Thucydides Sicilian Expidition Essay

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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. First of all, it is feasible to say that one of the most important reasons for the Athenian defeat was due to…show more content…
A second aspect that led to failure was the illogical and hastiness of the Athenians decisions. The Athenians were quite attracted to the idea because they had "long wanted to establish a base on Sicily" in the hope that they would "increase there power...Peleponnesians would not be able to resist" . In truth, from this example one can see that the Athenians were basing there decisions on their epithumeticon, and their main focus was on the rewards. Even though many Athenians favoured the expedition not all the members of the assembly agreed, in fact opinions were devided as exemplified by Nicias (who was put into command against his own will), and Alcibiades'in the Athenian debate. Unlike the others, Nicias is not easily persuaded by words of victory, and does not favor the war due to his Aristocratic soul where his logistikon governs his thumos and epithumeticon. In Nicias' speech he produces sound arguments that show protest to their irrationality and quick decision- making of the Athenians. First he makes sensible suggestion to the assembly when says ."..not to draw on ourselves a war that is no business of ours, after so short a deliberation on so weighty affair...." Nicia's directly addresses their hastiness when he said `I will let you know that your haste is unseasonable, and you will not easily achieve your goals" and he reminds Athenians that "the least success comes by way of desire, and the most by planning ahead." Hence

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