Generally accepted as the first work of historical literature in Western culture, "The Histories" of Herodotus describe the important wars of the fifth century. Carefully translated from its original Greek, this text conveys the careful research and deliberate documentation of martial battles between the Greek city-states and the Persian Empire. The reasons for his efforts, as explained by Herodotus, were to preserve the memory and glory of human achievements and deeds, as well as to record why the Greco-Persian Wars took place. Organized in nine books, which are named after the Muses, he unfolds the various battles, such as the Battle of Marathon, while making a comparison of the widely differing governments of the antagonists. In undertaking his "Histories," Herodotus unfolds a holistic view of the classical world with considerable narrative skill and charisma.