History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides, , Penguin Books edition, in English, Ancient Greek - [Rev. ed. Available online at ronaldweinland.info The History of the Peloponnesian War By Thucydides. Translated by Richard Crawley. 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.
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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. 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. CHARLES FORSTER SMITH. OF THB UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN. IN FOUR VOLUMES. IV. HISTORY OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR. BOOKS VII AND VIII.
CiteULike About this book This stimulating new study provides a narrative of the monumental conflict of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, and examines the realities of the war and its effects on the average Athenian. A penetrating new study of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta by an established scholar Offers an original interpretation of how and why the war began Weaves in the contemporary evidence of Aristophanes in order to give readers a new sense of how the war affected the individual Discusses the practicalities and realities of the war Examines the blossoming of culture and intellectual achievement in Athens despite the war Challenges the approach of Thucydides in his account of the war Reviews "Tritle's overall aim is to make the content and context of the Peloponnesian War more accessible to those unfamiliar with classics, and on the whole I believe he succeeds. His tone throughout is quite relaxed We are in his debt.. Undergraduate libraries and above". He is the author or editor of eight books on Greek history, including Phocion the Good and From Melos to My Lai , as well as numerous articles on various aspects of the ancient world.
Download ebook for print-disabled. Prefer the physical book? Check nearby libraries with:. Copy and paste this code into your Wikipedia page. Need help? New Feature: You can now embed Open Library books on your website! Learn More. Last edited by Clean Up Bot. July 18, History. Add another edition? History of the Peloponnesian War. Want to Read. Are you sure you want to remove History of the Peloponnesian War. It is more suggestive that Thucydides has Nicias speak of Alcibiades as young for the generalship in 6.
Let Thucydides then be born by the mids. But, it may be asked, or , does it matter? It does indeed. It is, then, no wonder that he should acquire an intense admiration of Athens, her empire and her whole way of life, so lauded in the Funeral Oration he put into the mouth of Pericles, the author of all this power and beauty. Thucydides himself beheld day by day this power of the city and loved it indeed 2.
His admiration for Pericles is at any rate plain enough 2. That is not, however, surprising in a man who, in his attitude to religion, displayed unusual independence of mind. It has been much debated whether Thucydides was an atheist. If he had been so, he would have been unusual but far from unique.
Indeed, where atheism was an offence, prudence dictated reserve. Athens was a remarkably tolerant society. Plato could criticise democracy and propose 2 without fear an idealised Spartan constitution for his ideal city. But religion was different. Unorthodox opinions about the gods could bring down the wrath of the gods not just on the free-thinking individual, but on the whole city. So it would not be surprising if Thucydides was an atheist, albeit discreetly so.
Unfortunately, the evidence he provides is ambivalent. His whole cast of mind is theological. Thucydides is vastly different. Only those lacking experience of climatic conditions were terrified by thunder and lightning 6. The gods are, indeed, conspicuous by their absence and wherever he makes his speakers appeal to them, it is sure presage of disaster. To the Greeks generally, plagues came from the gods.
Thucydides gives his answer. First, he manifests his sceptical attitude to portentous utterances: men, he says, take the version that seems to fit in with their present conditions. Then, most revealingly, he declares that men interpreted the Spartan oracle to match what was happening; the Plague began when the Peloponnesians 3 had invaded and it did not go into the Peloponnese to any extent worth mentioning.
So the Plague was seen as divine punishment; but not by Thucydides. Of course, it would have been unwise, probably dangerous, for him to say openly that the gods had nothing to do with it.
That was all there was to it. The whole chapter is a notable exercise of scepticism. Thucydides seems in general rationalist and scientific, both in what he says and in what he does not. The eruption of Etna is remarked 3. The relation of tidal waves and submarine earthquakes is noted 3.
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.
In short. George Cawkwell University College. Thus the list of works referred to is confined mainly to works in English.
It seemed unwise to engage again. Lecturing was for me a fray indeed. Perhaps I should dedicate it to the many Greats. I resolved to refer in the notes only to works accessible to the majority of those likely to use the book.
So I resolved instead to seek to publish what I would have delivered. Tod ed.
Andrewes eds. IG Inscriptiones Graecae. Cambridge University Press. Harvard University Press Lewis eds. VS Fragmente der Vorsokratiker. Kranz eds. Clarendon Press — Meiggs and A. Volume I. Wade-Gery and M.
