Thucydides

Thucydides

Overview
Thucydides (Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 Θουκυδίδης, Thoukydídēs) was a Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 historian
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 and author from Alimos
Alimos
Alimos is an affluent suburb in the south-southwestern part of Athens, Greece, also known as Kalamaki . Poseidonos Avenue runs in the western part of Alimos, with the Hymettus mountain to the east meeting mainly grassland, while areas to the north of Argyroupoli are forested...

. His History of the Peloponnesian War
History of the Peloponnesian War
The History of the Peloponnesian War is an account of the Peloponnesian War in Ancient Greece, fought between the Peloponnesian League and the Delian League . It was written by Thucydides, an Athenian general who served in the war. It is widely considered a classic and regarded as one of the...

recounts the 5th century BC war
Peloponnesian War
The Peloponnesian War, 431 to 404 BC, was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens and its empire against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases...

 between Sparta
Sparta
Sparta or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. From c...

 and Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 to the year 411 BC. Thucydides has been dubbed the father of "scientific history", because of his strict standards of evidence-gathering and analysis in terms of cause and effect without reference to intervention by the gods, as outlined in his introduction to his work.

He has also been called the father of the school of political realism, which views the relations between nations as based on might rather than right.
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Quotations

I have written my work, not as an essay which is to win the applause of the moment, but as a possession for all time.

Book I, 22

Abstinence from all injustice to other first-rate powers is a greater tower of strength than anything that can be gained by the sacrifice of permanent tranquillity for an apparent temporary advantage.

Book I, 42

When one is deprived of ones liberty, one is right in blaming not so much the man who puts the shackles on as the one who had the power to prevent him, but did not use it.

Book I, 69

In practice we always base our preparations against an enemy on the assumption that his plans are good; indeed, it is right to rest our hopes not on a belief in his blunders, but on the soundness of our provisions. Nor ought we to believe that there is much difference between man and man, but to think that the superiority lies with him who is reared in the severest school.

Book I, 84

The country on the sea coast, now called Macedonia, was first acquired by Alexander, the father of Perdiccas, and his ancestors, originally Temenids from Argos...The whole is now called Macedonia, and at the time of the invasion of Sitalces, Perdiccas, Alexander's son, was the reigning king.

Book I, 99

There is, however, no advantage in reflections on the past further than may be of service to the present. For the future we must provide by maintaining what the present gives us and redoubling our efforts; it is hereditary to us to win virtue as the fruit of labour, and you must not change the habit, even though you should have a slight advantage in wealth and resources; for it is not right that what was won in want should be lost in plenty.

Book I, 123

If you give way, you will instantly have to meet some greater demand, as having been frightened into obedience in the first instance; while a firm refusal will make them clearly understand that they must treat you more as equals.

Book I, 140

It is from the greatest dangers that the greatest glory is to be won.

Book I, 144
Encyclopedia
Thucydides (Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

 Θουκυδίδης, Thoukydídēs) was a Greek
Greeks
The Greeks, also known as the Hellenes , are a nation and ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighboring regions. They also form a significant diaspora, with Greek communities established around the world....

 historian
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

 and author from Alimos
Alimos
Alimos is an affluent suburb in the south-southwestern part of Athens, Greece, also known as Kalamaki . Poseidonos Avenue runs in the western part of Alimos, with the Hymettus mountain to the east meeting mainly grassland, while areas to the north of Argyroupoli are forested...

. His History of the Peloponnesian War
History of the Peloponnesian War
The History of the Peloponnesian War is an account of the Peloponnesian War in Ancient Greece, fought between the Peloponnesian League and the Delian League . It was written by Thucydides, an Athenian general who served in the war. It is widely considered a classic and regarded as one of the...

recounts the 5th century BC war
Peloponnesian War
The Peloponnesian War, 431 to 404 BC, was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens and its empire against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases...

 between Sparta
Sparta
Sparta or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. From c...

 and Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 to the year 411 BC. Thucydides has been dubbed the father of "scientific history", because of his strict standards of evidence-gathering and analysis in terms of cause and effect without reference to intervention by the gods, as outlined in his introduction to his work.

He has also been called the father of the school of political realism, which views the relations between nations as based on might rather than right. His text is still studied at advanced military colleges worldwide, and the Melian dialogue
Melian dialogue
The Melian Dialogue, contained in Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, is an account of the confrontation between the people of Melos, a small island in the southern Aegean Sea, and the Athenians in 416–415 BC. Melos was a neutral island, lying just east of Sparta; the Athenians wanted to...

 remains a seminal work of international relations theory
International relations theory
International relations theory is the study of international relations from a theoretical perspective; it attempts to provide a conceptual framework upon which international relations can be analyzed. Ole Holsti describes international relations theories act as a pair of coloured sunglasses,...

.

More generally, Thucydides showed an interest in developing an understanding of human nature to explain behaviour in such crises as plague, massacres, as in that of the Melians
Melian dialogue
The Melian Dialogue, contained in Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, is an account of the confrontation between the people of Melos, a small island in the southern Aegean Sea, and the Athenians in 416–415 BC. Melos was a neutral island, lying just east of Sparta; the Athenians wanted to...

, and civil war
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

.

Life


In spite of his stature as a historian, modern historians know relatively little about Thucydides' life. The most reliable information comes from his own History of the Peloponnesian War
History of the Peloponnesian War
The History of the Peloponnesian War is an account of the Peloponnesian War in Ancient Greece, fought between the Peloponnesian League and the Delian League . It was written by Thucydides, an Athenian general who served in the war. It is widely considered a classic and regarded as one of the...

, which expounds his nationality, paternity and native locality. Thucydides informs us that he fought in the war, contracted the plague and was exiled by the democracy
Athenian democracy
Athenian democracy developed in the Greek city-state of Athens, comprising the central city-state of Athens and the surrounding territory of Attica, around 508 BC. Athens is one of the first known democracies. Other Greek cities set up democracies, and even though most followed an Athenian model,...

