The world of humanity, controlled by finally incomprehensible powers, is a tragic world. At best, the Divine meaning mocks the other. If one is to be great and glorious as man or nation or city, one is the more likely to fall into the traps of the supernatural. The most sensible course is to choose the private life; but the purpose of Herodotus’ History is to chronicle the great men, great cities, and great deeds. So as a writer he is almost committed to a world of tragedy, where good or great intentions have but little to do with what happens. Still, the kleos remains, not, I think, as a moral warning nor yet as a national eulogy. Perhaps Herodotus saw himself as securing for the great deeds of the Persian War the only permanence in this world of relative values, the permanence of memory.
—David Grene (via useless-pretty-things)