The Herodotus Marathon

‘a beautiful event, a linguistic firework display, and extremely moving to watch’

‘a wonderful experience, an incredible choral journey’

‘this quasi-liturgical service for Herodotus!’

‘a monument of homage to the work and the author’

‘It’s been incredible listening to Herodotus in so many languages; inspirational!’

‘I still feel the emotions … This has been one of my first-rank academic and life experiences. So cute, so beautiful!’

‘I’m pretty sure that Herodotus is proud of us, as well as his sparks living within each one of us’

‘A θῶμα μέγιστον’

‘certainly worth 10 talents!’

These are just some of the things that people have said about the Herodotus Marathon, a live, non-stop, multilingual reading of Herodotus’ Histories that took place from 5pm GMT on 31 May 2022 till late (c. 10.30 pm) the following day.

Around 250 readers from all over the world came together to read the Histories in full (for the first time since antiquity?) in a huge variety of different translations – and in the original Greek. After some technical hitches at the start, the event was livestreamed via our YouTube channel, where you can view the vast majority of the performance.

The Marathon began with a reading of the first paragraph of the proem in Ukrainian, and featured readings in Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Danish, Dutch, Eastern Lombard, English, Finnish, French, Galician, German, Austrian German, Swiss German, Greek (ancient and modern), Hebrew, Indonesian, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Latin, Luxembourgish, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Welsh.

We hope soon to publish full details of who read which passages. To learn more about the history of translations of Herodotus into these languages, go to our Ask the Helpline page.