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The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War Paperback – Sep 10 1998

25 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (Sept. 10 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684827905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684827902
  • Product Dimensions: 18.7 x 4.1 x 23.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #79,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War is one of the great books in the Western tradition, as well as its first true historical narrative. Editor Robert Strassler has annotated this classic text to make it more accessible to modern readers and added dozens of maps for easy reference. A helpful introduction places Thucydides in proper historical context and a series of short appendices focus on particular aspects of life and war during the period. But the bulk of the book itself, where Thucydides chronicles the long struggle between Athens and Sparta, enjoys an unexpected freshness on these pages--partly due to Strassler's magnificent editorial labors, but mostly because it's a great story resonant with heroes, villains, bravery, desperation, and tragedy. Every library should have a copy of Thucydides in it, especially libraries on military history, and The Landmark Thucydides is without question the best version available. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Strassler, an unaffiliated scholar of classical studies, has remedied many of the flaws of Richard Crawley's 1874 translation of The Peloponnesian War. He has added descriptive paragraph-by-paragraph synopses, topic headers on every page, numerous maps keyed to the adjoining text, explanatory footnotes, an extensive index, an excellent introduction by Victor Davis Hanson (California State Univ.), and 11 appendixes (by various scholars) on politics, warfare, and society in the Greece of the fifth century B.C.E. What the editor has done he has done well, creating a valuable basic reference for students of ancient history. His work has only two flaws: it lacks a substantial bibliography, having only a two-page "concise" one; and the price will put it out of reach of many institutions. For academic libraries and others with large history collections.?James F. DeRoche, Alexandria, Va.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Inside This Book

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First Sentence
Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote the history of the war between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, beginning at the moment that it broke out, and believing that it would be a great war, and more worthy of relation than any that had precede it. Read the first page
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By clemens keultjes on May 15 2004
Format: Paperback
I found this book on sale in a bookstore in Nijmegen, Holland. It looked very appealing, I bought it, took it home with me and waited for several months before I read it. I am not a scholar, nor a historian, I am interested in history and in fact rather than fiction. The splendid appendices gave insight in much of the text and maps are a definite plus.
As for the book itself. The further along you get, the more you are drawn into it. It really has the aura of an eye witness account. But somehow Thucydides manages to go beyond mere history and trancend the story into a classic Greek drama, the rise and fall of Athens. By the time the Athean fleet sails for Sicily I realised his very factual style of writing had turned an historic event of over two thousand years ago into harsh everyday reality. Here's a man struggling with depicting a war he was part of, with losses that he himself felt, with the downfall of a country that was his.
After reading it, I read Livius. The difference to me is stunning. Whereas Livius writes from a very chauvinistic Roman viewpoint, Thucydides actually tried to write a factual account. Even more stunning that Livius didn't manage objectivity with events hundreds of years ago and Thucydides did with events in his own lifetime.
Read it as you would read a newspaper.
Recently, I've often seen the book misquoted and its authority misused, suggesting that few people actually read it.
Do yourselves a favour, buy it, put it on your bookshelves and for God's sake, read it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Aaron Donnelly on July 13 2006
Format: Hardcover
As someone who has always been interested in ancient Greek history but have never studied it in any depth, Thucydides' "History of the Peloponnesian War" was the best place to start. More importantly with "The Landmark Thucydides"! First of all the translation was excellent, very easy for a contemporay of the 21st century to understand. The introduction, appendices, footnotes, glossery, and index all accumulate to give you a wealth of knowledge and perspective. Not just on clarifying whats happening in the narrative, but all the background information, and extra insights into the Classical Greek world really puts everything in context and allows modern readers to really appreciate why the different Greeks acted as they did.

By the end of the book it leaves you with a wealth of information that leaves you craving more, and in so doing, prompting you to go out and find other works, by both ancient and contemporary writers about this fascinating period of western civilization.

I owe a great debt to the compilers of this edition, not the least of which Thucydides' himself, for at least in regards myself, taking a spark of knowledge and appreciation of this wonderfully fascinating time, and turning it into a full blown firestorm of inquiry and excitment.

This is an excellent book and an excellent edition!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kirialax on Sept. 28 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As per usual, I am not reviewing Thucydides as an historian, merely this edition of the text. 'The Landmark Thucydides' is a great introductory translation of the text due to its contextualizing materials. Whereas the Penguin Classics History Of The Peloponnesian War has quite limited support material, such things overflow in the Landmark. Eleven appendices are placed in the rear of the book, dealing with topics such as trireme warfare, dating systems, and classical Greek currency. These papers are all written by experts in their respected fields. Most of the names are recognizable to those who study the Greek world, and the papers themselves are simply quite good for being one or two pages in length. The actual text in this edition is clear and easy to read. I did not check any particular passages against the Greek, but I'm trusting the translation based upon how widely read Thucydides is and how Strassler seems to be familiar with a great volume of scholarship. One area where this book does fall short is in the notes. Most references at the bottom of each page refer to the omnipresent maps which define the Landmark series (and these maps are very good and helpful when reading the text). However, the footnotes frequently repeat themselves time and again, defining the same terms over and over again. I'm just not sure how many times it described terms like "metic" or "hoplite" over and over again. The book also has a nice afterward describing the end of the Peloponnesian War for those who want an end to the story but are not yet ready to delve into Xenophon's Hellenica.

This is a very handy edition of Thucydides due to the great variety and good quality of the supporting materials.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ovidius on March 2 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful and immensely helpful edition. I wish some of the translations were a little more literal but at the same time it is very readable and poetic. As for the History itself, it seems an understatement to call it a masterpiece. Thucydides was right in calling it "a possession for all times," but could even he have imagined that 2400 years later people would still be reading it with pleasure and profit?

If you sink yourself into it, even the small battles become exciting, and the speeches are amazing for their profundity and timelessness.
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