. He may have also been involved in quelling the Samian Revolt.

Evidence from the Classical Period


Thucydides identifies himself as an Athenian, telling us that his father's name was Olorus
Olorus
Olorus was the name of a king of Thrace. His daughter Hegesipyle married the Athenian statesman and general Miltiades, who defeated the Persians at the battle of Marathon in 490 BC. Olorus was also the name of the father of the 5th century BC Athenian historian Thucydides, the author of the History...

 and that he was from the Athenian deme
Deme
In Ancient Greece, a deme or demos was a subdivision of Attica, the region of Greece surrounding Athens. Demes as simple subdivisions of land in the countryside seem to have existed in the 6th century BC and earlier, but did not acquire particular significance until the reforms of Cleisthenes in...

 of Halimous
Alimos
Alimos is an affluent suburb in the south-southwestern part of Athens, Greece, also known as Kalamaki . Poseidonos Avenue runs in the western part of Alimos, with the Hymettus mountain to the east meeting mainly grassland, while areas to the north of Argyroupoli are forested...

. He survived the Plague of Athens
Plague of Athens
The Plague of Athens was a devastating epidemic which hit the city-state of Athens in ancient Greece during the second year of the Peloponnesian War , when an Athenian victory still seemed within reach. It is believed to have entered Athens through Piraeus, the city's port and sole source of food...

 that killed Pericles
Pericles
Pericles was a prominent and influential statesman, orator, and general of Athens during the city's Golden Age—specifically, the time between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars...

 and many other Athenians. He also records that he owned gold mines at Scapte Hyle (literally: "Dug Woodland"), a coastal area in Thrace
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

, opposite the island of Thasos
Thasos
Thasos or Thassos is a Greek island in the northern Aegean Sea, close to the coast of Thrace and the plain of the river Nestos but geographically part of Macedonia. It is the northernmost Greek island, and 12th largest by area...

.


Because of his influence in the Thracian region, Thucydides wrote, he was sent as a strategos
Strategos
Strategos, plural strategoi, is used in Greek to mean "general". In the Hellenistic and Byzantine Empires the term was also used to describe a military governor...

 (general) to Thasos
Thasos
Thasos or Thassos is a Greek island in the northern Aegean Sea, close to the coast of Thrace and the plain of the river Nestos but geographically part of Macedonia. It is the northernmost Greek island, and 12th largest by area...

 in 424 BC. During the winter of 424-423 BC, the Spartan general Brasidas
Brasidas
Brasidas was a Spartan officer during the first decade of the Peloponnesian War.He was the son of Tellis and Argileonis, and won his first laurels by the relief of Methone, which was besieged by the Athenians . During the following year he seems to have been eponymous ephor Brasidas (died 422...

 attacked Amphipolis
Amphipolis
Amphipolis was an ancient Greek city in the region once inhabited by the Edoni people in the present-day region of Central Macedonia. It was built on a raised plateau overlooking the east bank of the river Strymon where it emerged from Lake Cercinitis, about 3 m. from the Aegean Sea. Founded in...

, a half-day's sail west from Thasos on the Thracian coast, instigating the Battle of Amphipolis
Battle of Amphipolis
The Battle of Amphipolis was fought in 422 BC during the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. It was the culmination of events that began in 424 BC with the capture of Amphipolis by the Spartans.-Capture of Amphipolis, 424–423 BC:...

. Eucles, the Athenian commander at Amphipolis, sent to Thucydides for help. Brasidas, aware of Thucydides' presence on Thasos and his influence with the people of Amphipolis, and afraid of help arriving by sea, acted quickly to offer moderate terms to the Amphipolitans for their surrender, which they accepted. Thus, when Thucydides arrived, Amphipolis was already under Spartan control.

Amphipolis was of considerable strategic importance, and news of its fall caused great consternation in Athens. It was blamed on Thucydides, although he claimed that it was not his fault and that he had simply been unable to reach it in time. Because of his failure to save Amphipolis, he was sent into exile
Exile
Exile means to be away from one's home , while either being explicitly refused permission to return and/or being threatened with imprisonment or death upon return...

:
Using his status as an exile from Athens to travel freely among the Peloponnesian allies, he was able to view the war from the perspective of both sides. During this time, he conducted important research for his history, having claimed that he pursued the project as he thought it would be one of the greatest wars waged among the Greeks in terms of scale.

This is all that Thucydides wrote about his own life, but a few other facts are available from reliable contemporary sources. Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 wrote that Thucydides' father's name, Όloros
Olorus
Olorus was the name of a king of Thrace. His daughter Hegesipyle married the Athenian statesman and general Miltiades, who defeated the Persians at the battle of Marathon in 490 BC. Olorus was also the name of the father of the 5th century BC Athenian historian Thucydides, the author of the History...

, was connected with Thrace
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

 and Thracian royalty. Thucydides was probably connected through family to the Athenian statesman and general Miltiades
Miltiades
Miltiades or Miltiadis is a Greek name. Several historic persons have been called Miltiades .* Miltiades the Elder wealthy Athenian, and step-uncle of Miltiades the Younger...

, and his son Cimon, leaders of the old aristocracy
Aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

 supplanted by the Radical Democrats
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

. Cimon's maternal grandfather's name was also Olorus
Olorus
Olorus was the name of a king of Thrace. His daughter Hegesipyle married the Athenian statesman and general Miltiades, who defeated the Persians at the battle of Marathon in 490 BC. Olorus was also the name of the father of the 5th century BC Athenian historian Thucydides, the author of the History...

