The story begins with Hermias, one of Aristotle's disciples, being tortured and interrogated in Assus, a town on the western edge of the Persian empire. He is confronted by a Persian commander, Memnon, who questions him if his teacher is really worth dying for. The story then skips ahead a few day to the ruins of Troy, where Aristotle, one of his disciples, and a slave find Eumenes in a boat attempting to make oars. They spend the night there, talking about various subjects such as philosophy and slavery and leave the next morning. Eumenes is then visited by a Persian named Barsine, who questions him about his visitors the previous night. He claims that he hasn't seen the people she's asking him about and she goes back to her escort of horsemen and leaves. Soon after, Aristotle and his student come running towards Eumenes chased by the horsemen who visited shortly before this and they immediately take off, narrowly escaping capture. Barsine is then met by Memnon and states "the next person to come over this channel probably isn't going to be a philosopher." Eumenes and his company are met by a horse-drawn cart on the other side that was waiting for Aristotle. Eumenes find that they are both heading towards Cardia, but the people in the cart refuse to take Eumenes there, stating that a slave can walk. When Eumenes reaches Cardia, he finds the town surrounded by a Macedonian army, consisting of two columns of Hoplites circling the city. He notices the commander of the army right away, and ponders about the peculiarity of the situation, and then proceeds to greet an old lady waiting outside of the town. Eumenes develops a plan to carry the old lady across the column of Hoplites on his shoulders, claiming that this would show the old lady's status. Afterward they find that town guards won't open the gate to let them in the city. Another group of people consisting of a man named Antigonus and two other men come running through the columns. Eumenes eventually develops a plan to repeatedly shout out that, "his master's remains had to be returned into the city" in front of the Macedonian army. His plan works and the group is allowed in the city shortly afterward. Inside the city, Antigonus asks Eumenes to meet him in three days. He then goes to the ruins of his old house and the story goes into a flashback, showing his childhood, how he left Cardia, his early adventures, and his first war in Paphlagonia. The narrative then moves on to show how Eumenes came to Macedonia and elaborates on the geo-political context of the Mediterranean area at the time.
An intelligent young boy from Cardia who has been troubled with a bad dream of a woman killing soldiers since childhood. Much of his past is revealed during the series: he is, in truth, a Scythian, but is adopted by Hieronymus when his own family was massacred in a Greek slave raid. After a relatively happy childhood in Cardia, the events following Scythian slave Thrax's escape resulted in Hieronymus' death and the revelation of Eumenes' Scythian heritage, making him a slave. He was sold and shipped off Cardia, but soon after the slaves on the ship he is in mutinied before being sunk in a storm. Shipwrecked, Eumenes found himself on the shores of Paphlagonia, near the village of Boa, where he spent the rest of his childhood teaching its villagers in the ways of the Greeks, while becoming accepted as one of their own in the meantime. This quiet life was interrupted when a mercenary army from the nearby Greek city of Tios attacked the village.
A slave in the Hieronymus household and Eumenes' personal attendant ("pedagogue" in the original sense of the word). He gives Eumenes an amulet that belongs to Eumenes' mother before the latter leaves Cardia. It is revealed in a flashback that he is, despite his denial to Eumenes, actually present in the incident of Eumenes' mother's death, and is in fact responsible for her downfall by holding young Eumenes hostage.
Hieronymus (the Elder)
At first appears to be Eumenes' father. However, it is later revealed that he actually adopts him after killing all of Eumenes' native family during a slave raid he led. (However, Hironymus himself did not commit this affair, but his subordinates.) Considered to be killed by Thrax during the latter's attempted escape, though another person actually appears to be responsible for the crime.
Hieronymus (the Younger)
Hieronymus's son who is jealous of Eumenes in his childhood due to the Eumenes' superior intelligence and skills and his father's apparent favoritism. However, when Eumenes is sold as a slave, it is revealed that most of the information known about Eumenes' life came from Hieronymus, implying that Hieronymus truly cares about Eumenes, deep down.
A childhood friend of Eumenes. Is seen serving in Cardia's militia when Eumenes returns to the city.
Villager of Boa and initially hostile yet curious of Eumenes. As he begins to adapt to life in Boa they grew more and more attached even though it is revealed that she is already betrothed to the next head of the city Tios. After the engagement is broken off due to war she becomes Eumenes lover. However in order to save the village from being destroyed, Eumenes (when found out by the next heir of Tios that he was responsible for the battle) pretends that he was having a personal agenda and didn't care about the villagers at all making him an enemy and also giving up Satura to be Telemakos bride to save the lives of the town. She follows along, yet is heartbroken.
A childhood friend of Eumenes who appears to be attracted to him at first. When Eumenes becomes a slave, she treats him with hostility.
A Scythian slave. Appears to have recognized Eumenes as a fellow Scythian. During the series, he breaks free and attempts to escape Cardia, killing many of the city's militia and citizens in the process. During a fight in the marketplace, he comes in close contact with Eumenes but does not kill the latter, leading the citizens of Cardia to suspect Eumenes. He is eventually mortally wounded, though apparently died only after attempting to follow Eumenes somewhere.
A loan shark who owns the slave Thrax; known for his brutal treatment of his slaves. When Thrax is released from the shackles that binds his arms and leg, he and his entire family are killed.
A commander of the Greek mercenaries working for the Persians chasing after Aristotle. First seen in Assus, then a part of the Persian Empire while interrogating Hermias, Aristotle's father-in-law, in an attempt to track down the philosopher.
A world renowned philosopher. At the start of the series, he is being chased by the Persian Empire on suspicion of spying. Along with one of his students, Callisthenes, and the slave Victas, he first meets Eumenes near the ruins of Troy while in need of a boat to cross the Dardanelles. Because Eumenes has not yet finished building his improvised oar, he spend the night camping and conversing with the latter over various subjects, and becomes impressed by the latter's intelligence. The day after that, he, Callisthenes, and Eumenes escapes the Persians in the nick of time, landing in Europe, all headed to Cardia (though Eumenes is left behind).
The king of Macedonia. Introduced in the story claiming to be Antigonus, a merchant from Perinthus, coming to Cardia to look for Hieronymus (the Younger). First meets Eumenes outside the gates of Cardia. Impressed by the latter's performance in gaining entrance to the city, he impetuously asks Eumenes to come and work for him.
The Mainichi newspaper calls Iwaaki's vision of Eumenes' past (which, historically, is largely a mystery) "Bold and unique." Jason Thompson, one of the best-known manga critics in the United States, says that in terms of scale, ambition, and plotting, Historie is the author's masterpiece. The manga was a finalist for the 10th Osamu Tezuka Culture Award and is also awarded the grand prize for the manga division in the 2010 Japan Media Arts Festival.