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The maps are useful, if distracting, and the summaries on the side are a godsend. If you get laid off from your job, maybe give it a go - but you have been warned! Comprehensive and thorough An extremely comprehensive and thorough treatment of Thucydides. It helps to read all the battle descriptions with some maps on the sides. The translation is strong and the added articles makes this a very worthy buy for any classicist.

I highly recommend using it for any class on Thucydides. Superior Annotated Edition of the Great Classic In this review, I will not seek to add to the already excellent and comprehensive discussion of this book's many merits outlined in the five-star and four star reviews. What I can say is that I have been using this book as a teaching aid in my ancient history class.

While it is far too complex a work to assign even in excerpts to grades unless the students are exceptional, older classics students and college students will find this annotated version of Thucydides' seminal work a literal godsend. It is rich not only in the most up-to-date translations, but generous with explanatory maps and editorial commentary that explains what the old master historian is talking about and, most importantly, "why" he is talking about it.

The result is an accessible Thucydides that becomes not only user friendly to the amateur reader of classic Greek literature, but also the master student and educator. It has been a welcome addition to my library as a reference tool, and I had forgotten how interesting the "grand old man" was, even when the scholarship of thousands of years has sometime proven him wrong or modified his perceptions, something I think he would have both loved and applauded.


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This excellent book is worth the money. But, I note that while I have not had the binding issues that others have had, I can easily see how the glue binding could come apart. So, "tenting" and exposing the binding to heat are probably very bad ideas. A worthy effort that produced a very worthy book. Recommended without reservation. I am reading it for a class, having read other editions 2 before, and I was afraid to return it to the library in the condition it was in after I read one chapter, until I went to class and found that EVERYBODY's books were falling apart!

Most had purchased from Amazon or third party Amazon, but weren't willing to go through what it takes to get a credit. Secondly, in the introduction, the authors claim that the reason Thucydides didn't complete the work is that he died. This is highly controversial at best.

My own fancifulhypothesis, based on another edition Great Books , which states that he seems to have lived long after the work ends, is that he had changed his viewpoint, and could no longer write a unified work. The third problem is the "cliff-notes" in the margins of the book.

This is not really reading Thucydides! I am doing my best to disregard them. Neither these, nor the numerous footnotes are included in the Amazon excerpt. This is misleading. The 2 page glossary is good, and the maps are fine but ill placed; I would like one big colored fold-out map at the end, or a few at most.

Many of the footnotes, the numbering of which is confusing at first and unexplained,refer either to the maps or glossary. They are distracting from getting the gist of Thucydides, which lies in his excellence as a rhetorician, and his presentation of classical Greek political philosophy and reality. All these interruptions remind me of the textbooks of public schools, which I also find a detriment to education.

It takes me about four times as long to read this edition as any other, because of the distracting material. Maps are available on the internet if one needs them.

About this book

Now the actual translation is extremely readable as one can see from the excerpt shown by Amazon, and it and the appendices are well worth saving. Please first put the book into a readable condition I am saving mine for class only, as I don't want it to fall apart anymore, so that I will have to pay the library. Next remove the cliffnotes! Allow the reader to interpret this wonderful author! We are grownups! Third, put all the maps in the back, and allow the reader to use them at leisure.

Take out the distracting and unenlightening footnotes. And finally, allow that the reason the work ends before the War ends is a great mystery.

(PDF) Hobbes's Thucydides | Ioannis Evrigenis - samcalogua.tk

Kegel, Ph. The perfect replacement for your old Modern Library edition of Thucydides I wish I'd had this fat volumeback in the s, when I was first making my way through Thucydides in my Introduction to Greek and Roman class. We used the Jowett translation -- admittedly a classic, but painfully slow going. I had read the first several chapters of this book before I thought to check what translation it used, and I was surprised to discover it was Richard Crawley's work of It certainly reads much more modern than that. There are explanatory footnotes crowding the bottom of every page, providing context for the history and the language.

