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An Account of Egypt


Book Overview: 

The subject of the history of Herodotus is the struggle between the Greeks and the barbarians, which he brings down to the battle of Mycale in 479 B. C. The work, as we have it, is divided into nine books, named after the nine Muses, but this division is probably due to the Alexandrine grammarians. His information he gathered mainly from oral sources, as he traveled through Asia Minor, down into Egypt, round the Black Sea, and into various parts of Greece and the neighboring countries. The chronological narrative halts from time to time to give opportunity for descriptions of the country, the people, and their customs and previous history; and the political account is constantly varied by rare tales and wonders.

Among these descriptions of countries the most fascinating to the modern, as it was to the ancient, reader is his account of the marvels of the land of Egypt. From the priests at Memphis, Heliopolis, and the Egyptian Thebes he learned what he reports of the size of the country, the wonders of the Nile, the ceremonies of their religion, the sacredness of their animals. He tells also of the strange ways of the crocodile and of that marvelous bird, the Phoenix; of dress and funerals and embalming; of the eating of lotos and papyrus; of the pyramids and the great labyrinth; of their kings and queens and courtesans.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .n a level place; and having come up to them, they were beginning to pluck the fruit which was upon the trees: but as they began to pluck it, there came upon them small men, of less stature than men of the common size, and these seized them and carried them away; and neither could the Nasamonians understand anything of their speech nor could those who were carrying them off understand anything of the speech of the Nasamonians; and they led them (so it was said) through very great swamps, and after passing through these they came to a city in which all the men were in size like those who carried them off and in colour of skin black; and by the city ran a great river, which ran from the West towards the sunrising, and in it were seen crocodiles. Of the account given by Etearchos the Ammonian let so much suffice as is here said, except that, as the men of Kyrene told me, he alleged that the Nasamonians returned safe home, and that the people to whom they had come were all wiz. . . Read More

Community Reviews

An Account of Egypt is a really interesting book.
On the one hand it can be amazingly dry, boring and a difficult read at times

And his friends being troubled at it admonished him in some such words as these: "O king, thou dost not rightly govern thyself in thus letting thyself descend.../>And

I rarely read a book I understand so little of. Written about 450 years BC, there is nothing I actually can relate to. I know some Greek mythology, I've read a little about ancient Egypt, ok... and so? I still don't get it. I like it, though. It makes for a challenging read, and I could wish I kn...more

وصف جميل من هيروديت لمصر لكن مش كل حاجة قالها ينفع تتصدق لعدة أسباب

What a blessing this has survived thousands of years for us to read today!
Things that stood out:
-mention of flying reptiles among a list of other common animals seen in the area
-mention of Aesop
-accounts of mystical religious practices

تقدم هوامش الكتاب معلومات غنية من مصادر مختلفة، ولكن المحقِّق دائم الميل إلى إثبات ما ذكره هيرودوت عن حسنات المصريين، وإلى تفنيد ما ذكره من مساوءهم، وهو للأسف اتجاه عام في بلادنا ناتج عن نظام تربوي تلقيني يضع الوطن محورا لتاريخ ومستقبل العالم.

كما يشفق المحقق أحيانا على قناعات هيرودوت...more

Reading the summary associated with Euterpe, one might think that this was a book about almost anything related to the Persian War, but instead would find a historic view of ancient Egypt. With glowing columns and all sorts of abnormalities, Herodotus some times has a large than life mythological...more

I decided to go through my original Kindle and found this. It wasn't very long and not really a historical account as you'd consider a history book today. This is more of a daily journal of what Herodotis saw during his travels through Egypt.

All in all it's an interesting read if your curious ab...more

Antiquated, but mostly correct and basic information on the subject of Ancient Egypt. !!!

A flawed and fascinating account of all things Egyptian, much of it from first-hand testimony.

Book 2 of Herodotus opens up with what must be one of history's earliest recorded descriptions of a scientific experiment, also one the stupidest. In order to try and prove whether the Egypti...more

Reading this book gives you a chance to visit Egypt in the Fifth Century B.C. You can learn something of the Egyptian culture including their embalming techniques which varied according to the price paid. Herodotus describes the pyramids as they appeared in their original glory and shares somethi...more

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