Meiggs and D. McGregor eds. Andrewes and K. Jacoby ed. Clarendon Press Dover eds. Meiggs and Andrewes. Princeton Diels and W. FGH Fragmente der griechischen Historiker. Weidmann Gieben —. Brill —. The source of this statement is. Gone are the days when he was accorded the sacrosanctity once accorded to Holy Writ.
It is more suggestive that Thucydides has Nicias speak of Alcibiades as young for the generalship in 6. A more tempered regard is now inevitable. Thucydides himself declared 5. It is commonly supposed that he was born not long before The age at which a man could be elected general is not known. What little is known about the life of Thucydides is to be gleaned almost entirely from his book. It does indeed. Yet it was Pericles who above all sought to maintain and foster the Empire and who also prized and developed the democracy.
That is not. It is. His admiration for Pericles is at any rate plain enough 2. If he had been so. Let Thucydides then be born by the mids. It is difficult to name atheists of the fifth century. Thucydides himself beheld day by day this power of the city and loved it indeed 2. Plato could criticise democracy and propose 2. It has been much debated whether Thucydides was an atheist. Athens was a remarkably tolerant society.
Not able to attend the Ecclesia until he was And if he had heard.
His whole cast of mind is theological. Thucydides is vastly different. So it would not be surprising if Thucydides was an atheist. Libya and the Persian Empire before it came to the Piraeus 2. But religion was different. Unorthodox opinions about the gods could bring down the wrath of the gods not just on the free-thinking individual. Thucydides gives his answer. To the Greeks generally. The gods are.
By the fourth century. Only those lacking experience of climatic conditions were terrified by thunder and lightning 6. Their inclusion suggests that these pathemata are not chance concomitants of the war.
The relation of tidal waves and submarine earthquakes is noted 3. Of course. His comment may be sly: So the Plague was seen as divine punishment. A common 4. These included events involving human suffering. It does not destroy the general impression that Thucydides was one of the free-thinkers of the age.
At least one may beware the easy labelling of his views. The eruption of Etna is remarked 3. That was all there was to it. Thucydides was a most elusive person who says almost nothing directly of his opinions which. Thucydides was not wholly rationalist. The whole chapter is a notable exercise of scepticism. Thucydides seems in general rationalist and scientific. That is. Consistently with this.
But Thucydides does go on to explain why the Athenians had good government at that time. Was Thucydides then an imperialist and a believer in democracy?
That is how he thinks statesmen really think. A man who thinks like this is inevitably imperialist. Pericles was the man principally responsible for the development of the Athenian Empire as well as being a notable fosterer of the democracy. That is the tell-tale phrase. The surest thing one can say of his political sympathies is that he greatly admired Pericles 2. He too played a notable part in the development of the Empire and of the democracy.
One suspects that in these two speeches Pericles speaks for his great admirer too. In that case. In some way. In some sense. We can. 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. The speeches of Pericles. Thucydides was imperialist. They tend to the general and the intellectual too much to be seriously regarded as the record of the uttered words.
If it is the latter. It is clear that they are not like any of the samples of oratory that have survived. He seems at moments somewhat dismissive of popular 6. But his account of that first war bears evidence of rewriting after his return to Athens from exile in e. Quite apart from their national character 1. Book 8. Shocking as it will be to some latter-day sages. The Spartan alternative could no more appeal to him. 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.
Such behaviour was. The Funeral Oration makes it all clear. Could Thucydides have thought differently?
In his famous chapter on the decline of Athens after Pericles 2. Spartans could not behave themselves when they got abroad 4. Thucydides began work for his book. The words he uses ochlos. He knew Athens and Athenians and after his exile in he probably had the epistles of various well-informed persons to guide him.
Greek secretaries at Sardis. For instance. Thucydides manifested a new concern with the truth. Whether what Thucydides tells us is true or false or a blend of truth and error. How he went about gathering his information one can only guess. Sparta was not. If Thucydides got hold of that sort of document. In eschewing that. Alcibiades is the obvious guess. As far as we know. In a world without photographs. In a sense. Herodotus had collated accounts. Few errors have been detected.
In nothing 8. Athens was easy.
But to have got even this far was remarkable penetration of the darkness. Sargeus of Sicyon at 7. Like the Polish officers in the Katyn Forest. But how credible is he? So he could have got.