, making the connection exceedingly likely. Another Thucydides
Thucydides (politician)
Thucydides was a prominent politician of ancient Athens and the leader for a number of years of the powerful conservative faction. While it is likely he is related to the later historian Thucydides son of Olorus, the details are uncertain; maternal grandfather and grandson fits the available...

 lived before the historian and was also linked with Thrace, making a family connection between them very likely as well. Finally, Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 confirms the connection of Thucydides' family with the mines at Scapté Hýlē.

Combining all the fragmentary evidence available, it seems that his family had owned a large estate in Thrace
Thrace
Thrace is a historical and geographic area in southeast Europe. As a geographical concept, Thrace designates a region bounded by the Balkan Mountains on the north, Rhodope Mountains and the Aegean Sea on the south, and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara on the east...

, one that even contained gold mines, and which allowed the family considerable and lasting affluence. The security and continued prosperity of the wealthy estate must have necessitated formal ties with local kings or chieftains, which explains the adoption of the distinctly Thracian royal name "Όloros" into the family. Once exiled, Thucydides took permanent residence in the estate and, given his ample income from the gold mines, he was able to dedicate himself to full-time history writing and research, including many fact-finding trips. In essence he was by then a retired, well-connected gentleman of considerable resources who, by then retired from the political and military spheres, decided to fund his own scientific project.

Later sources


The remaining evidence for Thucydides' life comes from rather less reliable later ancient sources. According to Pausanias
Pausanias (geographer)
Pausanias was a Greek traveler and geographer of the 2nd century AD, who lived in the times of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. He is famous for his Description of Greece , a lengthy work that describes ancient Greece from firsthand observations, and is a crucial link between classical...

, someone named Oenobius was able to get a law passed allowing Thucydides to return to Athens, presumably sometime shortly after the city's surrender and the end of the war in 404 BC. Pausanias goes on to say that Thucydides was murdered on his way back to Athens. Many doubt this account, seeing evidence to suggest he lived as late as 397 BC. Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

 claims that his remains were returned to Athens and placed in Cimon's family vault.

The abrupt end to Thucydides' narrative, which breaks off in the middle of the year 411 BC, has traditionally been interpreted as indicating that he died while writing the book, although other explanations have been put forward.


Inferences about Thucydides' character can only be drawn (with due caution) from his book. His sardonic sense of humour is evident throughout, as when, during his description of the Athenian plague, he remarks that old Athenians seemed to remember a rhyme which said that with the Dorian War would come a "great death". Some claimed that the rhyme was actually about a "great dearth" (limos), and was only remembered as "death" (loimos) due to the current plague. Thucydides then remarks that, should another Dorian War come, this time attended with a great dearth, the rhyme will be remembered as "dearth," and any mention of "death" forgotten.

Thucydides admired Pericles
Pericles
Pericles was a prominent and influential statesman, orator, and general of Athens during the city's Golden Age—specifically, the time between the Persian and Peloponnesian wars...

, approving of his power over the people and showing a marked distaste for the demagogues who followed him. He did not approve of the democratic mob nor the radical democracy that Pericles ushered in but considered democracy acceptable when guided by a good leader. Thucydides' presentation of events is generally even-handed; for example, he does not minimize the negative effect of his own failure at Amphipolis
Battle of Amphipolis
The Battle of Amphipolis was fought in 422 BC during the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta. It was the culmination of events that began in 424 BC with the capture of Amphipolis by the Spartans.-Capture of Amphipolis, 424–423 BC:...

. Occasionally, however, strong passions break through, as in his scathing appraisals of the demagogues Cleon
Cleon
Cleon was an Athenian statesman and a Strategos during the Peloponnesian War. He was the first prominent representative of the commercial class in Athenian politics, although he was an aristocrat himself...

; and Hyperbolus. Cleon
Cleon
Cleon was an Athenian statesman and a Strategos during the Peloponnesian War. He was the first prominent representative of the commercial class in Athenian politics, although he was an aristocrat himself...

 has sometimes been connected with Thucydides' exile.

That Thucydides was clearly moved by the suffering inherent in war and concerned about the excesses to which human nature is prone in such circumstances is evident in his analysis of the atrocities committed during civil conflict on Corcyra, which includes the phrase "War is a violent teacher".

The History of the Peloponnesian War





After his death, Thucydides' history was subdivided into eight books: its modern title is the History of the Peloponnesian War
History of the Peloponnesian War
The History of the Peloponnesian War is an account of the Peloponnesian War in Ancient Greece, fought between the Peloponnesian League and the Delian League . It was written by Thucydides, an Athenian general who served in the war. It is widely considered a classic and regarded as one of the...

. His great contribution to history and historiography
Historiography
Historiography refers either to the study of the history and methodology of history as a discipline, or to a body of historical work on a specialized topic...

 is contained in this one dense history of the 27-year war
Peloponnesian War
The Peloponnesian War, 431 to 404 BC, was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens and its empire against the Peloponnesian League led by Sparta. Historians have traditionally divided the war into three phases...

 between Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 and Sparta
Sparta
Sparta or Lacedaemon, was a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the River Eurotas in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. From c...

, each with their respective allies. The history breaks off near the end of the 21st year; the last sketchy book suggests that his death was unexpected and may possibly have been sudden or violent. Thucydides believed that the Peloponnesian War represented an event of unmatched magnitude. His intention was to write an account of the events of the late fifth century which would serve as "a possession for all time".

Thucydides is generally regarded as one of the first true historians. Like his predecessor Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

, known as "the father of history", Thucydides places a high value on eyewitness testimony
Eyewitness testimony
Research in eyewitness testimony is mostly considered a subfield within legal psychology, however it is a field with very broad implications. Human reports are normally based on visual perception, which is generally held to be very reliable...

 and writes about events in which he himself probably took part. He also assiduously consulted written documents and interviewed participants about the events that he recorded. Unlike Herodotus, whose stories often teach that a foolish arrogance—hubris
Hubris
Hubris , also hybris, means extreme haughtiness, pride or arrogance. Hubris often indicates a loss of contact with reality and an overestimation of one's own competence or capabilities, especially when the person exhibiting it is in a position of power....

