A Review of 'Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War'

493 Words Jan 16th, 2018 2 Pages
By Robert Strassler, NY, Touchstone, 1998.
1. General: Thucydides chronicles the Peloponnesian War from its onset, providing a detailed chronological military history relevant to ancient Greece. The historiography focuses on what can loosely be called a civil war, but it more accurately encompassed the shifts in population migration and political power throughout the region.
2. Author's Identity: Thucydides is an Athenian, who writes as if he were an objective scholar or military journalist.
3. Author's Purpose and Intended Audience: The purpose of Thucydides' histories includes simple historical documentation of events, along with a deft political analysis taking into account the socio-political context of the Peloponnesian War. It is likely that the author writes for a Greek-speaking audience but one that is conscious of its role in an increasingly militaristic world. Thucydides' historiography is self-conscious in the sense that the author is aware of the potential reverberations of the war on neighboring countries and the future of Hellas. The book also comes across tacitly as ethnography, given the author's intent to provide a cultural context relevant for discussing military issues.
4. Historical Context of the Work: Thucydides writes as an observer, if not an active military participant, of the Peloponnesian War. The first section of the book begins with the state of Hellas at the 5th…