The History of the Peloponnesian War – Thucydides
Download The History of the Peloponnesian War ebook. The History of the Peloponnesian War (Greek: Ἱστορίαι, “Histories”) is a historical account of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), which was fought between the Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) and the Delian League (led by Athens). It was written by Thucydides, an Athenian historian who also happened to serve as an Athenian general during the war. His account of the conflict is widely considered to be a classic and regarded as one of the earliest scholarly works of history.[by whom?] The History is divided into eight books.
Analyses of the History generally occur in one of two camps. On the one hand, some scholars view the work as an objective and scientific piece of history. The judgment of J. B. Bury reflects his traditional interpretation of the work: “[The History is] severe in its detachment, written from a purely intellectual point of view, unencumbered with platitudes and moral judgments, cold and critical.”
On the other hand, in keeping with more recent interpretations that are associated with reader-response criticism, the History can be read as a piece of literature rather than an objective record of the historical events. This view is embodied in the words of W. R. Connor, who describes Thucydides as “an artist who responds to, selects and skillfully arranges his material, and develops its symbolic and emotional potential.”
First of all, I find it close to impossible to rate such a book as this, as it is truly great as an insight into events that happened thousands of years ago, while the writing and accessibility of the work clearly could have been better. Nevertheless, in my opinion this is a 5-star book, as the detail and insight into a war that took place ~400bc is such a great read.
Thucydides shows a himself as a great analyst of the conficts he relates, and instead of just relating the facts, he guides us through the actors motivations and the reasons for what takes place. THAT is the value of this book as far as I’m concerned, the strategic approach to conflict, and the massive amount of strategy in regards to alliances and battles that we get to share through this book.
Being a student of political philosophy I read this book because of my fascination with Thomas Hobbes (Allthough not the Hobbes-translation). It will be hard for anyone to understand Hobbes through this though, and I must question the usefulness for most of such a linkage on the whole. There is also a lot of history in this book that will interest a lot of you (Those that are like me), rather little, but one gets through it, and when one is done with the book I truly feel I have gotten a great lecture in strategy and conflict!
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Thucydides (c. 460 BC–400 BC) was a general who was exiled for his failure to defend the Greek city of Amphipolis in Thrace. During his exile, he began compiling histories and accounts of the war from various participants.
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