Thucydides' Historical Technique Essay

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Thucydides' Historical Technique

Thucydides has often been described as one of the fathers of history, and possibly the first historian that can be used with any real historical accuracy. His objectivity and lack of digressive storytelling mark him out from previous historians such as Herodotus, and Thucydides began a new era of historical writing. Although named the father of history, Herodotus wrote in a literary style, rather than the accurate telling of the facts and objective analysis that Thucydides offers us in his History of the Peloponnesian War. Herodotus tended to digress with irrelevant storytelling, whereas Thucydides abandoned this technique, and adopted a method that greatly
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His exile may also have been a blessing in disguise, for it allowed him to become somewhat detached from the Athenian side, and allowed him to write a more useful and balanced history. I think that this can be seen when he is describing the opening stages of the war. Corinth and Corcyra are the two countries who appear to spark off the war. Once war broke out, Corinth became allied with Sparta, and Corcyra became an ally of Athens following a debate over Corcyra[3]. As well as being an Athenian Thucydides clearly sees Corcyra as being the aggressor, and describes the way that Corcyra disrespected its mother city-state. (Apparently, Corcyra did not give Corinth the usual respect and rights due to a founding city, and in fact Corcyra claimed that it was superior to Corinth in a number of ways.)

"…and at the same time they [the Corinthians] hated the Corcyraeans because they failed to show to Corinth the respect due from a colony to the mother city."

Thucydides shows from the opening lines of his history that it was his vocation to records the events, and therefore remained unbiased by events throughout the war, and concentrates rather on recording the events, and including some of his own analysis.

Thucydides later became a general for the Athenians, and was unfortunate to be

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