The life and influence of historian thucydides

How was thucydides work different from previous historians

He was well acquainted with his predecessors in the field of Greek history, and he is said to have burst into tears when he listened to Herodotus recite his History. He particularly concentrated on the characters and the political influence of four active men: Themistocles featured in a digression as the Athenian hero of the Second Persian War , Pericles, Brasidas, and Alcibiades. Later historians, such as J. His great contribution to history and historiography is contained in this one dense history of the year war between Athens and Sparta , each alongside their respective allies. Leo Strauss, in his classic study The City and Man, [13] argued that Thucydides had a deeply ambivalent understanding of Athenian democracy: on the one hand, "his wisdom was made possible" by the Periclean democracy, which allowed him the freedom to question and to express his opinions; but this same freedom allowed unrestricted political ambition and thus imperialism, and eventually led to civic strife. No one can do full justice to Thucydides, or appreciate the true completeness of his work, who has not faced is question, and found the answer to it. It is important to note that no Attic prose was taught prior to Thucydides, so he had to create a prose style of his own. But he that desires to look into the truth of things done, and which according to the condition of humanity may be done again, or at least their like, shall find enough herein to make him think it profitable. Sallust, Cornelius Nepos, Cicero and Quintilian are among the Roman writers whose admiration for him can be traced in their work, or has been expressly recorded. For example, in his analysis of the atrocities committed during civil conflict on Corcyra in Book 3, Chapters , he includes the memorable phrase "War is a violent teacher. Epic poetry had then for many generations exercised a powerful intfuence over the Greek mind. Arguably, had he not done this, the gist of what was said would not otherwise be known at all—whereas today there is a plethora of documentation—written records, archives, and recording technology for historians to consult. Shilleto, in the " Notice " prefixed to book i. His colleague in the command was Eucles.

The great Spartan general Brasidas, aware that Thucydides was on Thasos and wielded great influence with the people of Amphipolis, and fearing reinforcements by sea, moved at once to offer moderate terms to the Amphipolitans for their surrender, which they accepted.

He refers partly, doubtless, to detachment from Athenian politics, partly also, we may suppose, to the opportunity of visiting places signalized by recent events and of examining their topography. Though recent scholarship has looked at Thucydides with a good deal of critical acumen and has delighted in being able to correct him in some details, he still ranks as one of the greatest historians of all time.

And it is compiled rather for an everlasting possession than to be rehearsed for a prize. As Thucydides himself remains the primary source of information about his life, details of his death are a matter of speculation. Thucydides then remarked that, should another Dorian War come, this time attended with a great dearth, the rhyme would be remembered as "dearth," and any mention of "death" forgotten.

thucydides works

Thucydides' presentation is decidedly ambivalent on this theme. All the burial rites before in use were entirely upset, and they buried the bodies as best they could. Westlake, Individuals in Thucydidesis an outstanding study of the leading individuals in the History, and his Essays on the Greek Historians and Greek History deals primarily with specialized topics in Thucydides.

Through a miscarriage of planning, Amphipolis was captured by the Spartan general Brasidas, the greatest general of the war.

thucydides meaning

A student may always be consoled by the reflection that he is not engaged in unravelling a mere rhetorical tangle. A ground-breaking interdisciplinary project The project compared the place of Thucydides in different disciplinary and national traditions through time, and is explicitly interdisciplinary.

thucydides quotes

Many from want of the proper appliances, through so many of their friends having died already, had recourse to the most shameless sepultures: sometimes getting the start of those who had raised a pile, they threw their own dead body upon the stranger's pyre and ignited it; sometimes they tossed the corpse which they were carrying on the top of another that was burning, and so went off.

Rated 7/10 based on 73 review
Internet History Sourcebooks