All the more unfortunate, then, that this and pretty much every other sign of Herodotus’ prose style is absent from “The Landmark Herodotus,” whose new translation, by Andrea L. Purvis, is both naked and pedestrian. A revealing example is her translation of the Preface, which, as many scholars have observed, cannily appropriates the high-flown language of Homeric epic to a revolutionary new project: to record the deeds of real men in real historical time. In the original, the entire Preface is one long, winding, quasi-poetic sentence, a nice taste of what’s to come; Purvis chops it into three flat-footed sections. Readers who want a real taste of Herodotean style can do a lot worse than the 1858 translation of George Rawlinson, which beautifully captures the text’s rich Homeric flavor and dense syntax; more recently, the 1998 translation by Robin Waterfield loses the archaic richness but, particularly in the opening, gives off a whiff of the scientific milieu out of which the Histories arose.