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The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive…
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The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War (1996)

by Thucydides

Other authors: Richard Crawley (Translator), Victor Davis Hanson (Introduction), Robert B. Strassler (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,725206,412 (4.44)109
Thucydides called his account of two decades of war between Athens and Sparta "a possssion for all time," and indeed it is the first and still most famous work in the Western historical tradition. Considered essential reading for generals, statesmen, and liberally educated citizens for more than 2,000 years, The Peloponnesian War is a mine of military, moral, political, and philosophical wisdom. Thucydides called his account of two decades of war between Athens and Sparta "a possssion for all time," and indeed it is the first and still most famous work in the Western historical tradition. Considered essential reading for generals, statesmen, and liberally educated citizens for more than 2,000 years, The Peloponnesian War is a mine of military, moral, political, and philosophical wisdom. However, this classic book has long presented obstacles to the uninitiated reader. Robert Strassler's new edition removes these obstacles by providing a new coherence to the narrative overall, and by effectively reconstructing the lost cultural context that Thucydides shared with his original audience. Based on the venerable Richard Crawley translation, updated and revised for modern readers. The Landmark Thucydides includes a vast array of superbly designed and presented maps, brief informative appendices by outstanding classical scholars on subjects of special relevance to the text, explanatory marginal notes on each page, an index of unprecedented subtlety, and numerous other useful features. In any list of the Great Books of Western Civilization, The Peloponnesian War stands near the top. This authoritative new edition will ensure that its greatness is appreciated by future generations.… (more)
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» See also 109 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
If read for its rhetorical content, as "propaganda" of a sort, then this otherwise dry piece of intellectual history becomes a fascinating work focused on creating cultural meanings. ( )
  alexanme | Dec 9, 2018 |
If you ever wanted to tackle Thucydides, this is the way to do it. It's beautifully laid out, with helpful maps and other material. The reading experience is profoundly moving, not really for the style but for the sheer weight of human folly on display. This should be required reading for politicians of all stripes. ( )
  MichaelBarsa | Dec 17, 2017 |
This bad-boy took me literally years, off-and-on, to finish, a true exercise in patience. The annotations, especially the summaries in the margins were extremely valuable, as were the interesting glossary chapters. If you're going to read Thucydides, read this wonderful edition. Only Strassler could make this palatable.

What an amazing civil war! Imagine a 3-decade long war with NYC against Boston. Yonkers, Queens, Newark, Hartford, Lawrence, and Lowell side with Boston. Cambridge, Providence, Worcester, New Haven Albany, Brooklyn, Staten Island and Cincinnati side with New York. A full-out civil war, with cruelty, deceit, bullying, scheming and conniving at every turn. What a slog. I'm very happy that I finished it. ( )
1 vote Sandydog1 | Jul 25, 2017 |
I'm rating this at 5***** primarily for the quality of this "Landmark" edition edited by Robert B. Strassler. Personally, I find most of Thucydides a very tedious read because of the "chronicle" style in which he writes, which follows the history of the Peloponnesian War in strict chronological order and fails to give a good presentation of the overall strategy of individual land and naval campaigns. (Book VI, the history of the Sicilian Campaign, is an exception, probably because not much else occurred in other combat theaters during that period so that the Sicilian events proceed largely uninterruptedly.) My own particular interest was the "treason of Alcibiades," considering his involvement with Socrates and his presence in Plato's dialogues.

What makes it possible to get through this lengthy history is the high quality of annotations and the numerous maps included in this edition (which seems typical of "Landmark" editions). If you read straight through, you'll find much of the footnoting repetitive, as are the numerous maps, but the editor's goal is to protect the reader from the need to flip back and forth to a "maps section" by providing a new map, however repetitive, within a couple of pages of the referring text. Also, the repetitiveness of the annotations (I don't know how many times the terms "hoplite" and "pelast" are footnote-defined) makes the text readable for someone who is not going through sequentially from start to finish, which makes this a useful edition for classroom use. The excellent maps are particularly helpful in a text that concentrates so much on military history, both land and naval warfare.

This "Landmark" edition also includes eleven appendices on such subjects as Athenian and Spartan society, military and naval warfare, religion, coinage, and other topics.

I'm not at all urging the reading of Thucydides, but if you're going to read him, use this "Landmark" edition (ISBN 978-0684827902). ( )
  CurrerBell | May 28, 2016 |
This is the classic. The battle between Athens and Sparta. The downfall of one of history's most famous civilizations.
  jerry-book | Jan 26, 2016 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Thucydidesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Crawley, RichardTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hanson, Victor DavisIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Strassler, Robert B.Editorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boegehold, Alan L.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boeghehold, Alan L.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cartledge, PaulContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Crane, GregoryContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hanson, Victor DavisContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hirschfeld, NicolleContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martin, Thomas R.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wyatt, William F.Contributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Thucydides, an Athenian wrote the history of the war" is the first pronouncement of "The Pelopennesian War."
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