History Of The Peloponnesian War Paperback – Sep 30 1954
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About the Author
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.
Rex Warner was a Professor of the University of Connecticut from 1964 until his retirement in He was born in 1905 and went to Wadham College, Oxford, where he gained a "first" in Classical Moderations, and took a degree in English Literature. He taught in Egypt and England, and was Director of the British Institute, Athens, from 1945 to 1947. He has written poems, novels and critical essays, has worked on films and broadcasting, and has translated many works, of which Xenophon’s History of My Time and The Persian Expedition, Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War, and Plutarch’s Lives (under the title Fall of the Roman Republic) and Moral Essays have been published in Penguin Classics.
M. I. Finley was a professor of ancient history and master of Darwin College, Cambridge. He died in 1986.
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Top Customer Reviews
To start with, this book is a milestone you need to be aware of. Thucydides, its author, is very possibly the first modern historian. He tried to explain the causes of the Peloponnesian War, without reducing its complexity by saying that the gods had motivated it. Thucydides doesn't follow the easy path; instead, he searches those causes in human nature, and in power. He doesn't weave tales, but tries to write History.
It is rather astonishing how objective this Athenian was when he analyzed the war, and all that happened immediately before it. He examines methodically many events, paying special attention to facts. The author also gives his opinion from time to time, but he doesn't judge whether an action is good or evil: he merely shows that those that have power can use it as they see fit. Due to that, Thucydides is called by many the first realist theoretician. I was especially taken aback by how well he expresses his ideas regarding the fact that "power makes right" in the Melian debate. I don't agree with him, but I cannot deny that he makes a powerful case, and that his point of view is shared nowadays by many noteworthy thinkers.
It is important to point out that in "History of the Peloponnesian War" you will find a painstaking account of many things that actually happened, but also some speeches that weren't made by the actors, but could have been made by them.Read more ›
Thucydides speaks of human nature, which from reading him we can see has not changed much over the centuries. The clash between Athens and Sparta can rightly be considered one of the classic confrontations of all time. One a naval power and the other a land power. Such a war was bound to shack the very foundations of the classical world as the old traditions of Greek Hoplite warfare were forever changed by this conflict. Thucydides provides us a stunning portrait of city states at war. The arrogance, greed, cunning, desperation and cruelity are all there for us to see. One can chart the progress of this conflict and see the effects at had on both protagonists. Over time the original reasons for the conflict become obscure as the war takes on a life all its own, which neither side seemingly willing or able to end it. Some of the names mentioned are well known in Greek History. Pericles and Alcibiades must surely be the best known, but there are also Cleon, Brisadas and others. The character of Alcibiades must surely be the most interesting, and one that we can certainly relate to in our own times. Former US President Bill Clinton probably most resembles him. Both are brilliant men of low social character and absolute opportunists.
Pure military historians may find this book a slow read at times.Read more ›
I found this easy to read as the translation made it appear like we were reading today's news. Not just the actins but the politics of the time. There are great descriptions of the time and place. The only thing that is missing is visual maps to put the places in perspective. Luckily you can get maps of the time off the net as a supplement.
I have a paperback edition which is easily navigated and you can place sticky notes in. I also have a kindle version which you can put book marks in. the problem with the kindle is the text-to-speech has a horrible time translating place and people names. The advantage of the kindle is it moves you forward so you do not doddle. I am contemplating a hard copy for the library and reverence.
There is enough detail that it may require a second reading after you have digested the first. I am also looking for some good books to tell me what I would have noticed in this book.
Most recent customer reviews
I will spare a full-blown review. But if you have the extra money or could easily afford it, I would recommend the newer more expensive edition of this book with the introduction... Read morePublished on June 25 2004
I had a Greek teacher who loved Herodotus, and did not love Thucydides. The consequences where not, perhaps, what you might expect. Read morePublished on Jan. 4 2004 by Buce
Thucydides' attention to detail is easily palpable and at times becomes numbing to the reader who is not familiar with the myriad of hellenic city states and peoples who come and... Read morePublished on Oct. 27 2003
By fortune, for me, Thucydides came first in college...followed not long after by David Halberstam's The Best and the Brightest... Read morePublished on Aug. 26 2003
Before I am pilloried as a heathen and burned in effigy as a barbarian, let me begin by saying yes, I recognize the importance of this book - historical objectivity and attributing... Read morePublished on Aug. 12 2003 by doc peterson
Thucydides is one of the great historians of antiquity. He offers a first hand account of the terrible Peloponnesian war that plagued Greece for over thirty-years. Read morePublished on Dec 17 2002 by Matthew P. Arsenault
This was a very interesting and easy book to read concerning this ancient 30-year Greek civil war that was so devastating to the whole of Hellas. Read morePublished on Oct. 13 2002 by Bunny Bear
Thucydides, half a generation after the "father of history" Herodotus, is an amazing, analytical, concise (though side tracking) trip through one of the most interesting... Read morePublished on Dec 15 2001
Thucydides fought in the Peloponnesian War and probably attended some of the parliamentary debates in Athens which he so faithfully chronicles. Read morePublished on Sept. 18 2001 by Matherson