There are notable similarities between the genres of the Ancient Greek and the Indian novel (kathā). One of the most appealing features is the presence of the ‘embedded vertical narratives’ – tales within tales within tales … (metadiegesis) – in both traditions. It seems also that the layers of tales within tales do not go beyond the fifth layer of depth: a principle that can be called the ‘narrative sustainability’. Moreover, in both literary cultures, the narrators of the different layers of the embedded tales speak in the first person, referring first-hand to what they have experienced. Palone argues that the complexity of the structure and the crossed interplay between narrators and narratees of the different layers, needs the direction and the overview of an authorial instance; therefore, this narrative structure cannot be the result of superficial contacts only among merchants, but needed a literary mediation, with translations and a deep comprehension.