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The History of the Peloponnesian War

by Thucydides

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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7,969591,128 (4.02)4 / 141
History. Nonfiction. HTML:

Written by Thucydides around 400 AD, The History of the Peloponnesian War is a meticulous account by the Athenian general of the extended struggle that raged between Athens and Sparta for the better part of twenty years. Thucydides eschews the romance of heroics and dramatics and his precise and thorough account of the ill-fated conflict is one of the first surviving scholarly works of history.

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» See also 141 mentions

English (50)  Dutch (4)  Italian (3)  Catalan (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (59)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
Reason Read: ancient history, nonfiction
This was not an easy read. A lot of towns, names and all in all it was often a blur. I did enjoy some points made in debates and the discussions on oligarchy, democracy, and constitution. I think this might be a reference book but not something I would want to read cover to cover again. ( )
  Kristelh | Jan 31, 2024 |
The version I read was an abridged edition - 96 pages - old Danish translation that were used for high school. Interesting to read about men doing sports naked, about very detailed description of some sort of plague or epidemic - really horrible - that they couldn't find a cure for. But mostly it was long speeches of peace-negotiations or war declarations with moral arguments on why a city should be spared or everyone killed in it. ( )
  ctpress | Jan 27, 2024 |
As this book has been review a zillion times I'm not going to repeat the effort (plus I'm super busy at the moment), but I'll explain why I gave it a three at least.

It's a classic of course, and the translation seems pretty good to my relatively untrained eyes/ears, but the narration was definitely sub-par. I've no idea if there are more recent audiobooks, but I'd definitely recommend looking for one before going for this one by Pat Bottino--or just read a non-audio version of course. ( )
  qaphsiel | Feb 20, 2023 |
The Peloponnesian War

This book is fantastic, among my few “five stars.” That honor goes also to Democracy in America and the Old Testament; classics that have more than stood the test of time. When I was in college in 1978 my professor, Alvin Bernstein, said that Thucydides would always be a “friend.” Too bad I didn’t read the entire book back then, or even all of the assigned portions of the book. Professor Bernstein was so right. My older son commented that it would take me as long to read it as the wars lasted. Almost exactly true, from 1978 till now. In reality in the last few years I have been interspersing reading it with other books. I still have a few pages of Appendix 4 to go but basically I’m done.

The book is not typical of anti-war tracts, railing against the establishment. It makes its significant anti-war points far more subtlety. There are eloquent passages about the indescribable suffering of the soldiers. The book is laced with wisdom for the ages, including a good section on how no good deed goes unpunished. Or the differences in dynamic societies (often water-oriented) such as Athens and Syracuse, on Sicily, contrasted with Sparta, bigger on “hoplites” or heavily armed land troops. The book indirectly hints at how Greece’s golden-age strength was much diminished by the fratricidal Peloponnesian wars and the struggles with Syracuse.

The book is quite a slog, but I recommend it highly to any history buff. It is great “primary source” literature, albeit edited and translated.
( )
  JBGUSA | Jan 2, 2023 |
Surprisingly fascinating book ( )
  wahoo8895 | Nov 20, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (291 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thucydidesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Baldwin, Hanson W.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Beck, Jack WolfgangCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crawley, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Finley, John H.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Finley, M. I.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flashar, HellmutNachwortsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Garais, FricisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gavorse, JosephIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giusti, GeorgeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grene, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grene, DavidEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hadas, MosesIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hammond, MartinTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hanson, Victor DavisIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hobbes, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hobbes, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hobbes, ThomasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hollo, J. A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jowett, BenjaminTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Landmann, Georg P.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Radice, BettyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rhodes, P. J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Savino, EzioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schwartz, M.A.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Strassler, Robert B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Thesleff, HolgerIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vidal-Naquet, PierreForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warner, RexTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warner, RexTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Thucydides the Athenian wrote the history of the war fought between Athens and Sparta, beginning the account at the very outbreak of the war, in the belief that it was going to be a great war and more worth writing about than any of those which had taken place in the past.
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The Corcyraeans...went to the sanctuary of Hera and persuaded about fifty men to take their trial, and condemned them all to death. The mass of the suppliants who had refused to do so, on seeing what was taking place, slew each other there on the consecrated ground; some hanged themselves upon the trees, and others destroyed themselves as they were severally able. During seven days...the Corcyraeans were engaged in butchering those of their fellow-citizens whom they regarded as their enemies: and although the crime imputed was that of attempting to put down the democracy, some were slain also for private hatred, others by their debtors because of the moneys owed to them. Death thus raged in every shape; and as usually happens at such times, there was no length to which violence did not go; sons were killed by their fathers, and suppliants dragged from the altar or killed upon it, while some were even walled up in the temple of Dionysus and died there.
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History. Nonfiction. HTML:

Written by Thucydides around 400 AD, The History of the Peloponnesian War is a meticulous account by the Athenian general of the extended struggle that raged between Athens and Sparta for the better part of twenty years. Thucydides eschews the romance of heroics and dramatics and his precise and thorough account of the ill-fated conflict is one of the first surviving scholarly works of history.

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