—invites the wrath of the gods, Thucydides does not acknowledge divine intervention in human affairs.

A noteworthy difference between Thucydides' method of writing history and that of modern historians is Thucydides' inclusion of lengthy formal speeches that, as he himself states, were literary reconstructions rather than actual quotations of what was said — or, perhaps, what he believed ought to have been said. Arguably, had he not done this, the gist of what was said would not otherwise be known at all — whereas today there is a plethora of documentation — written records, archives and recording technology for historians to consult. Therefore Thucydides' method served to rescue his mostly oral sources from oblivion. We do not know how these historical figures actually spoke. Thucydides' recreation uses a heroic stylistic register. A celebrated example is Pericles' funeral oration
Pericles' Funeral Oration
Pericles' Funeral Oration is a famous speech from Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War. The speech was delivered by Pericles, an eminent Athenian politician, at the end of the first year of the Peloponnesian War as a part of the annual public funeral for the war dead.-Background:It was an...

, which heaps honour on the dead and includes a defence of democracy:
Stylistically, the placement of this passage also serves to heighten the contrast with the description of the plague in Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

 immediately following it, which graphically emphasizes the horror of human mortality, thereby conveying a powerful sense of verisimilitude:
Thucydides omits discussion of the arts, literature or the social milieu in which the events in his book take place and in which he himself grew up. He saw himself as recording an event, not a period, and went to considerable lengths to exclude what he deemed frivolous or extraneous. Some consider this framing to constitute in itself a form of value judgment. Historian and classical scholar Peter Green remarks that:
The cleverest intellectual move Thucydides made was the severe limiting of what he deemed permissible as elements of historiography, on the grounds that everything else outside this canon was not only irrelevant but unserious. Out went personal anecdotes, most foreign ethnography and domestic or private motivation: out, above all, went anything to do with women. Religion was women's business, and mostly nonsense anyway, so that could be discarded too. The essence of history was war and politics, as conducted by men in authority. His exclusive privileging of the male political association, in its most public form, became accepted, and historians (being political males themselves) were not inclined to argue. His revisionism not only won out at the time, but established the basic principles of historiography for over two millennia.


Critical interpretation


Scholars traditionally view Thucydides as recognizing and teaching the lesson that democracies need leadership, but that leadership can be dangerous to democracy. Leo Strauss
Leo Strauss
Leo Strauss was a political philosopher and classicist who specialized in classical political philosophy. He was born in Germany to Jewish parents and later emigrated to the United States...

  (in The City and Man) locates the problem in the nature of Athenian democracy itself, about which, he argued, Thucydides had a deeply ambivalent view: on one hand, Thucydides' own "wisdom was made possible" by the Periclean democracy, which had the effect of liberating individual daring, enterprise and questioning spirit, but this same liberation, by permitting the growth of limitless political ambition, led to imperialism and, eventually, civic strife.

For Canadian historian Charles Norris Cochrane
Charles Norris Cochrane
Charles Norris Cochrane was a Canadian historian and philosopher who taught at the University of Toronto.He was educated at the University of Toronto and also at the University of Oxford, where he was taught and influenced by R.G...

 (1889–1945), Thucydides' fastidious devotion to observable phenomena, focus on cause and effect, and strict exclusion of other factors anticipates twentieth century scientific positivism. Cochrane, the son of a physician, speculated that Thucydides generally (and especially in describing the plague in Athens) was influenced by the methods and thinking of early medical writers such as Hippocrates
Hippocrates
Hippocrates of Cos or Hippokrates of Kos was an ancient Greek physician of the Age of Pericles , and is considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine...

 of Kos
Kos
Kos or Cos is a Greek island in the south Sporades group of the Dodecanese, next to the Gulf of Gökova/Cos. It measures by , and is from the coast of Bodrum, Turkey and the ancient region of Caria. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Kos peripheral unit, which is...

.

After World War II, Classical scholar Jacqueline de Romilly
Jacqueline de Romilly
Jacqueline Worms de Romilly, née David was a French philologist, classical scholar and fiction writer. Because she was of Jewish ancestry, the Vichy government suspended her from her teaching duties during the Occupation of France. she was the first woman nominated to the Collège de France, and in...

 pointed out that the problem of Athenian imperialism
Imperialism
Imperialism, as defined by Dictionary of Human Geography, is "the creation and/or maintenance of an unequal economic, cultural, and territorial relationships, usually between states and often in the form of an empire, based on domination and subordination." The imperialism of the last 500 years,...

 was one of Thucydides' central preoccupations and situated his history in the context of Greek thinking about international politics. Since the appearance of her study, other scholars further examined Thucydides treatment of realpolitik
Realpolitik
Realpolitik refers to politics or diplomacy based primarily on power and on practical and material factors and considerations, rather than ideological notions or moralistic or ethical premises...

.

More recently, scholars have questioned the perception of Thucydides as simply "the father of realpolitik". Instead they have brought to the fore the literary qualities of the History, which they see as belonging to narrative tradition of Homer and Hesiod and as concerned with the concepts of justice and suffering found in Plato and Aristotle and problematized in Aeschylus and Sophocles. Richard Ned Lebow
Richard Ned Lebow
Professor Richard Ned Lebow is an American political scientist best known for his work in international relations and U.S. foreign policy. He is a noted constructivist and expert on strategies of conflict management, the Cold War, the politics of memory and ancient Greek politics and...

 terms Thucydides "the last of the tragedians", stating that "Thucydides drew heavily on epic poetry and tragedy to construct his history, which not surprisingly is also constructed as a narrative." In this view, the blind and immoderate behaviour of the Athenians (and indeed of all the other actors), though perhaps intrinsic to human nature, ultimately leads to their downfall. Thus his History could serve as a warning to future leaders to be more prudent, by putting them on notice that someone would be scrutinizing their actions with a historian's objectivity rather than a chronicler's flattery.