The national festivals. He did not date it and. Yet he has also been charged with over-confidence which leads him to present his account as clear and certain when common experience suggests that no single account ever can be wholly correct or wholly beyond question.
In Book 4. It is notable too how many names of Spartans. In this way. Thucydides recounted a dark deed Detail makes for credibility as accomplished liars know. Military engagements are much more questionable. First Mantinea he declared 5. Before the advance to battle. The first is his curious addiction to superlatives. Ancient authors did not have the luxury of footnotes and appendices and Thucydides just had to do his best without them.
So there was much less for accounts to differ on. For one thing. But this was not the case with the engagements of the Peloponnesian War. For another. There are disqualifications. One may or may not with radio communication have a mental picture of what is happening. Nicias could and surely would have found out why the Spartans had gone back on their word to the Council and the next day he could.
Since both these brothers may have had infertile marriages. He showed his independence and his Thucydides has Alcibiades persuading the Spartans to deny in the assembly what they had asserted before the Council. One may seek to excuse it as early work that he never got around to revising. The story would be acceptable were it not that the assembly was interrupted by an earthquake and adjourned to the next day. The account can hardly stand as it is.
So he cannot be convicted of exaggeration. More seriously there are moments when one is very uneasy about his critical judgement. I believe. Blackest of all is the mighty cloud that now hangs over him. This is. So perhaps he should have the benefit of such a doubt. The name long preferred for the most part.
For long scholars have haggled over the date of the alliance between Athens and Segesta. But even if that alliance had been between Athens and Segesta. He then goes on to give as the most important evidence of this that after losing the sea- battle. But now the debate is transformed. It is evidently not derived from Thucydides and so provides independent testimony that Segesta did not appeal to Athens until she did so jointly with the exiled Leontinans whom we meet in Thucydides 6.
It is true that Thucydides does not mention that a treaty of alliance was made after the envoys returned. Mere historians can only look on. In support of Thucydides. Omissions are of several kinds. If the Segestan alliance was indeed made in the archonship of Antiphon. It is claimed40 that by passing a laser beam through the stone. Ne sutor supra crepidam. The first invasion was in autumn 2. Then there were the matters he ruthlessly excluded.
So this dismissal of the Athenian appeal for peace is as much a reflection of his admiration for Pericles as due to his contempt for religion. Not a murmur of such thoughts is uttered in his account. In themselves. It may be that. Thucydides vastly disapproved of the decision in to seek peace. Since plagues were. But this latter even affects his military narrative.
He mentions that Cleon proposed the decree putting all the adult males of Scione to death 4. Hyperbolus makes only one fleeting appearance 8. Religion was not for him an important consideration. The decree of Charinus Plut. I refer. According to Andocides 3. Its purpose is only to be guessed. No such campaign appears in Thucydides.
It should also have been very appealing to Thucydides. Some explanation of all this was. Lysistrata and all that ilk? Or was some pact between powers that could not for the present come to grips with each other inevitable — the view of Pericles? It must have been for Thucydides a fascinating debate and should have For whatever reason. Sparta and Persia were in alliance. Other omissions may be of no great significance. There is not a word about the peace negotiations in the Pentekontaetea.
Was there to be sooner or later a Panhellenist crusade. Negotiations with Tissaphernes are described 8. Down to the coming of Cyrus in Xen. Thucydides did not omit record 4. No matter whether supporting Amorges broke the Peace with Persia or merely roused the dormant beast.
Athenian—Persian relations reverted to normal and Thucydides did not feel moved to record them. So much might be said by way of apologia. In his summary of Athens after Pericles 2. Such apologia is limp. It is a scandal. If one asks why Thucydides has so underplayed Persia. For the brief period when Artaxerxes bestirred himself and began actively to court Sparta.
It is no mere omission. Artaxerxes dead. Persian policy was successful in utterly excluding the Greeks of the mainland from Asia. A record of Athenian contacts and an analysis of Persian policy would have greatly enriched the Histories and our understanding.
There are powerful reasons for holding that Athens made a formal peace with Persia in the middle of the century. So Lamachus was indeed experienced. Experienced generals can differ greatly. Plato Symp. Alcibiades was much less so. Lamachus was. His attitude towards Alcibiades is more questionable.