It can break up the flow of the story if you allow yourself to keep glancing back and forth between the text and the notes, but I'd rather have them on the relevant page than gathered all together in the back. The eleven appendices provide in-depth discussions of the Athenian and Spartan social and political systems, the role of religion in the 5th century BC, naval warfare, calendars, currency, and so on.

I really have only one small complaint, which is the general uselessness of the many small, black-and-white situational maps scattered throughout. They're often repetitive -- it was a pretty concentrated theater through most of the war -- and each one comes with a "helper" map, to remind you exactly where Greece is. And many of the footnotes refer to locations on the maps, an inch or two away, which is unnecessary.

I would have been happier with a single, large, color map with all the details and ancient place-names in one place. But it's an excellent book nevertheless. Read more 3. In Thucydides , Donald Kagan, one of our foremost classics scholars, illuminates the great historian and his work both by examining him in the context of his time and by considering him as a revisionist historian. Thucydides took a spectacular leap into modernity by refusing to seek explanations for human behavior in the will of the gods, or even in the will of individuals, looking instead at the behavior of men in society.

In this context, Kagan explains how The Peloponnesian War differs significantly from other accounts offered by Thucydides' contemporaries and stands as the first modern work of political history, dramatically influencing the manner in which history has been conceptualized ever since. Read more Customer Reviews 6 A historiographical study of Thucydides Kagan's book is essentially a historiographical study of Thucydides as a historian.

The bottom line is that the author sees Thucydides as a "revisionist" historian of his period who was subject to the same limitations, professional and personal, that affect all historians. In the introduction, Kagan puts Thucydides in the context of his society and prevailing philosophies of the time, and he addresses Thucydides own place in that society as a wealthy Athenian aristocrat who lived through and fought in the Peloponnesian War, and who was later exiled because of a perceived failure on his part as an Athenian general. The body of the book is essentially multiple case studies of key events and personalities that Kagan compares and contrasts between Thucydides interpretation of the same, and the views of other ancient historians and contemporary Athenians.

In the conclusion Kagan basically argues that while Thucydides' history is valid and that he invented, "a new kind of history," Thucydides' history is his interpretation of the facts and events, as filtered through his own values and experience, in the same way any other historian is affected by his own prejudices.

Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679)

The bottom line is that Thucydides created a new way of writing history, one that we appreciate and value today, but he also provided a historical interpretation, based on fact, which reflected his views. Thudydies and the Art of Spin Is history just one damn thing after another? Or can we discover the underlying logic of events that will allow us to shape a better future? Herodotus' history of the Persian war is a rollicking tale with fascinating background and colorful folklore.

Thucydides aimed higher. He was scrupulous about accuracy and he sought the general patterns governing political action that determined the direction events would take. More than fifty years ago I studied Thucydides in a humanities course. I remember gripping accounts of internecine strife and praise for the leadership of Pericles - and how things ran downhill after Pericles died and rabble-rousers such as Cleon took power.

Thucydides' lessons were clear:Democracy could cope with the challenges of war only when guided bya superior leader such as Pericles. Donald Kagan shows that these conclusions were not shared by contemporaries of Thucydides - nor are they supported by the facts as recorded by Thucydides and others. Thucydides did not engage in outright deception or falsification; rather, he selected what he reported so that what he believed to be the underlying truths would stand out more clearly. He was a spinmeister. He held that Sparta would never be content to play second fiddle to the sea empire of Athens, and he was probably right.

But Sparta's discontent need not have led ruinous war. He distrusted democracy. The evidence here shows that the fickle favor of democratic politics in Athens passed harsh judgement on those who fell out of favor or proved unlucky as events unfolded. This drove Alcibiades from leadership in Sicily to seek shelter in Sparta, a great loss for Athens.

Likewise it resulted in the exile of Thucydides, another loss. Demosthenes sheltered in Naupactus rather than face judgement in Athens.


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  • Nicias' various moves regarding the Sicilian expedition whose disaster ended the Athenian Empire were largely aimed at avoiding censure in Athens. So Kagan argues. But Athenian leadership following the death of Pericles was moderate and sensible. The debacle in Sicily appears to be the result of poor leadership and bad choices by Nicias, whom Thucydides holds up as an exemplary leader.