Finally, the question has recently been raised as to whether Thucydides was not greatly, if not fundamentally, concerned with the matter of religion. Contrary to Herodotus, who portrays the gods as active agents in human affairs, Thucydides attributes the existence of the divine entirely to the needs of political life. The gods are seen as existing only in the minds of men. Religion as such reveals itself in the History to be not simply one type of social behaviour among others, but what permeates the whole of social existence, permitting the emergence of justice.

Thucydides versus Herodotus



Thucydides and his immediate predecessor Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 both exerted a significant influence on Western historiography. Thucydides does not mention his counterpart by name, but his famous introductory statement is thought to refer to him:
Herodotus records in his Histories
Histories (Herodotus)
The Histories of Herodotus is considered one of the seminal works of history in Western literature. Written from the 450s to the 420s BC in the Ionic dialect of classical Greek, The Histories serves as a record of the ancient traditions, politics, geography, and clashes of various cultures that...

not only the events of the Persian Wars but also geographical and ethnographical information, as well as the fables related to him during his extensive travels. Typically, he passes no definitive judgment on what he has heard. In the case of conflicting or unlikely accounts, he presents both sides, says what he believes and then invites readers to decide for themselves. The work of Herodotus is reported to have been recited at festivals, where prizes were awarded, as for example, during the games at Olympia
Olympia, Greece
Olympia , a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis, is known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times, comparable in importance to the Pythian Games held in Delphi. Both games were held every Olympiad , the Olympic Games dating back possibly further than 776 BC...

.

Herodotus views history as a source of moral lessons, with conflicts and wars as misfortunes flowing from initial acts of injustice perpetuated through cycles of revenge. In contrast, Thucydides claims to confine himself to factual reports of contemporary political and military events, based on unambiguous, first-hand, eye-witness accounts, although, unlike Herodotus, he does not reveal his sources. Thucydides views life exclusively as political life, and history in terms of political history. Conventional moral considerations play no role in his analysis of political events while geographic and ethnographic
Ethnography
Ethnography is a qualitative method aimed to learn and understand cultural phenomena which reflect the knowledge and system of meanings guiding the life of a cultural group...

 aspects are omitted or, at best, of secondary importance. Subsequent Greek historians — such as Ctesias
Ctesias
Ctesias of Cnidus was a Greek physician and historian from Cnidus in Caria. Ctesias, who lived in the 5th century BC, was physician to Artaxerxes Mnemon, whom he accompanied in 401 BC on his expedition against his brother Cyrus the Younger....

, Diodorus, Strabo
Strabo
Strabo, also written Strabon was a Greek historian, geographer and philosopher.-Life:Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus , a city which he said was situated the approximate equivalent of 75 km from the Black Sea...

, Polybius
Polybius
Polybius , Greek ) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic Period noted for his work, The Histories, which covered the period of 220–146 BC in detail. The work describes in part the rise of the Roman Republic and its gradual domination over Greece...

 and Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

 — held up Thucydides' writings as a model of truthful history. Lucian
Lucian
Lucian of Samosata was a rhetorician and satirist who wrote in the Greek language. He is noted for his witty and scoffing nature.His ethnicity is disputed and is attributed as Assyrian according to Frye and Parpola, and Syrian according to Joseph....

 refers to Thucydides as having given Greek historians their law, requiring them to say what had been done . Greek historians of the fourth century BC accepted that history was political and that contemporary history was the proper domain of a historian.. Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

 calls Herodotus the "father of history;" yet the Greek writer Plutarch, in his Moralia
Moralia
The Moralia of the 1st-century Greek scholar Plutarch of Chaeronea is an eclectic collection of 78 essays and transcribed speeches. They give an insight into Roman and Greek life, but often are also fascinating timeless observations in their own right...

 (Ethics) denigrated Herodotus, as the "father of lies". Unlike Thucydides, however, these historians all continued to view history as a source of moral lessons.
Due to the loss of the ability to read Greek, Thucydides and Herodotus were largely forgotten during the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 in Western Europe, although their influence continued in the Byzantine world. In Europe, Herodotus become known and highly respected only in the late-sixteenth and early-seventeenth century as an ethnographer, in part due to the discovery of America
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, where customs and animals were encountered even more surprising than what he had related. During the Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

, moreover, information about Middle Eastern countries in the Histories provided a basis for establishing Biblical
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 chronology as advocated by Isaac Newton
Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton PRS was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been "considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived."...

.

The first European translation of Thucydides (into Latin) was made by the humanist Lorenzo Valla
Lorenzo Valla
Lorenzo Valla was an Italian humanist, rhetorician, and educator. His family was from Piacenza; his father, Luciave della Valla, was a lawyer....

 between 1448 and 1452, and the first Greek edition was published by Aldo Manunzio in 1502. During the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, however, Thucydides attracted less interest among Western European historians as a political philosopher than his successor, Polybius
Polybius
Polybius , Greek ) was a Greek historian of the Hellenistic Period noted for his work, The Histories, which covered the period of 220–146 BC in detail. The work describes in part the rise of the Roman Republic and its gradual domination over Greece...

, although Poggio Bracciolini claimed to have been influenced by him. There is not much trace of Thucydides' influence in Niccolò Machiavelli
Niccolò Machiavelli
Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli was an Italian historian, philosopher, humanist, and writer based in Florence during the Renaissance. He is one of the main founders of modern political science. He was a diplomat, political philosopher, playwright, and a civil servant of the Florentine Republic...

