Thucydides And Thucydides History And Warfare

1645 WordsFeb 25, 20167 Pages
Herodotus and Thucydides were historians who dramatically influenced the way we look at Greek history and warfare. The two historians approach their stories in completely different ways, which ultimately leads to different explanations of the origins of conflict. Herodotus focuses on recalling the origins of the Ionian Revolt, the rise of the Persian Empire, and the Persian Wars with Greece, while Thucydides writes about the Peloponnesian War. M.I. Finely suggests, in the introduction of Thucydides’ book that Thucydides is complementing Herodotus by beginning where Herodotus left off (Finley, History of the Peloponnesian War p.16). Although these two historians approach the start of conflicts in different ways, it seems that Thucydides is not suggesting that Herodotus’ explanations are wrong. While evaluating conflicts of warfare, Herodotus provides a less bias perspective than Thucydides, but Thucydides is able to understand the underlying causes of wars better due to the fact that he is writing about warfare that he was alive for. Thucydides conveniently opens up his book by explaining his methodology. The Athenian tells the readers that his motivation for writing the book was ignited by a sense that the war fought between Athens and Sparta would be important (Thuc. 1.1). The reader should be aware of the biases that Thucydides includes in his writing, due to the fact that he is an Athenian writing about an Athenian war. Thucydides portrays Greece as the most important
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