Save Big On Open-Box & Used Products: Buy "History of the Peloponnesian War” from Amazon Open-Box & Used and save 65% off the $19.00 list price. Product is eligible for Amazon's 30-day returns policy and Prime or FREE Shipping. See all offers from Amazon Open-Box & Used.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
History of the Peloponnesian War Paperback – September 30, 1954
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Special offers and product promotions
Text: English, Greek (translation)
About the Author
Thucydides (c. 460 BC–400 BC) was a general who was exiled for his failure to defend the Greek city of Amphipolis in Thrace. During his exile, he began compiling histories and accounts of the war from various participants.
Rex Warner was a Professor of the University of Connecticut from 1964 until his retirement in He was born in 1905 and went to Wadham College, Oxford, where he gained a "first" in Classical Moderations, and took a degree in English Literature. He taught in Egypt and England, and was Director of the British Institute, Athens, from 1945 to 1947. He has written poems, novels and critical essays, has worked on films and broadcasting, and has translated many works, of which Xenophon’s History of My Time and The Persian Expedition, Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War, and Plutarch’s Lives (under the title Fall of the Roman Republic) and Moral Essays have been published in Penguin Classics.
M. I. Finley was a professor of ancient history and master of Darwin College, Cambridge. He died in 1986.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
What is fascinating about this history is what it shows about the Greek civilization at that time. In particular, as Thucidides states explicitly, it shows how avarice, distrust, and the "us-them" conflict omnipresent in every human society combine to produce endless war -- laying waste the land (of an agricultural civilization), killing each other, murdering captured males and enslaving their women and children, and breaking or planning to break alliances as soon (or before) the oaths to uphold them are sworn. It gives us yet another demonstration that "plus ça change, plus c'est la meme chose" -- We (the human race) know lots about our history and yet we continue to repeat it. A broader lesson is the divergence between the ostensible ethics of a society and its actual practices -- again something that continues, perhaps exacerbated, to this day.
So it's a sad story and a good read.
I found this easy to read as the translation made it appear like we were reading today's news. Not just the actins but the politics of the time. There are great descriptions of the time and place. The only thing that is missing is visual maps to put the places in perspective. Luckily you can get maps of the time off the net as a supplement.
I have a paperback edition which is easily navigated and you can place sticky notes in. I also have a kindle version which you can put book marks in. the problem with the kindle is the text-to-speech has a horrible time translating place and people names. The advantage of the kindle is it moves you forward so you do not doddle. I am contemplating a hard copy for the library and reverence.
There is enough detail that it may require a second reading after you have digested the first. I am also looking for some good books to tell me what I would have noticed in this book.
Thucidides has been labeled as the first scientific historian. His account is incredibly objective, even-handed , and non-partisan. He participated personally in the Peloponesian wars as a minor strategos (military leader or general) and was banished for not achieving what he was supposed to do. From that point on, he retired to his extensive family holdings in Tracia and gave all his time (presumably) to research the war and interview the witnesses. His account ends abruptly, probably due to his sudden death, and covers the first 21 years of the 27-year war. The best parts are the speeches of the leaders, generals and representatives of various countries or factions. Obviously, Thucidides had not been present on these occasions and considering the poor records available 2400 years ago, had no access to recordings or stenograms. Most are therefore hearsay, at best, or the authors conviction that what he related should have been said. Nevertheless, the speeches are a marvelous exmple of how human nature did not change one bit in more than two thousand years. The people we observe through Thusidides' words are intelligent, educated, ambitious, demagogues and true lovers of their countries, heroes and rogues, many times could be perceived by us as both good and bad, depending on circumstances. The squabling, cultured, even effeminate democratic Athenians prove to be exceedingly good at war and barely fail to subjugate the whole Peloponesian league led by the harsh warlike Spartans. For Thucidides, however, there are no moral judgements, only cold examination of circumstances. Even Alcybiades, a rare example of turncoat, double-dealer, demagogue and villain is not censured. Rather Thucidides raises his eyebrows questioningly at the naivete of the people who continued to believe and follow, nay even invite this man despite all the evidence available.
Only in one case, that of Cleon, Thucidides looses his admirable cool. Cleon, the cowardly demagogue and cheat who instigates a doomed military campaign and is forced to lead it by the more responsible Athenian general. Thucidides describes that campaign how Cleon hesitates, stumbles, always puts his worst foot forward, and then wins by an unbelivable fluke. His description of thea rguments presented by the Athenian envoys to the representatives of Melos precede Macchiavelli's "The Prince" by two thousand years. The Melians choose honor and love of their freedom. Their cause being right, they are consequently slaughtered and the women and children sold into slavery.
Do not omit his moving description of the Athenian plague. It is a rare gem!
And by all means, do read it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
There were two American tourists overheard by a guard at the Louvre to remark, "Well, I didn't think this museum was all that great.Read more
Surprisingly impartial by an Athenian. It was a more enjoyable read that I expected. It is worth the read.Read more