's The Prince (1513), which held that the chief aim of a new prince must be to "maintain his state" [i.e., his power] and that in so doing he is often compelled to act against faith, humanity and religion. Later historians, such as J. B. Bury
J. B. Bury
John Bagnell Bury , known as J. B. Bury, was an Irish historian, classical scholar, Byzantinist and philologist.-Biography:...

, however, have noted parallels between them:
If, instead of a history, Thucydides had written an analytical treatise on politics, with particular reference to the Athenian empire, it is probable that . . . he could have forestalled Machiavelli. . . .[since] the whole innuendo of the Thucydidean treatment of history agrees with the fundamental postulate of Machiavelli, the supremacy of reason of state
National interest
The national interest, often referred to by the French expression raison d'État , is a country's goals and ambitions whether economic, military, or cultural. The concept is an important one in international relations where pursuit of the national interest is the foundation of the realist...

. To maintain a state said the Florentine thinker, "a statesman is often compelled to act against faith, humanity and religion." . . . But . . . the true Machiavelli, not the Machiavelli of fable. . . entertained an ideal: Italy for the Italians, Italy freed from the stranger: and in the service of this ideal he desired to see his speculative science of politics applied. Thucydides has no political aim in view: he was purely a historian. But it was part of the method of both alike to eliminate conventional sentiment and morality.
In the seventeenth century, the English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 political philosopher Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury , in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury, was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy...

, whose Leviathan
Leviathan (book)
Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil — commonly called simply Leviathan — is a book written by Thomas Hobbes and published in 1651. Its name derives from the biblical Leviathan...

advocated absolute monarchy, admired Thucydides and in 1628 was the first to translate his writings into English directly from Greek. Thucydides, Hobbes and Machiavelli are together considered the founding fathers of political realism, according to which state policy must primarily or solely focus on the need to maintain military and economic power
Power in international relations
Power in international relations is defined in several different ways. Political scientists, historians, and practitioners of international relations have used the following concepts of political power:...

 rather than on ideals or ethics.

Nineteenth-century positivist historians stressed what they saw as Thucydides' seriousness, his scientific objectivity and his advanced handling of evidence. A virtual cult following
Cult following
A cult following is a group of fans who are highly dedicated to a specific area of pop culture. A film, book, band, or video game, among other things, will be said to have a cult following when it has a small but very passionate fan base...

 developed among such German
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 philosophers as Friedrich Schelling, Friedrich Schlegel and Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist...

, who claimed that, "[in Thucydides], the portrayer of man, that culture of the most impartial knowledge of the world finds its last glorious flower." For Eduard Meyer
Eduard Meyer
Eduard Meyer was a German historian.-Biography:Meyer was born at Hamburg and educated at the Gelehrtenschule des Johanneums and later at the universities of Bonn and Leipzig. After completing his studies, he spent one year in Istanbul. In 1879, he went to the University of Leipzig as privatdocent...

, Macaulay
Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay
Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay PC was a British poet, historian and Whig politician. He wrote extensively as an essayist and reviewer, and on British history...

 and Leopold von Ranke
Leopold von Ranke
Leopold von Ranke was a German historian, considered one of the founders of modern source-based history. Ranke set the standards for much of later historical writing, introducing such ideas as reliance on primary sources , an emphasis on narrative history and especially international politics .-...

, who initiated modern source-based history writing, Thucydides was again the model historian.
Generals and statesmen loved him: the world he drew was theirs, an exclusive power-brokers' club. It is no accident that even today Thucydides turns up as a guiding spirit in military academies, neocon think tanks and the writings of men like Henry Kissinger; whereas Herodotus has been the choice of imaginative novelists (Michael Ondaatje's novel The English Patient and the film based on it boosted the sale of the Histories to a wholly unforeseen degree) and — as food for a starved soul — of an equally imaginative foreign correspondent from Iron Curtain Poland, Ryszard Kapuscinski.


These historians also admired Herodotus, however, as social and ethnographic history increasingly came to be recognized as complementary to political history. In the twentieth century, this trend gave rise to the works of Johan Huizinga
Johan Huizinga
Johan Huizinga , was a Dutch historian and one of the founders of modern cultural history.-Life:Born in Groningen as the son of Dirk Huizinga, a professor of physiology, and Jacoba Tonkens, who died two years after his birth, he started out as a student of Indo-Germanic languages, earning his...

, Marc Bloch
Marc Bloch
Marc Léopold Benjamin Bloch was a French historian who cofounded the highly influential Annales School of French social history. Bloch was a quintessential modernist. An assimilated Alsatian Jew from an academic family in Paris, he was deeply affected in his youth by the Dreyfus Affair...

 and Braudel, who pioneered the study of long-term cultural and economic developments and the patterns of everyday life. The Annales School
Annales School
The Annales School is a group of historians associated with a style of historiography developed by French historians in the 20th century. It is named after its scholarly journal Annales d'histoire économique et sociale, which remains the main source of scholarship, along with many books and...

, which exemplifies this direction, has been viewed as extending the tradition of Herodotus.

At the same time, Thucydides' influence was increasingly important in the area of international relations
International relations
International relations is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations , international nongovernmental organizations , non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations...

 during the Cold War, through the work of Hans Morgenthau
Hans Morgenthau
Hans Joachim Morgenthau was one of the leading twentieth-century figures in the study of international politics...

, Leo Strauss
Leo Strauss
Leo Strauss was a political philosopher and classicist who specialized in classical political philosophy. He was born in Germany to Jewish parents and later emigrated to the United States...

 and Edward Carr.

The tension between the Thucydidean and Herodotean traditions extends beyond historical research. According to Irving Kristol
Irving Kristol
Irving Kristol was an American columnist, journalist, and writer who was dubbed the "godfather of neoconservatism"...

