Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War

Rate this book
You can find an alternative cover for this ISBN here.

Thucydides called his account of two decades of war between Athens and Sparta "possession for all time, " and indeed it is the first and still most famous work in the Western historical tradition. Considered essential reading for generals, statesmen, and liberally educated citizens for more than 2,000 years, The Peloponnesian War is a mine of military, moral, political, and philosophical wisdom.

However, this classic book has long presented obstacles to the uninitiated reader. Written centuries before the rise of modern historiography, Thucydides' narrative is not continuous or linear. His authoritative chronicle of what he considered the greatest war of all time is rigorous and meticulous, yet omits the many aids to comprehension modern readers take for granted—such as brief biographies of the story's main characters, maps and other visual enhancements, and background on the military, cultural, and political traditions of ancient Greece.

Robert Strassler's new edition amends these omissions, and not only provides a new coherence to the narrative overall but effectively reconstructs the lost cultural context that Thucydides shared with his original audience. Based on the venerable Richard Crawley translation, updated and revised for modern readers, The Landmark Thucydides includes a vast array of superbly designed and presented maps, brief informative appendices by outstanding classical scholars on subjects of special relevance to the text, explanatory marginal notes on each page, an index of unprecedented subtlety and depth, and numerous other useful features. Readers will find that with this edition they can dip into the text at any point and be immediately oriented with regard to the geography, season, date, and stage of the conflict.

In any list of the Great Books of Western Civilization, The Peloponnesian War stands near the top. This handsome, elegant, and authoritative new edition will ensure that its greatness is appreciated by future generations.

713 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2008

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Thucydides

392 books406 followers
Thucydides (c. 460 B.C. – c. 395 B.C.) (Greek Θουκυδίδης, Thoukydídēs) was a Greek historian and author of the History of the Peloponnesian War, which recounts the 5th century B.C. war between Sparta and Athens to the year 411 B.C. Thucydides has been dubbed the father of "scientific history" due to his strict standards of evidence-gathering and analysis in terms of cause and effect without reference to intervention by the gods, as outlined in his introduction to his work.

He has also been called the father of the school of political realism, which views the relations between nations as based on might rather than right. His classical text is still studied at advanced military colleges worldwide, and the Melian dialogue remains a seminal work of international relations theory.

More generally, Thucydides showed an interest in developing an understanding of human nature to explain behaviour in such crises as plague, genocide (as practised against the Melians), and civil war.

Excerpted from Wikipedia.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
1,314 (50%)
4 stars
791 (30%)
3 stars
355 (13%)
2 stars
83 (3%)
1 star
41 (1%)

Loading...

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.