Aug 17

Herodotus the Geek 2: Famous City


TalesOfAGM CrossLast month I wrote about Herodotus and gaming.


Today I have another passage from the Histories of Herodotus which present him as some the great ur-Geek. This is another passage from Book 1, this time section 98. Rather than paraphrase, I shall quote the relevant text:


The Medes built the city now called Agbatana, the walls of which are of great size and strength, rising in circles one within the other. The plan of the place is, that each of the walls should out-top the one beyond it by the battlements. The nature of the ground, which is a gentle hill, favours this arrangements in some degree but it is mainly effected by art. The number of the circles is seven, the royal palace and the treasuries standing within the last.


A great city with seven concentric walls? Does that sound at all familiar to you? Let me jog your memory with another quote:


And upon its out-thrust knee was the Guarded City with its seven walls of stone so strong and old


The Guarded City is another name for Minas Tirith in Middle Earth. A great city of seven concentric walls with palace and treasuries in the innermost set of walls.


Thus, like any true Geek, Herodotus was clearly quoting Tolkien!


Happy Gaming



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