, self-described founder of American Neoconservatism
Neoconservatism
Neoconservatism in the United States is a branch of American conservatism. Since 2001, neoconservatism has been associated with democracy promotion, that is with assisting movements for democracy, in some cases by economic sanctions or military action....

, Thucydides wrote "the favorite neoconservative text on foreign affairs"; and Thucydides is a required text at the Naval War College
Naval War College
The Naval War College is an education and research institution of the United States Navy that specializes in developing ideas for naval warfare and passing them along to officers of the Navy. The college is located on the grounds of Naval Station Newport in Newport, Rhode Island...

, an American institution located in Rhode Island. On the other hand, Daniel Mendelsohn, in a review of a recent edition of Herodotus, suggests that, at least in his graduate school days during the Cold War, professing admiration of Thucydides served as a form of self-presentation:
To be an admirer of Thucydides' History, with its deep cynicism about political, rhetorical and ideological hypocrisy, with its all too recognizable protagonists — a liberal yet imperialistic democracy and an authoritarian oligarchy, engaged in a war of attrition fought by proxy at the remote fringes of empire — was to advertise yourself as a hardheaded connoisseur of global Realpolitik.


Another author, Thomas Geoghegan, whose speciality is labour rights, comes down on the side of Herodotus when it comes to drawing lessons relevant to Americans, who, he notes, tend to be rather isolationist in their habits (if not in their political theorizing): "We should also spend more funds to get our young people out of the library where they're reading Thucydides and get them to start living like Herodotus — going out and seeing the world."

Thucydides in popular culture


In 1991, the BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 broadcast a new version of John Barton's 'The War that Never Ends', which had first been performed on stage in the 1960s. This adapts Thucydides' text, together with short sections from Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

's dialogues.

Quotes

  • "But, the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it."
  • "Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must."
  • "It is a general rule of human nature that people despise those who treat them well, and look up to those who make no concessions."
  • "War takes away the easy supply of daily wants, and so proves a rough master, that brings most men's characters to a level with their fortunes."
  • "The cause of all these evils was the lust for power arising from greed and ambition; and from these passions proceeded the violence of parties once engaged in contention."
  • "So that, though overcome by three of the greatest things, honour, fear and profit, we have both accepted the dominion delivered us and refuse again to surrender it, we have therein done nothing to be wondered at nor beside the manner of men."

A quotation frequently attributed to Thucydides on the Internet, but which is in fact spurious, is:
  • "The State that separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting by fools."

Quotations about Thucydides




And after [the time of Herodotus], Thucydides, in my opinion, easily vanquished all in the artfulness of his style: he so concentrates his copious material that he almost matches the number of his words with the number of his thoughts. In his words, further, he is so apposite and compressed that you do not know whether his matter is being illuminated by his diction or his words by his thoughts. (Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

,De Oratore 2.56 (55 B.C.))

In the preface to his 1628 translation of Thucydides, entitled, Eight Bookes of the Peloponesian Warres, political philosopher Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury , in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury, was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy...

 calls Thucydides
"the most politic historiographer that ever writ."


A hundred years later, philosopher David Hume
David Hume
David Hume was a Scottish philosopher, historian, economist, and essayist, known especially for his philosophical empiricism and skepticism. He was one of the most important figures in the history of Western philosophy and the Scottish Enlightenment...

, wrote that:
[T]he first page of Thucydides is, in my opinion, the commencement of real history. All preceding narrations are so intermixed with fable, that philosophers ought to abandon them to the embellishments of poets and orators. ("Of the Populousness of Ancient Nations", 1742)


W. H. Auden
W. H. Auden
Wystan Hugh Auden , who published as W. H. Auden, was an Anglo-American poet,The first definition of "Anglo-American" in the OED is: "Of, belonging to, or involving both England and America." See also the definition "English in origin or birth, American by settlement or citizenship" in See also...

's poem, "September 1, 1939", written at the start of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, contains these lines:


Exiled Thucydides knew
All that a speech can say
About Democracy,
And what dictators do,
The elderly rubbish they talk
To an apathetic grave;
Analysed all in his book,
The enlightenment driven away,
The habit-forming pain,
Mismanagement and grief:
We must suffer them all again.


See also

  • Melian dialogue
    Melian dialogue
    The Melian Dialogue, contained in Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, is an account of the confrontation between the people of Melos, a small island in the southern Aegean Sea, and the Athenians in 416–415 BC. Melos was a neutral island, lying just east of Sparta; the Athenians wanted to...

  • Pericles' Funeral Oration
    Pericles' Funeral Oration
    Pericles' Funeral Oration is a famous speech from Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War. The speech was delivered by Pericles, an eminent Athenian politician, at the end of the first year of the Peloponnesian War as a part of the annual public funeral for the war dead.-Background:It was an...

  • Speech of Hermocrates at Gela

Manuscripts
  • Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 16
    Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 16
    Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 16 is a fragment of the fourth book of the History of Thucydides in Greek. It was discovered by Grenfell and Hunt in 1897 in Oxyrhynchus. The fragment is dated to the first century. It is housed in the University of Pennsylvania Museum...

  • Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 17
    Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 17
    Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 17 is a fragment of the second book of the History of Thucydides , written in Greek. It was discovered by Grenfell and Hunt in 1897 in Oxyrhynchus. The fragment is dated to the second or third century. It is housed in the Milton S. Eisenhower Library at John Hopkins University...


Primary sources

  • Herodotus
    Herodotus
    Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

    , Histories, A. D. Godley
    A. D. Godley
    Alfred Denis Godley was a classical scholar and author of humorous poems. From 1910 to 1920 he was Public Orator at the University of Oxford, a post that involved composing citations in Latin for the recipients of honorary degrees. One of these was for Thomas Hardy who received an Honorary D. Litt...

