Project Gutenberg's The History of the Peloponnesian War, by Thucydides This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no. CHARLES FORSTER SMITH. OF THB UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN. IN FOUR VOLUMES. IV. HISTORY OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR. BOOKS VII AND VIII. commenced the compilation of materials for writing the History at the outset of the Peloponnesian War (i. i. 1); and lived through the whole war, ripe in years and.

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History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, , Penguin Books edition, in English, Ancient Greek - [Rev. ed. In BC,1 a conflict erupted in Greece which would become known as the Peloponnesian War. Primarily a war between Athens and Sparta. PDF | Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War is one the best books ever written on war. It is also very long and hard to digest without proper context.

The Peloponnesian war By: The Peloponnesian war was fought between Athens and Sparta, and other Greek city states that chose sides.

Pericles leader of Athens 3. Athens was known for its powerful Navy. Sparta was known for their large and well trained military 8. During the Archidamian War, Sparta lead many attacks on Attica. Archidamian War period ended with the Peace of Nicias.

The peace of Nicias was a treaty that was established to end conflict, the treaty was undermined by renewed fighting in peloponnesus. The plague that almost caused the war.

Thucydides written record about the plague. The catastrophe became so overwhelming that men cared nothing for any rule of religion or law. The Finale to a long war. You just clipped your first slide!

History of the Peloponnesian War

Clipping is a handy way to collect important slides you want to go back to later. Second, they explore the grand strategy devised by each in the wake of the Persian Wars. Third, they outline their relations during the so-called Pentakontaetia, the half-century between those two conflicts.

Finally, they consider the reasons why each of the two cities opted for war in In the third chapter, Platias and Koliopoulos attempt to come to an understanding of the strategy devised by Pericles and for a time pursued by Athens and to assess it.

In the fourth chapter, they do the same for Sparta. And in the final chapter, they attempt to show that Thucydides is a strategic thinker worthy of comparison to Sun Tzu and Clausewitz.

If the sole aim of the authors of this volume is their stated aim, it can be regarded as an unmitigated success. His comment may be sly: he recounts the coincidence of the second outbreak of the Plague and widespread earthquakes in Athens, Euboea, Boeotia, and especially in Orchomenus 3. These included events involving human suffering, such as droughts, famines and the Plague.

Their inclusion suggests that these pathemata are not chance concomitants of the war, but are due to powers more than human. It does not destroy the general impression that Thucydides was one of the free-thinkers of the age, but it shows he was not always so. At least one may beware the easy labelling of his views. Thucydides was a most elusive person who says almost nothing directly of his opinions which, in consequence, have to be teased out of his text. A common 4 starting-point is his remark about the rule of the Five Thousand in 8.

But Thucydides does go on to explain why the Athenians had good government at that time. However, it is also clear that this had not always been his view.

The surest thing one can say of his political sympathies is that he greatly admired Pericles 2. Pericles was the man principally responsible for the development of the Athenian Empire as well as being a notable fosterer of the democracy.

Was Thucydides then an imperialist and a believer in democracy? However, if one looks at the obituary he wrote for Themistocles 1. He too played a notable part in the development of the Empire and of the democracy. That is the tell-tale phrase; there is nothing about his purposes and his choice of ends, but simply his ability to decide on the necessary steps.

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That is, for Thucydides, there is only one course open and the best statesman is the man who best discerns it. Consistently with this, in the speeches in the Histories, it is never the balancing of justice and advantage, always purely the calculation of advantage. That is how he thinks statesmen really think.

In some sense, therefore, Thucydides was imperialist. Why, after all, did he choose to include that laudation of imperial Athens, the Funeral Oration?

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Realise that the city has a very great reputation with all mankind for not giving in to disasters and for having expended a great many lives and made great efforts in war, and that it possesses power previously unmatched, the memory of which, should we go down somewhat for in the nature of things everything diminishes , will remain with posterity for ever, that as Hellenes we had empire over a very great number of Hellenes, that we held out in very great wars against our foes both separately and in concert, and that we dwelt in a city admirably provided with everything and very great.

One suspects that in these two speeches Pericles speaks for his great admirer too.

It is clear that they are not like any of the samples of oratory that have survived. They tend to the general and the intellectual too much to be seriously regarded as the record of the uttered words. In some way, they have been sublimated, but one can never be sure whether they express what Thucydides thought or what he thought the speakers thought. In that case, discerning the genuinely Thucydidean from, for example, the Cleonic or the Nician should be suspected of being largely subjective.

The speeches of Pericles, however, are different. He seems at moments somewhat dismissive of popular 6 assemblies and their inconstancy. The words he uses ochlos, homilos seem more appropriate to a fickle mob than to the sovereign People.

Thucydides & Peloponnesian War.pdf

Such behaviour was, and indeed is, only to be expected. But for Pericles the important point about democracy was not that everyone participated so much as that anyone who had the ability to serve the city was not prevented by poverty 2.

Could Thucydides have thought differently? In his famous chapter on the decline of Athens after Pericles 2. Shocking as it will be to some latter-day sages, it may well be that Thucydides gladly accepted both empire and democracy.

The Spartan alternative could no more appeal to him, than it did to Pericles 2.Thucydides was obviously working away at his History long after Both literature and archaeological evidence, then, lead to the conclusion that in most cases cavalry played the same role as light infantry, i.

Going on with the analysis, he moved towards Acanthus during winter, a season when military activity was usually avoided, and even more so in cold regions such as Chalcidice and Thrace; he led his men in night marches, and managed to get in touch with dissidents in most of the cities he had planned to seize from Athenian rule, meaning that he had made good information gathering as well as establishing some kind of espionage network before making his moves.

Table of Content Introduction For Thucydides, history was in the most fundamental sense a strictly human affair, capable of analysis and understanding entirely in terms of known patterns of human behaviour, without the intervention of the supernatural. It was during his childhood that the Persians had twice been driven back, against all the odds, thanks, he now realized, largely to the moral and political leadership provided by the Athenians.

Nor is it possible to examine the vast, unending discussions among modern scholars, who naturally raise different questions, stimulated by modern ideas of what is and what is not proper in historical writing. Who informed him about the curious discussion of strategy among the three Athenian generals after they landed in Sicily VI, 46—50?

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