Essay on thucydides peloponnesian war

References and Further Reading 1. Introduction Historically, the just war tradition--a set of mutually agreed rules of combat—may be said to commonly evolve between two culturally similar enemies. That is, when an array of values are shared between two warring peoples, we often find that they implicitly or explicitly agree upon limits to their warfare. It is only when the enemy is seen to be a people, sharing a moral identity with whom one will do business in the following peace, that tacit or explicit rules are formed for how wars should be fought and who they should involve and what kind of relations should apply in the aftermath of war.

Essay on thucydides peloponnesian war

Thucydides began compiling his work at the onset of the war in B. The work chronicles most of the war, although Thucydides died before its conclusion; his account ends at B.

His dedication to an accurate and impartial presentation sets him apart from his contemporaries, in whose works supernatural events and moral purpose typically play a greater role.


He attempted to eschew "fable" and bias in his work, as he explained: This fact also caused subsequent historians to claim him as the father of modern history.

In the mid-eighteenth century, philosopher David Hume declared that "the first page of Thucydides is the commencement of real history.

Thucydides may also have been related to Cimon, another grandson to the Essay on thucydides peloponnesian war, and a leading Athenian statesman.

Essay on thucydides peloponnesian war

Judging from the breadth of knowledge displayed in the History, historians surmise that Thucydides received his education in Athens, although he held property including gold mines in Thrace. While in exile he traveled extensively, making connections with sympathizers from both sides of the conflict and collecting eyewitness accounts of the war.

In Book 1 Thucydides stated as his objective to give an accurate account of the war he deemed the most consequential in human history, and to provide knowledge that he hoped would instruct and guide future readers.

In a preamble to the Athenian conflict with Sparta, he briefly summarized early Greek history and described the key military incidents that provided an environment for the growth of Athenian power.

Books chronicle the main events in the first part of the Peloponnesian War known as the Archidamian War, including the Plague and the Funeral Oration Book 2the revolt of Lesbos Book 3the Athenian victory at Sphacteria, and the fall of Amphipolis to Brasidas Book 4. Scholars consider the last book unfinished since it both lacks the speeches found in the first seven books and stops at the year B.

Not only do speeches constitute a sizable portion of the preceding books, but the History generally treats speeches as an intregal part of the political scene; the Funeral Oration by Pericles, in which Thucydides recalled an idealized Athens, has received considerable critical attention as an important text in itself.

Military Theory of War, Warfare Theory, Principles of War, Military Strategy, Theories, Theorists

Textual History While critics generally agree that Thucydides must have collected the material for and composed his history throughout the duration of the war, dating the various portions of the work has produced considerable debate.

Fifty such manuscripts exist in libraries across Europe, many dating from the eleventh and twelth centuries. Critical Reception Thucydides was largely unknown as a historian during his lifetime, possibly due in part to his lengthy exile.

Substantial appreciation first came in the second century B.

Analysis of The History of The Peloponnesian War, By Thucydides - Sample Essays

He also wielded a significant influence on subsequent Greek historians, including Dexippus third centuryProcopius sixth centuryand Critobulus fifteenth century. Nineteenth-century classicists have also admired his work, praising both his methods of composition and his apparently impartial approach to history; their studies generally consisted of painstaking, line-by-line analyses, often for the purpose of determining when Thucydides wrote each part of the history, an issue about which there has been much debate.

Twentieth-century classicists have moved away from this kind of analysis to more broad-based concerns, especially embracing the History during the major military conflicts of the century.

In general, their theses about Thucydides range between two extreme positions, one of which finds the historian a wholly objective and accurate recorder of facts, while the other views him as a politically engaged man who necessarily conveys the biases of his own age and viewpoint.

Abbott has characterized the historian as a "student who cares for historical facts and who knows that historical facts can only be ascertained, if at all, by sceptical inquiry—by that close and cold scrutiny which nips like a frost the fables dictated by ignorance or interest and fostered by credulity.

Cochrane maintains that while the supernatural—specifically the will of the gods—plays a central role in most ancient histories, Thucydides keeps an unusually persistent eye on the natural, precisely in the "scientific" manner Hippocrates was developing in his medical treatises.

Along these lines, most critics agree that Thucydides presents his readers with two causes of the Peloponnesian war, one of which he considers superficial and the other, "real. Much of his analytical method and his careful accuracy is aimed, as most critics agree, toward uncovering this underlying cause, so that the image of a "scientific" Thucydides is often synonymous with the image of a Thucydides committed to a particular view of history.Here below is a list of the entire set of readings from Britannica's ten-year reading plan.

Essay on thucydides peloponnesian war

Please note that Adler's year suggested list of readings in Britannica's Great Books is . Thucydides (cc BC) was an insider during the Peloponesian War. He was an Athenian commander who was dismissed after his men lost a battle in spite of the fact of his previous successes.

The Peloponnesian War Essay Words 6 Pages The Peloponnesian war (– BC) was an ancient Greek war fought by Athens against the Peloponnesian led . Peloponnesian War Essay Example: Peloponnesian War is the war between two Greece centers with the largest political associations – Athens Empire and Peloponnesian League, under the head of Sparta.

A rivalry between them increased day by day and, finally, in the second half of the V-th century it took the form of the internal war ( . Obama and Xi were quick to disavow the inevitability of Thucydides doesn’t mean inevitable in the way it might seem, and, indeed, the Thucydides Trap itself can relate to strategic.

The Best Nonfiction Books of All Time Image by John Overholt (CC BY-SA ) The Best Books: Top Nonfiction list is a concise selection of books that provides the reader with an understanding of the social and natural world.

Just War Theory | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy