History of the Peloponnesian War


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Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War. Click anywhere in the line to jump to another position: book: book 1 book 2 book 3 book 4 book 5 book 6 book 7 book 8.

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Current location in this text. Enter a Perseus citation to go to another section or work. Full search options are on the right side and top of the page. Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote the history of the war between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, beginning at the moment that it broke out, and believing that it would be a great war, and more worthy of relation than any that had preceded it.

This belief was not without its grounds. The preparations of both the combatants were in every department in the last state of perfection; and he could see the rest of the Hellenic race taking sides in the quarrel; those who delayed doing so at once having it in contemplation. The Peloponnesian War.

The Peloponnesian War - Causes of the Conflict

London, J. Dent; New York, E.

Pericles' successor Cleon persuaded the Athenians to reject the Spartan peace offers. But both he and the outstanding Spartan general Brasidas were killed at Amphipolis in , and thus the two chief opponents of peace were removed the "pestles of war" as they were called in Aristophanes' Peace.


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The Peace of Nicias was concluded in It was in the main a victory for Athens, especially since she kept her empire intact while her enemies were divided, Corinth and Boeotia refusing to sign the Peace. The Peace of Nicias was unstable, however, and broke down completely in when Athens, under the influence of Alcibiades, sent a great fleet to attack Syracuse. The Sicilian Expedition was a disaster, ending in with the defeat of the Athenian fleet and army and the exhaustion of their finances. Sparta, meanwhile, was developing a good fleet of her own, financed by Persia.

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The History of the Peloponnesian War

The war at sea continued to go Athens' way for several years, but in the Spartan commander Lysander destroyed the Athenian fleet at Aegospotami. Besieged by land and sea, without money or allies, Athens capitulated in April and became virtually the subject-ally of the victor. In the tradition of Greek historical writing Thucydides does not betray influence but rather shows radical innovation. The early 5th Century BCE produced several prose narratives—now preserved only in fragments—of genealogies beginning with the mythical past or of traditional stories centered on one particular geographic area.

With a few notable exceptions, his authorial voice is withheld after Book One: once begun, the narrative is impersonal, analyses and generalizations being offered by the characters themselves in speeches to each other.

The History of the Peloponnesian War (FULL audio book) Part One.

These historiographical innovations are matched by Thucydides' distinctive prose style. Even in antiquity his Greek was considered notoriously difficult to parse and is seldom imitated in modern translations. Columbia College Search Enter a keyword Search. Instructor Log In. Relates to:. History of the Peloponnesian War.

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