Herodotus’ remarkable accomplishment was to incorporate, in extended prose narrative, the fluid rhythms familiar from the earlier, oral culture of Homer and Hesiod. The lulling cadences and hypnotically spiralling clauses in each of his sentences—which replicate, on the microcosmic level, the ambling, appetitive nature of the work as a whole—suggest how hard Herodotus worked to bring literary artistry, for the first time, to prose. One twentieth-century translator of the Histories put it succinctly: “Herodotus’s prose has the flexibility, ease and grace of a man superbly talking.”