‘The greatest historian that ever lived’ Such was Macaulay’s verdict on Thucydides (c. 460-400 BC) and his history of the Peloponnesian War, the momentous struggle between Athens and Sparta as rival powers and political systems that lasted for twenty-seven years from 431 to 404 BC, involved virtually the whole of the Greek world, and ended in the fall of Athens. Thucydides himself was a participant in the war; to his history he brings an awesome intellect, brilliant narrative, and penetrating analysis of the nature of power, as it affects both states and individuals. Of his own work Thucydides wrote: ‘I shall be content if [my history] is judged useful by those who will want to have a clear understanding of what happened – and, such is the human condition, will happen again … It was composed as a permanent legacy, not a showpiece for a single hearing.’ So it has proved. Of the prose writers of Greece and Rome Thucydides has had more lasting influence on western thought than all but Plato and Aristotle. This new edition combines a masterly translation with comprehensive supporting material. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World’s Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford’s commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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