He certainly did not think well of Cleon. There is no way of knowing how much military experience he had before his unlucky generalship in Thrace in It is not to be excluded that he served in Samos in and that was why he was able to furnish a comparatively full account of the campaign when all else between and required research for which he lacked the time.
Whether or in what sense he was unfair in his treatment of individuals has to be discussed. At one other point. Both Leuctra and Nemea were battles quite There was no point in going against Syracuse until the necessary forces had been assembled. At Nemea in In recounting the Boeotian order of battle at Delium in What is surprising is that Thucydides.
The judgement of each of them about how to conduct the campaign was seriously to be considered. If Syracuse did not prudently come to terms. Lamachus advocated sailing straight to Syracuse.
At the battle of Leuctra. Thucydides 6. Thucydides surprises us by his silence. Alcibiades was no doubt well aware that. Alcibiades advocated not beginning the attack on Syracuse until they had assembled a force large enough to fight the war and secured the food supply for the army 6. Lamachus went over to support Alcibiades 6. Thucydides thought he was about.
The Sicilian Expedition is engaging and moving. He may have faithfully recorded. If it had. The speeches in Thucydides present such reckoning. The military narrative is to demonstrate how Athens used and lost her power. Much else is not.
For behind all the rhetoric and fine pretensions. In its latest form. From one point of view. So one wonders about him as a military historian. Thucydides cared for none of these things enough to enquire the reason why. The moral was to use it wisely or lose it woefully. Perhaps he had no more in mind at the very beginning than to record a war that seemed likely to last more than the mere year or two taken by the Persian invasion of Greece 1.
Thucydides was concerned with power. He could not know in that he would be writing an account of the fall of the great Imperial power. That is why his Histories are an education for ever. Did Thucydides change his mind? Were there. Which is to be preferred? There is. Did Thucydides come to think differently about the cause of the war? Does it represent a change of mind.
Did Thucydides then change his mind about the cause of the War? There certainly seems to be some tension in Book 1. As to the war for which we could be useful. Thucydides asserted that the Athenians thought the Peloponnesian War was inevitable 1.
Corinth will be forced to look elsewhere for military support. Thucydides was either present or well able Thucydides must have given some explanation in his original version of why the Athenians voted as they did at the end of the Corcyra Debate.
This may indeed be the correct way of resolving the tension. After all. On the other hand. Such theories require that the passages mentioned above were added to an original version or. The answer may be proposed that. But why then. If that was the case. Thucydides may have changed his mind for all we know. All may have accepted that the only way to check the alarming growth of Athenian power was war. In Book 7 What was generally admitted in Sparta in could well have been strongly held by a considerable number of Spartiates in When he began.
In any case. In time. The most decisive event of those years was probably the successful settlement of the Samian Revolt. The Samians came near.
This period is the very part of the Pentekontaetea that Thucydides did not describe apart from his comparatively full account of the Samian Revolt. Not only did it secure for Athens an abundant supply of timber for ship-building as well as control of the rich mining area of Mount Pangaeus.
It was a tense time. Troezen and Achaea ibid. So from onwards Athens was very much more powerful. Once Samos had been dealt with. Livy Whoever Bribery of Plistoanax. When Thucydides spoke of the Spartans being afraid because of the growth of Athenian power. There is no good case to be made for the view that there were two Thucydidean versions of the cause of the war. In they had contentedly settled for the Thirty Years Peace when they cannot have thought that they had to.
In the latter engagement. Philip had to have it if he was to expand eastwards. The real index is the appearance on the Tribute Lists in the s of rubrics15 showing that cities were taking on themselves the payment of tribute. Sparta may not have exactly appreciated how far ahead Athens was. Athens must have appeared dauntingly strong.
We do not know when the tithe on cargoes coming through the Hellespont began to be imposed. At Sybota. When one considers that Corinth and Corcyra were. She had built up a reserve fund of talents 2. In general. In the fourth century. Its foundation was a great increase in strength. In the sixth century.
Spartan control would weaken with imaginable consequences. So Sparta had nothing exactly to fear. But what exactly had Sparta to fear? Athens had been forced in to abandon what she had got hold of during the First Peloponnesian War 1. The responsibility of Pericles for Athenian policy is plain.
The principal alternative theory is that Athens provoked the war. But after the decisive debate of Diod.
Athens came ever more to supplant her. Thucydides not only Certainly Athenian power had grown. Other states gave employment to architects and artists.