     (translator), Cambridge: Harvard University Press (1920). ISBN 0-674-99133-8  .
  • Pausanias
    Pausanias (geographer)
    Pausanias was a Greek traveler and geographer of the 2nd century AD, who lived in the times of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aurelius. He is famous for his Description of Greece , a lengthy work that describes ancient Greece from firsthand observations, and is a crucial link between classical...

    , Description of Greece, Books I-II, (Loeb Classical Library
    Loeb Classical Library
    The Loeb Classical Library is a series of books, today published by Harvard University Press, which presents important works of ancient Greek and Latin Literature in a way designed to make the text accessible to the broadest possible audience, by presenting the original Greek or Latin text on each...

    ) translated by W. H. S. Jones; Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. (1918). ISBN 0-674-99104-4. .
  • Plutarch
    Plutarch
    Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

    , Lives
    Parallel Lives
    Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans, commonly called Parallel Lives or Plutarch's Lives, is a series of biographies of famous men, arranged in tandem to illuminate their common moral virtues or failings, written in the late 1st century...

    , Bernadotte Perrin (translator), Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press. London. William Heinemann Ltd. (1914). ISBN 0674990536  .
  • The Landmark Thucydides, Edited by Robert B. Strassler, Richard Crawley
    Richard Crawley
    Richard Crawley was a Welsh writer, an academic who eventually pursued a career in insurance.-life:Crawley was born at a Bryngwyn rectory on 26 December 1840, the eldest son of William Crawley, archdeacon of Monmouth, by his wife, Mary Gertrude, third daughter of Sir Love Jones Parry of Madryn,...

     translation, Annotated, Indexed and Illustrated, A Touchstone Book, New York, NY, 1996 ISBN 0-684-82815-4
  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton (1910). . The classic translation by Richard Crawley.
  • Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War. Indianapolis, Hackett (1998); translation by Steven Lattimore. ISBN 987-0-87220-394-5.

Secondary sources

  • Cochrane, Charles Norris
    Charles Norris Cochrane
    Charles Norris Cochrane was a Canadian historian and philosopher who taught at the University of Toronto.He was educated at the University of Toronto and also at the University of Oxford, where he was taught and influenced by R.G...

    , Thucydides and the Science of History, Oxford University Press (1929).
  • Connor, W. Robert, Thucydides. Princeton: Princeton University Press (1984). ISBN 0691035695
  • Dewald, Carolyn. Thucydides' War Narrative: A Structural Study. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2006 (hardcover, ISBN 0520241274).
  • Finley, John Huston, Jr., Thucydides, Cambridge, Massachusetts : Harvard University Press, 1947.
  • Forde, Steven, The ambition to rule : Alcibiades and the politics of imperialism in Thucydides. Ithaca : Cornell University Press (1989). ISBN 0-8014-2138-1.
  • Hanson, Victor Davis, A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War. New York: Random House (2005). ISBN 1-4000-6095-8.
  • Hornblower, Simon, A Commentary on Thucydides. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon (1991–1996). ISBN 0-19-815099-7 (vol. 1), ISBN 0-19-927625-0 (vol. 2).
  • Hornblower, Simon, Thucydides. London: Duckworth (1987). ISBN 0-7156-2156-4.
  • Kagan, Donald. (2003). The Peloponnesian War. New York: Viking Press. ISBN 0-670-03211-5.
  • Luce, T.J., The Greek Historians. London: Routledge (1997). ISBN 0-415-10593-5.
  • Luginbill, R.D., Thucydides on War and National Character. Boulder: Westview (1999). ISBN 0-8133-3644-9.
  • Momigliano, Arnaldo
    Arnaldo Momigliano
    Arnaldo Dante Momigliano KBE was an Italian historian known for his work in historiography, characterized by Donald Kagan as the "world’s leading student of the writing of history in the ancient world." He became Professor of Roman history at the University of Turin in 1936, but as a Jew soon lost...

    , The Classical Foundations of Modern Historiography. Sather Classical Lectures, 54 Berkeley: University of California Press (1990).
  • Meyer, Eduard, Kleine Schriften
    Kleine Schriften
    is a German phrase often used as a title for a collection of articles and essays written by a single scholar over the course of a career. "Collected Papers" is an English equivalent. These shorter works were usually published previously in various periodicals or in collections of papers written...

     (1910), (Zur Theorie und Methodik der Geschichte).
  • Orwin, Clifford
    Clifford Orwin
    Clifford Orwin is a Canadian professor of ancient, modern, contemporary and Jewish political thought. He is also a prominent controversial writer on contemporary politics and culture.-Academic career:...

    , The Humanity of Thucydides. Princeton: Princeton University Press (1994). ISBN 0-691-03449-4.
  • Podoksik, Efraim. "Justice, Power, and Athenian Imperialism: An Ideological Moment in Thucydides’ History", History of Political Thought
    History of Political Thought (journal)
    History of Political Thought first appeared in the spring of 1980. It is a journal dedicated to interdisciplinary political studies.It is published in Exeter, England by Imprint Academic...

    . 26(1): 21-42, 2005.
  • Romilly, Jacqueline de, Thucydides and Athenian Imperialism. Oxford: Basil Blackwell (1963). ISBN 0-88143-072-2.
  • Rood, Tim, Thucydides: Narrative and Explanation. Oxford: Oxford University Press (1998). ISBN 0-19-927585-8.
  • de Sainte Croix. The origins of the Peloponesian War (1972). London: Duckworth. 1972. Pp. xii, 444.
  • Strassler, Robert B, ed. The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War. New York: Free Press (1996). ISBN 0-684-82815-4.
  • Strauss, Leo, The City and Man Chicago: Rand McNally, 1964.

External links