Thucydides: The War of the Peloponnesians and the Athenians (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought)
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Thucydides' classic work is a foundational text in the history of Western political thought. His narrative of the great war between Athens and Sparta in the fifth century BC is now seen as a highly sophisticated study of the nature of political power itself: its exercise and effects, its agents and victims, and the arguments through which it is defended and deployed. It is therefore increasingly read as a text in politics, international relations and political theory, whose students will find in Thucydides many striking contemporary resonances. This edition seeks to present the author and the text in their proper historical context. The new translation is particularly sensitive to the risks of anachronism, and the notes and extensive reference material provide students with all the necessary historical, cultural and linguistic background they need to engage with the text on its own terms.
hated enemies. But become our saviours and not, while you liberate the rest of Greece, the agents of our destruction.’ Such was the speech of the Plataeans. Then the Thebans, fearing that the Spartans might be moved by this speech to relent in some way, came forward and said that they too wished to speak, since the Plataeans had been permitted to give a long speech instead of just answering the question. And when instructed to do so they spoke as follows. *‘We would not have asked to
fighting the Ambraciots) had already gathered at Argos and were preparing to do battle with their opponents. They chose Demosthenes to take command of the whole allied force, acting in concert with their own generals. He led them close to Olpae and made camp there, with a great ravine separating the two forces. For five days neither side made any move, but on the sixth day they drew up battle ranks. The Peloponnesian army was larger than Demosthenes’ and outflanked it. Fearing encirclement,
made it impossible to ascertain clearly what happened; but from the evidence I find I can trust in pushing my enquiries back as far as possible, I judge that earlier events were not on the same scale, either as regards their wars or in other respects. It is evident that long ago what is now called ‘Hellas’54 had no stable settlements; instead there were various migrations in these early times and each group readily abandoned their own territory whenever forced to do so by those with superior
we can trust Homer's account here too, which as a poet he may well have exaggerated for effect, though even on his reckoning the expedition was comparatively small by our standards. He puts the size of the fleet at 1,200 ships and gives the Boeotian contribution as 120 men a ship and that of Philoctetes as fifty a ship, thereby indicating in my view the maximum and minimum figures – at any rate he has not recorded the size of any other vessels in his Catalogue of Ships.66 That the rowers were
Peloponnesians at Miletus.1016 At about the same time this summer the situation there developed as follows. None of the officials appointed by Tissaphernes at the time when he went to Aspendus had been forthcoming with subsistence payments; nor had the Phoenician ships or Tissaphernes himself so far arrived. So Philippus (who had been sent with Tissaphernes) and another man, Hippocrates (a Spartiate who was at Phaselis), had written to Mindarus as admiral to say that the ships would never come