Jim's Reviews > History of the Peloponnesian War

History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides
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's review
Mar 03, 2010

it was amazing

What I love about the best ancient Greek literature is how startlingly modern it could be. This is particularly true of Euripides (whom I regard as a 21st century dramatist) and The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides. The accounts of the Corcycran revolution, the so-called Melian Dialogue (in which Athens shows itself to be somewhat less enlightened than reputed), and the utter disaster of the Sicilian Expedition can just as easily be taking place now in remote parts of the world.

The Peloponnesian War even had its own Neocon in Alcibiades. He was largely responsible for Athens undertaking the Sicilian Expedition, only to be called back by the Athenian leadership for sacrilege. Thereupon, he made his escape at Thurii, went over to the Spartans, where he gave them excellent advice in combating the Athenians. Then, when the Spartans began to suspect him, he went over to Tissaphernes, the Persian Governor of Asia Minor. (Later still, he returned to Athens.)

I recommend the Rex Warner translation but urge readers to have a copy of The Landmark Thucydides at hand for its numerous and excellent maps, if not for its somewhat archaic translation by Richard Crawley.
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Reading Progress

March 3, 2010 – Started Reading
March 3, 2010 – Shelved
March 3, 2010 –
page 76
March 4, 2010 –
page 156
March 5, 2010 –
page 230
March 9, 2010 –
page 394
March 10, 2010 –
page 489
March 11, 2010 –
page 656
March 11, 2010 – Finished Reading

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