The History of the Peloponnesian War (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) [NOOK Book]

Overview


The History of the Peloponnesian War, by Thucydides, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & ...

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The History of the Peloponnesian War (Barnes & Noble Classics Series)

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Overview


The History of the Peloponnesian War, by Thucydides, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:

  • New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
  • Biographies of the authors
  • Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
  • Footnotes and endnotes
  • Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
  • Comments by other famous authors
  • Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
  • Bibliographies for further reading
  • Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.
 
A monumental work unsurpassed for its brilliant description, accuracy, and penetrating insights, ThucydidesHistory of the Peloponnesian War is a spectacular eyewitness report of the war between Greece’s two most powerful city-states, Athens and Sparta, as it unfolded during the fifth century B.C.
The first recorded political and moral analysis of a nation’s war policies, the History is a tragic story of virtue, ambition, and failed deterrence. All aspects of the conflict—from the battlefield strategies and the political landscape to the peoples’ thoughts and feelings as the long war dragged on—are presented in startlingly vivid detail.
 
From the treachery of Alcibiades and the disastrous invasion of Sicily to the plague that devastated Athens and Pericles’ famous funeral oration, Thucydides has written more than a mere account of war. His History is nothing less than a classic Greek drama about the rise and fall of Athens. More than two thousand years have passed since the History was written, but its impact on modern politics, military strategy, and foreign relations has been timeless.
 

Donald Lateiner teaches Greek, Latin, Ancient History and Comparative Folklore in the Humanities-Classics department at Ohio Wesleyan University. His scholarship focuses on Homer and Herodotus, and he has published a book on each. He also researches nonverbal behaviors in ancient literature.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781411433632
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 6/1/2009
  • Series: Barnes & Noble Classics Series
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 656
  • Sales rank: 129,404
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Donald Lateiner teaches Greek, Latin, Ancient History and Comparative Folklore in the Humanities-Classics department at Ohio Wesleyan University. His scholarship focuses on Homer and Herodotus, and he has published a book on each. He also researches nonverbal behaviors in ancient literature.

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Read an Excerpt


From Donald Lateiner's Introduction to The History of the Peloponnesian War

 

Though a highly idiosyncratic writer and thinker, like any author Thucydides betrays the influences of the literature and research of his day. Books have traced his connections to contemporary medicine, sophistic rhetoric and argumentation, philosophy, and drama (Cochrane, Finley, Solmsen, Cornford, Hunter, etc.), as well as to his historical predecessor, Herodotus (484–414). Thucydides’ polemical historiographical strictures on the methods of historical research and presentation are not necessarily directed against Herodotus, since other authors, in poetry and in prose, treated the same prior events that Herodotus also mentions. For instance, in the case of the comments on the notorious Delian earthquake, the two authors seem to pass each other in the night—oblivious to the specifics that the other has mentioned. But then why is it that Thucydides’ speeches rarely refer to any past event not found in Herodotus’ text (Hornblower, A Commentary on Thucydides, vol. 2, p. 123)? When did Thucydides obtain the text of the Ionian historian? Around 424 or a decade later? Did either or both of these historians publish their histories in chunks rather than as the full text that we have today? Some have argued for independent publication of Thucydides’ book 1, or 1 through 5.24 (the events leading to the war and the course of the Ten Years’ War) or books 6 and 7 (the Sicilian Expedition, as Athenian sympathizers call it, rather than the Invasion). Thucydides’ awareness of his predecessor appears in his inclusions (for example, important battles and pre-battle harangues) and exclusions (such as ominous names). The two historians share many qualities, but they differently characterize prominent individuals and events. Their accounts of pivotal battles differ not least because of Thucydides’ superior field experience as Athenian soldier and commander. Thucydides’ debt to Herodotus, nevertheless, involves much more than the existence of speeches and battles—for example, inclusions of colonization, myth, and geography (see Pearson, “Thucydides and the Geographical Tradition”). Thucydides never mentions Herodotus by name, although he names the less important fifth-century historian Hellanicus (the citation is isolated, and perhaps to be excised; see Parke, “Citation and Recitation”). Is this a slight to Herodotus or a compliment? In the fifth century, no one memorized prose authors or had a wish to look up a reference. Thucydides, unlike Herodotus, does not cite the poets; as with many of his contributions, he excluded materials that others previously included.

Thucydides shares many of Herodotus’ interests. They both focus on military history. They both want to report names of places and people, although the Athenian shows less interest in “coincidences” such as nomen-omen—for example, Hegesistratus, a name that a Spartan king identified as meaningful, when looking for a guide, because it translates as “Leader of the Expedition.” Both also suppress names and make explicit or implicit decisions not to specify individuals—for example, the Spartan commander and the five Spartan judges at Plataea (3.52)—and other officers and speakers are left anonymous.

Thucydides is likely to have known several sophists, and his antithetical writing style shows the influence of the Sicilian Gorgias, whose interests included epistemology and rhetoric. He is also likely to have known Sophocles, a general as well as a tragedian. He mentions neither these two nor Socrates, a notorious Attic gadfly of Pericles and the next generation.

