Despite the fact that the Historiae of the Greek historian Herodotus (d. c. 425 BCE) were never translated into Latin, monastic authors of medieval Europe were familiar with its stories of ancient kings, monstrous peoples, and exotic places. Using as a case study Herodotus’ tale of the vengeance of King Cyrus against the Ganges River, "The Dark Age of Herodotus: Shards of a Fugitive History in Medieval Europe" investigates the modes of transmission that carried stories by Herodotus from Greek to Latin, from the eastern Mediterranean to Rome, and from there across the Alps into northern Europe. In doing so, it illuminates the channels by which knowledge of this most ancient work of Greek history migrated into the cultural repertoire of medieval Christian authors.
Scott G. Bruce is a professor of medieval history and director of the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies (CMEMS) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is an historian of medieval religion and culture with a special interest in the abbey of Cluny.