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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 excellent and informative read. Wish I’d read it before.

When looking at history, it's curious to think where it all comes from. History is a story, and one of the first storytellers was Herodotus. I chose An Account of Egypt because I wanted to see how he told stories, and maybe see how accurate he was. I’m sad to say his stories aren’t too compelling, a

The Pelasgian was the first name of the Hellenic people and other small details related to how they saw Egyptians. Detail description of dimensions of buildings, who made them, who came first on this planet. Customs, ethics, border policies for traffic between countries, all those details are includ

Only 20% is Herodetus' eye witness account of daily Egyptian life and customs. Most of the book describes Greco-Egyptian monarchies, so it's tedious and tiresome. Had no idea Egyptians revered cows, or had an annual festival of lights... ala another polytheistic civilization :)


"Of Egypt

بعد إكمال قراءة الكتاب الأول من تاريخ هيردوت وكانت من ترجمة عبدالإله الملاح من اللغة الإنجليزية الذي ترجم تاريخ هيردوت وكتبه التسعة كاملة عرجت على هذه الترجمة للكتاب الثاني لأنها ترجمة من اليونانية مباشرة من ترجمة محمد خفاجة وقد طفح الكتاب بكثير من الحواشي المفيدة رغم أن المترجم حاول تفنيد كل ما ذكر

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

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

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