fascinating personalities' -- Andrew Roberts, Evening Standard 'Captivating, a delightful and fortunate conjunction between the world of [Tamerlane] then and that world transformed today' -- Spectator 'Herodotus may have lived 24 centuries ago but he is our 21st century contemporary and companion - the father not just of history but of comparative ethnography too, not only a brilliant storyteller and indefatigable traveller but also a shrewd and tolerant observer of human fads and foibles on the grandest global scale. Justin Marozzi, himself a veteran traveller and journalist and intrepid crosser of cultural frontiers, does his hero full justice in this scintillating, thought-provoking and entertaining hommage' -- Paul Cartledge, Cambridge University 'A tour de force of travel writing' -- John Keay, Literary Review 'Intellectually stimulating but still able to raise a smile from the reader' -- Adventure Travel 'This is a book of remarkable substance and style, brimming with humanity' -- Jeremy Seal, Telegraph 'A tribute to the man acknowledged as "the father of history", who was also the world's first travel writer, a geographer, anthropologist, explorer and moralist' -- Bookseller 'This is a book of remarkable substance and style, brimming with humanity' -- Sunday Telegraph 'Intellectually stimulating yet still able to riase a smile from the reader' -- Adventure Travel 'The Man Who Invented History proves to be a tour de force of travel writing' -- Literary Review 'It's a good excuse to return to his outlandish stories of war and the exotic sexual practices of forgotten cultures' -- Sunday Times 'Marozzi sets out faithfully to dog the footsteps of Herodotus, reporting the modern world in its customary warlike state' -- The Times 'This is a book of remarkable substance and style, brimming with humanity' -- Sunday Telegraph 'Marozzi's energy drives the book forward ... where (he) succeeds above all is in whetting the appetite' -- Financial Times 'The power of the story is the essence of this book and it is to Marozzi's immense credit that his storytelling is almost as good as his mentor's. Together they are marvellous' -- Sunday Herald 'A delightful book, fit companion to the Father of History himself' -- Scotsman 'A very Herodotean book ... entertaining, engaging and humane' -- Times Literary Supplement 'Compelling ... Where Marozzi succeeds above all is in whetting the appetite, making us long to return to the master' -- Financial Times 'Marozzi himself is an unambiguously Herodotean figure ... The English Patient ... inspired thousands to rish out and buy the Histories. This book deserves to have the same effect' -- Anglo Hellenic Review

Justin Marozzi is a travel writer and historian. A former Financial Times foreign correspondent, he is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and has written widely on the Muslim world, travel and exploration. His previous two books are Barbary and Tamerlane. He is married and lives in Norfolk and London.

General Fields

  • : 9780719567131
  • : John Murray General Publishing Division
  • : John Murray Publishers Ltd
  • : August 2009
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Justin Marozzi
  • : Paperback
  • : 809
  • : 910.4
  • : 352
  • : Travel writing