The Madness of Cambyses

The Madness of Cambyses


, books-i-own, classics, little-black-classics, history, history, little-black-classics, little-black-classics, 2020, classics, intriguing-but-ultimately-naff, penguin-little-black-classics, non-fiction, history, written-bce, nonfiction, classics, biography, classics, History, Classics, Nonfiction, Literature, Cultural, Historical, Drama

'Do you see your son, standing over there, in the antechamber? Well, I am going to shoot him.'

The story of the great and mad Cambyses, King of Persia, told by part-historian, part-mythmaker Herodotus of Halicarnassus.

Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions.

Herodotus (c.484-425 BCE)

Herodotus's The Histories is also available in Penguin Classics.

Title:The Madness of Cambyses
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    The Madness of Cambyses Reviews

  • Liz Janet

    I love Herodotus' Histories. I see him as one of the greatest historians of all time, but this translation is so poor I could not find a way to redeem it. For a complete work and a better translation ...

  • Kyo

    This was such a fun read!The book was only about 50 pages long, but at the beginning I had a hard time getting through it with all the names of different people and places. After that beginning it was...

  • Ankita Arora

    The Madness of Cambyses is a translation of the Greek work on the Persian king: Cambyses II, Son of Cyrus the Great.He was considered a mad king for his almost insane and extreme ways. He would kill a...

  • Marjolein (UrlPhantomhive)

    History has had its shares of crazy kings/rulers, and the Persian king Cambyses most certainly was one of them. Herodotus was a large part of our end-work for Greek in school, so I read quite some of ...

  • Dane Cobain

    This is a weird mixture of historical fact and mythological fiction about Cambyses, a crazy Persian king. There’s a hell of a lot of death and destruction, and you get the vibe that nobody was safe....

  • Melora

    If you like your history straightforward and decisive, Herodotus probably won't be your cup of tea. If, however, you are fine with a leisurely meander, full of odd digressions and random facts, and if...

  • Daren

    An excerpt or excerpts from Heodotus' The Histories, all pertaining to Cambyses, the mad Persian King.It is a readable, but slightly awkward collection. Many Greek and Persian names, and many Greek pe...

  • JK

    In comparison to some of the other Little Black Classics disasters I’ve encountered, I fairly enjoyed this one.The mad king of Persia and his manic actions make for an interesting read, particularly...

  • Peter

    This is how to do a good translation in this modern age, unlike O Cruel Alexis (see review).Here we have the use of varied modern words to give meaning and context, no slang or the tranlators own re-w...

  • Kira

    This was an incredibly interesting story of irony following 'The Madness of Cambyses' the King of Persia, although it took an incredibly amount of unnecessary twists and turns of other related but unn...