The Very Rare First Edition In English Of The Complete Text Of Herodotus' Histories
HERODOTUS. History of Herodotus. Translated from the Greek by Isaac Littlebury. London: Printed for Edward Castle , 1709.
Rare first edition in English of the complete text of Herodotus' Histories. Being all nine books. The 1584 edition contained only the first two books. Also, first edition of Littlebury's translation. Two small octavo volumes (7 1/8 x 4 5/8 inches; 182 x 115 mm). [2], xii, [2], 447, [1] blank, [15, index]; [2], 430, [2 blank], [15, index], [1, colophon] pp. Woodcut device on titles.

Full contemporary speckled calf. Boards ruled in gilt and tooled in blind. Edges tooled in gilt. Spines stamped in gilt. Each spine with orange and green spine lables, lettered in gilt. All edges speckled red. Outer hinges are cracked and a bit flaky, but all boards are holding firm. Previous owner's old ink signatures on the title-page of each volume. Some old ink marginalia, mainly in volume I. Overall very good.

The scarce first edition of Isaac Littlebury's translation of Herodotus, which had not been published in English since the Thomas Marshe edition of 1584.

"Herodotus’s subject in his History is the wars between Greece and Persia (499–479 bce) and their preliminaries. As it has survived, the History is divided into nine books (the division is not the author’s): Books I–V describe the background to the Greco-Persian Wars; Books VI–IX contain the history of the wars, culminating in an account of the Persian king Xerxes’ invasion of Greece (Book VII) and the great Greek victories at Salamis, Plataea, and Mycale in 480–479 bce. There are two parts in the History, one being the systematic narrative of the war of 480–479 with its preliminaries from 499 onward (including the Ionian revolt and the Battle of Marathon in Book VI), the other being the story of the growth and organization of the Persian Empire and a description of its geography, social structure, and history...One important and, indeed, remarkable feature of Herodotus’s History is his love of and gift for narrating history in the storyteller’s manner (which is not unlike Homer’s). In this regard he inserts not only amusing short stories but also dialogue and even speeches by the leading historical figures into his narrative, thus beginning a practice that would persist throughout the course of historiography in the classical world." (Britannica)

HBS # 67921 $7,500