Thucydides states his objective in his History for practicing “history.” He wants to be useful (1.22) to those interested in how humans behave and in what will happen repeatedly, given certain constants of human nature (compare 3.83). He makes no claim to prophecy, but, clearly, he saw “his” war as the negative exemplar for inter- and intra-state conflict. He sardonically presents orators’ high-flown words that often contrast with the facts of historical events that they report, or with their predictions for the future, or with many speakers who decried fancy rhetorics (for example, 1.73; 2.41; 5.89). Nevertheless, the funeral oration that he puts in the mouth of Pericles, at a moment just before plague strikes, surpasses all possible competition in patriotic oratory. The Greeks believed not in historical cyclicity but in patterns of human behavior. Both Plato, the idealist, and Aristotle, the realist, belittle finding any universal message in specific events (see Aristotle’s Poetics 9.1451b, with specific reference to what Alcibiades did and said), but Thucydides (and Hobbes in his wake) thought otherwise. Thucydides, like Macchiavelli later, was a historian as well as a political theorist.

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Customer Reviews

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Terrific Ancient History

    Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War gives the account of the struggle between Athens and Sparta. He writes as a Stategos, or General, of Athens who participated in the war itself.

    This was required reading for me as a student of Political Science and history. I lost my college copy long ago and was pleased to replace it with this Barnes and Noble copy. The translation is good and the prices is excellent. I found the footnotes helpful as well.

    For those new to Thucydides and Greek history this book could prove tough but I still recommend it since it is a primary souce. I highly recommend books by Bagnall and Kagan on the Peloponnesian War to go along with this fine copy.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    This is a review of the e-book version. The footnotes work ve

    This is a review of the e-book version.

    The footnotes work very well, and there are a LOT of them. However, there are numerous distracting scan errors in the text. Some would have been caught by even a cursory proof-reading, such as lists of numbers including thigs like "4z8" and "43i." The combined lowercase "ae" is frequently presented as "x," which rather changes the way the word is pronounced!

    I don't understand why more care wasn't taken in proofreading this volume. All those footnotes must have take a lot of work to prepare; why not finish the job by tidying up the text itself? B&N can do better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2011

    The Great Peloponnesian War [431-404 BCE]

    The conflict of the Second or Great Peloponnesian War lasted from 431-404 BCE. It was a fratricidal war that divided the Grecian city-states into the two spheres of the Lacedaemonian Confederation and the Athenian Hegemony. The Delian League that was to act as a defensive perimeter of the Grecians and stave off future Persian invasions transformed into a power that was dominated by a single hegemonic state: the Athenian polis. The period of the First Athenian Hegemony lasted from 478-404 BCE and it was essentially a thalassocracy. A thalassocracy is a political entity whose sole basis for its supremacy or even its very existence depends on the mastery of the seas and the dominance of its navies. As soon as the Athenians were defeated at the naval engagement at Aegospotami in 405 BCE, the Athenian port of Piraeus was blockaded and with the destruction of its naval forces and the loss of its former maritime supremacy, the Athenian Hegemony collapsed. The Athenian response to the Lacedaemonian threat was the Periclean Strategy which was divided into three main strategic points: 1. Offensive assaults by sea [For the constant harassment of Lacedaemonian and Lacedaemonian allied coastal cities and for the seizure of poorly defended regions that were accessible by sea], 2. A defensive stance on land; a policy of containment [The Athenians would allow the Lacedaemonians to ravage the adjacent lands and the surrounding countryside in Attica while Athens itself and the port of Piraeus were well-defended with the Long Walls, and 3. The maintenance of foreign trade [While the Athenians formed a stranglehold on its inveterate foes through the might of its formidable fleets, Athens would enrich itself with trade maintained with foreign states].

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2008

    pelo war

    I read this book while studying greek history. It was hard for me to understand at first but i got the hang of it after a while. It was an amazing first hand account of everything that went on during the war and it is loaded with history. I learned a lot from it about the governments of Athens and Sparta and loads of other places and people in ancient greece along with battle tactics and such. Even though it was a dificult read I am amazed at how much i learned and i don't know how any study of ancient greece could do without it. I would not suggest it for anyone younger than twelve which was how old i was when i read it but like i said it was dificult for me at that age and is not really the kind of book that will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time. I would encourage everyone to read it, it is a great book and a definate classic.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2008

    History of the worst war

    Thucydides was born in about 60BC, and he got to see all of the disasturous Peloponnesian War, the worst war of his time. The Peloponnesian War was the struggle between the two most powerful city states, Athens and Sparta. Thucydides starts his book in 433BC, but finishes in 411BC, 7 years before the war actually finished. Historians don't really know how Thucydides wrote this massive, yet illuminating book, but the introduction by M. I. Finley helps you understand about Thucydides and how the History of the Peloponnesian War is organized

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 6, 2014

    Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!

    Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!

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  • Posted June 28, 2014

    Nice,,,, Great...!

    Nice,,,, Great...!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2012

    GREEKS KICK ASS!!!!

    Though itis a long and tedious read, SPARTANS and ATHENIANS were ment to RULE THE WORLD!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2011

    Won't download

    Title says it all. Common for some of the free out of copyright titles.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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