Read e-book online Thucydides: An Introduction for the Common Reader PDF

By Perez Zagorin

ISBN-10: 0691123519

ISBN-13: 9780691123516

This ebook is a concise, readable advent to the Greek writer Thucydides, who's commonly considered as one of many preferable historians of all time.

Why does Thucydides proceed to topic this day? Perez Zagorin solutions this question through analyzing Thucydides' landmark History of the Peloponnesian War, one of many nice classics of Western civilization. This background, Zagorin explains, is way greater than a trifling chronicle of the clash among Athens and Sparta, the 2 superpowers of Greece within the 5th century BCE. it's also a notable tale of politics, decision-making, the makes use of of energy, and the human and communal adventure of conflict. Zagorin keeps that the paintings continues to be of everlasting curiosity as a result unprecedented mind that Thucydides dropped at the writing of historical past, and to the originality, penetration, and the breadth and depth of imaginative and prescient that tell his narrative.

The first half Zagorin's e-book discusses the highbrow and old history to Thucydides' paintings and its technique, constitution, and examine of the motives of the conflict. the next chapters take care of Thucydides' portrayal of the Athenian chief Pericles and his account of a few of the most episodes of the warfare, equivalent to the revolution in Corcyra and the Athenian invasion of Sicily. The ebook concludes with an insightful dialogue of Thucydides as a philosopher and philosophic historian.

Designed to introduce either scholars and common readers to a piece that's a vital a part of a liberal schooling, this booklet seeks to motivate readers to discover Thucydides--one of the world's maximum historians--for themselves.

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Example text

During the following decades, the Delian League ceased to be an alliance of equals and fell increasingly under Athenian domination. By the mid-fifth century it had developed into an Athenian naval empire in which the allies had been transformed into Athens’s subjects to a greater or lesser degree. At the outset or in the early years of the war, the empire numbered about three hundred subject states. Imperial Athens did not permit any of its allied cities to quit the alliance. It exacted tribute from them, compelled cities to join, forcibly repressed allies who tried to revolt, and imposed settlements of Athenian citizens upon them.

It also provided allotments of land to those of Athens’s people who went out as colonists to subject cities. The rowers who were 13 CHAPTER 1 needed for the great Athenian fleet received a daily wage for their labor. The accumulation of allied tribute that flowed into Athens helped pay for the costs of its government, festivals, public works, and beautification. The Parthenon, the magnificent temple on the Acropolis dedicated to Athens’s patron goddess Athena, was built between 447 and 432 from the proceeds of empire.

Hence he organized his account in the form of annals, noting in each numbered year of the war the seasonal succession of summers and winters. Sometimes he also mentions the part of the season in which an event occurred. This system of dating constituted a firm chronological basis for the History, and each time his narrative arrives at the end of a year he records the fact, usually in a formula like the following: “Such were the events of the winter. 70; cf. 24 Thucydides did not finish his History, which ended abruptly in the year 411.

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Thucydides: An Introduction for the Common Reader by Perez Zagorin


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