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William Etty’s Candaules, King of Lydia, Shews his Wife by Stealth to Gyges, One of his Ministers, as She Goes to Bed. The painting illustrates Herodotus’s version of the tale of Gyges. Wikimedia Commons

Guide to the classics: The Histories, by Herodotus

Herodotus' Histories has it all: tales of war, eyewitness travel writing, notes on flora and fauna and accounts of fantastic creatures such as winged snakes. His stories share a common humanity that speaks to us, 2500 years on.

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