Both volumes of Herodotus Histories are presented in this unified edition, which contains all nine books in the well-regarded translation by scholar of antiquity G. C. Maccauley.
The first volume opens with the established history of Greek myth, from the Trojan War onward. Rulers such as King Croesus and Cyrus II of Persia hold a heavy presence in the first passages of the text, together with the various wars and conflicts of the era.
Later, Herodotus travels to Egypt and explains the geography, the vital nature of the Nile river, and the systems of ruling and government present in that nation. Herodotus also discusses distant lands such as India and China, and their customs and trading practices.
In contrast to the initial books, the later portions of Herodotus' Histories contain more detail on the aristocracies and rulers of each nation. Military matters at land and sea are discussed, with supreme commanders such as Alexander I of Macedon and Xerxes of Greece receiving scrutiny as to their strategic planning and behaviors.
Together with portions deemed factual and accurate are juxtapositions of Greek mythology upon the text. The famous passage concerning the rescue of the Delphic Oracle from an invading Persian army by supernatural forces is one example of myth in an otherwise historically reliable work.
Over his lifetime, Herodotus personally traveled around most of the ancient world. His expeditions to Egypt and Persia yielded discoveries significant to history, whereby local sources and libraries were consulted to better the comprehensive accuracy of his writings.
As well as his sources, Herodotus would personally observe the differing customs and behaviors of the peoples he walked among. Many of the culturally ingrained practices were considered strange, with Middle Eastern and North African traditions contrasting markedly with those of Greece and Europe.
Although much of what Herodotus wrote has been superseded by the discoveries and historic researches of later epochs, his work remains widely consulted by scholars and historians to this day. Generally praised by historians, Herodotus has since the Roman era held the title "The Father of History".