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  • Herodotus (c480-c425) is 'The Father of History' and his Histories are the first piece of Western historical writing. They are also the most entertaining. Why did Pheidippides run the 26 miles and 385 yards (or 42.195 kilometres) from Marathon to Athens? And what did he do when he got there? Was the Battle of Salamis fought between sausage-sellers? Which is the oldest language in the world? Why did Leonidas and his 300 Spartans spend the morning before the battle of Thermopylae combing their hair? Why did every Babylonian woman have to sit in the Temple of Aphrodite until a man threw a coin into her lap, and how long was she likely to sit there? And what is the best way to kill a crocodile? This wide-ranging history provides the answers to all these fascinating questions as well as providing many fascinating insights into the Ancient World.