- Paperback: 752 pages
- Publisher: Free Press; Touchstone ed. edition (September 10, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0684827905
- ISBN-13: 978-0684827902
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War Touchstone ed. Edition
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Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War is one of the great books in the Western tradition, as well as its first true historical narrative. Editor Robert Strassler has annotated this classic text to make it more accessible to modern readers and added dozens of maps for easy reference. A helpful introduction places Thucydides in proper historical context and a series of short appendices focus on particular aspects of life and war during the period. But the bulk of the book itself, where Thucydides chronicles the long struggle between Athens and Sparta, enjoys an unexpected freshness on these pages--partly due to Strassler's magnificent editorial labors, but mostly because it's a great story resonant with heroes, villains, bravery, desperation, and tragedy. Every library should have a copy of Thucydides in it, especially libraries on military history, and The Landmark Thucydides is without question the best version available. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Strassler, an unaffiliated scholar of classical studies, has remedied many of the flaws of Richard Crawley's 1874 translation of The Peloponnesian War. He has added descriptive paragraph-by-paragraph synopses, topic headers on every page, numerous maps keyed to the adjoining text, explanatory footnotes, an extensive index, an excellent introduction by Victor Davis Hanson (California State Univ.), and 11 appendixes (by various scholars) on politics, warfare, and society in the Greece of the fifth century B.C.E. What the editor has done he has done well, creating a valuable basic reference for students of ancient history. His work has only two flaws: it lacks a substantial bibliography, having only a two-page "concise" one; and the price will put it out of reach of many institutions. For academic libraries and others with large history collections.?James F. DeRoche, Alexandria, Va.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
If you want to take the big leap and take on Thucydides, the Landmark Edition is a must. While not as strong as Kagan, the introduction and scholar essays are first class and go a long way to making Thucydides approachable to the modern reader. However, what takes The Landmark Edition to another level is the footnotes and maps. If you have the patience and take the time to really study the text, you can really develop a deep understanding of Thucydides.
Finally, Robert Strassler is a real hero. Let us hope that he is able to produce more Landmark Editions. In my book, Strassler has covered himself with glory and has done the reading public a great service. Highly recommended!
However, somewhere after the first 1/3 of the book my opinion changed. I hardly know enough of history to judge Thucydides on his accuracy on these matters, but he is certainly a talented writer. His writing is subtle, elegant and powerful, invoking a great tragedy about pride, fall and the price of power.
The effect is reached by foreshadowing, by subtly but constantly recurring themes and by the composition itself rather than colorful statements. To illustrate what I am talking about: a "pure" dispassionate historian would simply describe the events and left finding similarities between the expansion, overreach and fall of Athens and defeat of Persia earlier to the discretion of the reader. A somewhat talented author would have spelled it out explicitly and drew analogies in author's voice. But Thucydides makes Athens reference their own defeat of Persia as a justification to their deeds over and over again, even as they are about to commit the very same mistakes, both marking the similarity, underscoring dramatic irony and foretelling an inevitability of defeat.
On the same note, the passionate plea for justice followed by a few short sentences to the effect "and then they got killed" is often more powerful than a vivid description would have been.
A few words about the edition: While Landmark edition is probably the best one so far, Kindle version has serious issues. Namely, it was next to impossible to navigate between the footnotes while reading - they are all concentrated at the end of the chapter with no hyperlinks for quick navigation provided. The maps are definitely helpful, but after a while become redundant. The same goes for footnotes themselves - they constantly provide redundant information while failing to clarify difficult places. I don't need to be reminded what a proxenus is each time the word is mentioned - once is enough. But I would like to be reminded who the person I've last seen mentioned a hundred pages ago is and how did they come to their current situation, but this is usually not covered by footnotes.