Lucas's Reviews > The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War

The Landmark Thucydides by Thucydides
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's review
Mar 12, 12

bookshelves: ancient
I own a copy

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. The appendices flesh out the Greek world, and the index makes things very easy to reference. The timeline is particularly nice, too. Although this book costs around 3x that of the Penguin, the extra material makes it worth it.

A quick note, since I have heard that there has been trouble with the binding of the paperback. I have the hardcover, and it stays together just fine.

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