IX. I). Herodotus contrast with Thucydides in the fact that Herodotus resigns from characterizing people as barbaric but instead calls them poor and cannot live on their own or claims they are a danger to themselves. While in Thucydides they call Ionians barbaric and Greeks used this as reasoning to enslave them.
To what extent was Themistocles’ contribution the key factor in bringing about a Greek victory in the Persian Wars, 480-479 BC?
Over time philosophers have always fought the same moral dilemma, the meaning of life. In 370 B.C. Aristotle lived in an era where war was related to power and the only thing that was an escape to him was his virtues and a ways to be virtuous. On the other hand we have Epictetus from 55 A.D. With centuries of views apart, Aristotle, a well known aristocrat, and Epictetus, a former slave that found philosophy as a way of life. Even though you might expect them to have different points of views, both philosophers coming from different times and different backgrounds still agree that knowledge can overcome any boundary. Both Aristotle and Epictetus fit under Mill’s theory of utilitarianism as they both teach and write books to benefit the greatest amount of people.
First we will examine the sources that Thucydides used and why he uses speeches. Thucydides was the main source of the information as he lived and held command as a general during the Peloponnesian War up until his exile to Peloponnesian territory (Thucydides p. 102). His position as a general makes Thucydides an excellent eye witness to many of these instances. Thucydides spending time with the Peloponnesians gained him insight into those people and how they would have operated. Thucydides uses himself as his main source as he held a high position in society and would have access to the events of the war.
Action from necessity is a constantly recurring theme in Thucydides’ The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War. A sentiment used to explain the growth of the Athenian Empire which some Athenians espoused to an assembly at Sparta best quantifies necessity, “. . . we were necessarily compelled at first to advance the hegemony to where it is—especially by fear, and then by honor, and later by benefit.” (Selected Passages 1.75.3). This claim, referred to as the Athenian Thesis, is used to advance the two following implications: all states act with the motivations of fear, honor and interest and no one can condemn a state for doing so. The Athenian Thesis influences the way many of the Athenian elite structure their patterns of reasoning in both noticeable and subtle ways.
However, there needs to be a consideration when evaluating this source that Thucydides was a native and patriotic Athenian. This should be examined as a possible bias in the how the Delian and Peloponnesian leagues are portrayed in both the long term reason and short term grievances. It could be
During the span of the Classical and Hellenistic periods in Ancient Greece, many changes occurred that differentiated one from the other. There were many facets of society that were affected as a result from the Classical period leading to the Hellenistic period.
The book written by Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, contains two controversial debates between distinguished speakers of Athens. The two corresponding sides produce convincing arguments which can be taken as if produced as an honest opinion or out of self-interest. The two debates must be analyzed separately in order to conclude which one and which side was speaking out of honest opinion or self-interest, as well as which speakers are similar to each other in their approach to the situation.
The Sicilian Expedition is the decisive event in the Peloponnesian war. In fact that is what motivated Thucydide's to record it in his historical records. Thucydides prophesized that it would be `the greatest in all Greek history' and "it was a major turning point for Athens',moreover, it was the `most glorious victory for the winners, and the worst calamity for the loosers.' The outcome was that Athens lost the war which lead to the eventual collapse of her empire and dignity. The Athenians lost the war due to their ill preparedness for the expedition, illogical and hasty decisions, and poor leadership during the expedition.
Both historical writers paved the way for historical writings today, but they did so in very different ways. Herodotus brought the literary stylistic writing to history, while Thucydides was more disciplined in what he wrote; if there were no other records proving what he was sharing, he did not share
This tragedy hinges on the deception that enables Orestes to murder the king and queen, a deception provided entirely by the Tutor. Not only does he fabricate Orestes' death but also tries to further build Clytemnestra's false confidence with distinct allusions to her newly gained safety. He introduces himself to the queen as a bearer of "good news"(667) and upon seeing her mixed reaction to this news he tries to sway her towards confidence with lines like, "My lady, why so sad?"(768) and "So it seems that I have come in vain"(772). The Tutor proves himself to be a master of deception while within his lie subtly glorifying both Orestes and his father. He slips in mention of "Agamemnon, who commanded all / The Greeks at Troy"(694-695) and praises his son as "admired by all"(684), "swift and strong / No less than beautiful"(685-686) and the driver of the finest "Thessalian mares"(703) in the world. An observer of the scene might consider this exaltation a sort of eulogy of the fallen son, but with the knowledge that Orestes will soon rise up to dethrone his parents there is rich irony in such boasting, deep undertones that further solidify the Tutor's position of importance.
In the plays of Sophocles, we see various form and displays of political power. It is shown in a variety of ways. In both plays we see very similar displays of political power. When you think of political power today it is very different to how it was viewed back in the time of Sophocles. Sophocles shows examples of political power in his plays and these examples have many connections to people or things. In King Oedipus, we see an arrogant and very mean king. He cares about what the people need and want but he is arrogant and mean about it at the same time. He is also very paranoid about the people around him. During the time of King Oedipus, the king literally controlled everything. Kings during this time often relied on others when it came to making decisions such as the gods. We can ask many questions when it comes to political power in the plays of Sophocles. Can an arrogant leader really make the right choices for the people? We have many examples of how these leaders used their political power. Political power in both of these stories had tragic outcomes. We can also ask if the rulers were really making mad decisions or if they were really just a victim of some unfortunate events. One thing is for sure, political power was really prevalent in the time of Sophocles and we can see that in both King Oedipus and Antigone. We also get a sense of how society and politics were in this period of time by learning from the writing of Sophocles and the actions of Creon and King
In short, personal opinions play a role in any decision we make or action we take. In spite of this, through the different sources of information, and his dedication to maintaining as close to an unbiased account of history as humanly possible, Thucydides has created a complex work of art that informs future generations, and is, thus, a valuable historical
I Thucydides intended his "History" as a source for all time, a general insight into conflicts that answer future questions on all conflict because "events which happen in the past and which (human nature being what it is) will, at some time or other and in much the same ways, be repeated in the future." Thucydides opened with the claim that, "as many wish to consider, clearly, both the things that have happened and the things that will happen in the same or similar way, in accordance with that which is human," will consider his work on the Peloponnesian war as a valuable "possession for all time."
In the fourth year of the Peloponnesian War, the city of Mytilene, revolts against Athens and conspires with Sparta and asks for their assistance. However, these plans for revolt are reported to Athens, who send an army against Mytilene. While under siege, Mytilene’s democratic faction gives up and decides to surrender to Athens. When the Athenian leaders first meet to decide about the fate of the Mytilene people, they decree that all the Mytilene men be put to death, while the women and children be enslaved. The following day, the Athenians decide to put all Mytilene’s to death not just the guilty. However, this time an assembly is called to persuade Athenian officials to reconsider their death penalty. During this assembly, there are two speeches given; one by Cleon and the other by Diodotus; these will be explored in detail in the following paragraphs. As I read Thucydides’ summary, the two speeches serve as contrasts, illustrating the difference between bad and good arguments. Through the following themes/conclusions that will be explored/applied in the paper, this paper argues that Diodotus, not Cleon, makes the better argument: i) Cleon uses the language of un-justice, punishment, irrationality and extreme emotions, which makes his disposition unreasonable; ii) Diodotus uses the language of rationality, justice and intellect which form the basis of a strong argument.