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Thucydides: An Introduction for the Common Reader

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This book is a concise, readable introduction to the Greek author Thucydides, who is widely regarded as one of the foremost historians of all time.

Why does Thucydides continue to matter today? Perez Zagorin answers this question by examining Thucydides' landmark History of the Peloponnesian War, one of the great classics of Western civilization. This history, Zagorin explains, is far more than a mere chronicle of the conflict between Athens and Sparta, the two superpowers of Greece in the fifth century BCE. It is also a remarkable story of politics, decision-making, the uses of power, and the human and communal experience of war. Zagorin maintains that the work remains of permanent interest because of the exceptional intellect that Thucydides brought to the writing of history, and to the originality, penetration, and the breadth and intensity of vision that inform his narrative.

The first half of Zagorin's book discusses the intellectual and historical background to Thucydides' work and its method, structure, and view of the causes of the war. The following chapters deal with Thucydides' portrayal of the Athenian leader Pericles and his account of some of the main episodes of the war, such as the revolution in Corcyra and the Athenian invasion of Sicily. The book concludes with an insightful discussion of Thucydides as a thinker and philosophic historian.

Designed to introduce both students and general readers to a work that is an essential part of a liberal education, this book seeks to encourage readers to explore Thucydides--one of the world's greatest historians--for themselves.

Synopsis:

"A perceptive, well-informed, concise, and readable introduction to Thucydides for the nonspecialist. Perez Zagorin has done a service to readers by composing such a vigorous and succinct book."--Barry S. Strauss, Cornell University

"Lucid and engaging. This is an intelligent and helpful companion to the first-time reader of Thucydides."--Josiah Ober, Princeton University

"Perez Zagorin addresses the main points in Thucydides with sound judgment and estimable intelligence. His choice of topics is expert, as is his treatment of different scholarly views. This is an ideal overview of Thucydides, which at times is as gripping as Thucydides himself."--George Klosko

"Professor Zagorin has written a valuable companion for readers of Thucydides. His observations are full of learning, good sense, and wisdom."--Donald Kagan, Sterling Professor of Classics and History, Yale University

Synopsis:

This book is a concise, readable introduction to the Greek author Thucydides, who is widely regarded as one of the foremost historians of all time.

Why does Thucydides continue to matter today? Perez Zagorin answers this question by examining Thucydides' landmark History of the Peloponnesian War, one of the great classics of Western civilization. This history, Zagorin explains, is far more than a mere chronicle of the conflict between Athens and Sparta, the two superpowers of Greece in the fifth century BCE. It is also a remarkable story of politics, decision-making, the uses of power, and the human and communal experience of war. Zagorin maintains that the work remains of permanent interest because of the exceptional intellect that Thucydides brought to the writing of history, and to the originality, penetration, and the breadth and intensity of vision that inform his narrative.

The first half of Zagorin's book discusses the intellectual and historical background to Thucydides' work and its method, structure, and view of the causes of the war. The following chapters deal with Thucydides' portrayal of the Athenian leader Pericles and his account of some of the main episodes of the war, such as the revolution in Corcyra and the Athenian invasion of Sicily. The book concludes with an insightful discussion of Thucydides as a thinker and philosophic historian.

Designed to introduce both students and general readers to a work that is an essential part of a liberal education, this book seeks to encourage readers to explore Thucydides--one of the world's greatest historians--for themselves.

About the Author

Perez Zagorin (1920-2009) was the Joseph C. Wilson Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Rochester and a fellow of the Shannon Center for Advanced Studies at the University of Virginia. He was the author of many articles and a number of books, including "How the Idea of Religious Toleration Came to the West" and "Francis Bacon" (both Princeton).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Abbreviations xiii

Introduction 1

Chapter 1: Thucydides' History and Its Background 7

Chapter 2: The Subject, Method, and Structure of Thucydides' History 23

Chapter 3: Thucydides on the Causes of the War 40

Chapter 4: Thucydides and Pericles 57

Chapter 5: Scenes from the Archidamian War 75

Mytilene, Plataea, Corcyra, Pylos

Chapter 6: Dialogue at Melos, the Sicilian Expedition 100

Chapter 7: Endings 125

Chapter 8: Thucydides as a Philosophic Historian 139

Notes 163

Further Reading 185

Index 187

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691138800
Author:
Zagorin, Perez
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
Ancient - Greece
Subject:
Classics
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Political philosophy
Subject:
Archaeology and Ancient History
Subject:
World History-Ancient Near East
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20081231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 12 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Greek
Fiction and Poetry » Classics » Greek and Roman
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » Ancient Near East
History and Social Science » World History » General

Thucydides: An Introduction for the Common Reader Sale Trade Paper
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$8.98 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691138800 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "A perceptive, well-informed, concise, and readable introduction to Thucydides for the nonspecialist. Perez Zagorin has done a service to readers by composing such a vigorous and succinct book."--Barry S. Strauss, Cornell University

"Lucid and engaging. This is an intelligent and helpful companion to the first-time reader of Thucydides."--Josiah Ober, Princeton University

"Perez Zagorin addresses the main points in Thucydides with sound judgment and estimable intelligence. His choice of topics is expert, as is his treatment of different scholarly views. This is an ideal overview of Thucydides, which at times is as gripping as Thucydides himself."--George Klosko

"Professor Zagorin has written a valuable companion for readers of Thucydides. His observations are full of learning, good sense, and wisdom."--Donald Kagan, Sterling Professor of Classics and History, Yale University

"Synopsis" by , This book is a concise, readable introduction to the Greek author Thucydides, who is widely regarded as one of the foremost historians of all time.

Why does Thucydides continue to matter today? Perez Zagorin answers this question by examining Thucydides' landmark History of the Peloponnesian War, one of the great classics of Western civilization. This history, Zagorin explains, is far more than a mere chronicle of the conflict between Athens and Sparta, the two superpowers of Greece in the fifth century BCE. It is also a remarkable story of politics, decision-making, the uses of power, and the human and communal experience of war. Zagorin maintains that the work remains of permanent interest because of the exceptional intellect that Thucydides brought to the writing of history, and to the originality, penetration, and the breadth and intensity of vision that inform his narrative.

The first half of Zagorin's book discusses the intellectual and historical background to Thucydides' work and its method, structure, and view of the causes of the war. The following chapters deal with Thucydides' portrayal of the Athenian leader Pericles and his account of some of the main episodes of the war, such as the revolution in Corcyra and the Athenian invasion of Sicily. The book concludes with an insightful discussion of Thucydides as a thinker and philosophic historian.

Designed to introduce both students and general readers to a work that is an essential part of a liberal education, this book seeks to encourage readers to explore Thucydides--one of the world's greatest historians--for themselves.

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