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Designed for students with little or no background in ancient Greek language and culture, this collection of extracts from The History of the Peloponnesian War includes those passages that shed most light on Thucydides’ political theory—famous as well as important but lesser-known pieces frequently overlooked by nonspecialists. Newly translated into spare, vigorous English, and situated within a connective narrative framework, Woodruff’s selections will be of special interest to instructors in political theory and Greek civilization. Includes maps, notes, glossary.
“ . . . the selections go much deeper than the standard collection of the best-known speeches . . . in Woodruff’s work I see a clear thread going through important passages and making them accessible to the reader.”
—Alfonso Gómez-Lobo, Georgetown University
"This text is a very readable, modern, American English translation. It remains true to the original Greek. The introductory materials are useful, sane, and meet the needs of a wide range of undergraduates. Maps are easy to read and very useful.”
—Marie T. Gingras, University of Colorado
Preface. Introduction. Bibliographical Notes. Maps.
1. Early History and Method: Thucydides’ preface (i.1); The archeology (i.2-20); On historical method (i.21-22).
2. Origins of the War: Thucydides’ explanation for the war (i. 23); Debate at Sparta in 432 (i.66-88); Meeting of the Peloponnesian League in 431, (Summary of i. 118-24); Pericles’ war speech, (i.140-46); The war begins with an attack on Plataea, (ii.1-8).
3. Pericles and the plague: The funeral oration of Pericles (ii.35-46); The plague: human nature laid bare by a natural disaster (ii.47-54); Military operations of 430 (ii.55-58); Pericles’ last speech (ii.59-64); Thucydides’ judgment of Pericles (ii.65).
4. Justice and Power (Plataea and Mytilene): Further events of 430 (ii.66-70); The siege of Plataea (ii.71-78). The Mytilenean Debate (iii.37-51); The Plataean Debate (iii.52-68).
5. Human Nature Laid Bare in Civil War: The civil war in Corcyra (iii.81.2-85); The end of the Corcyrean insurgents, (iv. 47.3-48).
6. Justice and Power (Acanthus and Melos): The Spartans at Acanthus (iv.84.2-87); Events leading to the Peace of Nicias (Summary); The Melian dialogue (v. 84-116).
7. The Sicilian Expedition: Sicilian antiquities, (Summary of vi.2-1); Launching the expedition, (Summary of vi. 27-105); Defeat of the expedition, (vii.1-87, viii.1, Summary and Translation).
8. Aftermath of the Sicilian Expedition (Summary).
Dates. Glossary. Index.
About the Author:
Paul Woodruff is Professor of Philosophy, University of Texas at Austin.