- Series: Oxford World's Classics
- Paperback: 784 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; Translation edition (July 26, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0192821911
- ISBN-13: 978-0192821911
- Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.4 x 5.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Peloponnesian War (Oxford World's Classics) Translation Edition
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"[Hammond's] new translation of Thucydides is a triumph. Fluent yet sinewy, it responds brilliantly to the historian's challenging prose. It is both accurate and lucid. Indeed, its only possible flaw is that it can at times be rather more comprehensible than Thucydides himself! "-Journal of Classical Teaching
"A substantial work, but with wonderful readabilityand lightness of touch. The book is excellent value for money and the obvious choice for any reader of Thucydides."-The Anglo-Hellenic Review
"The most accurate and readable [translation] we now have." -ARION
About the Author
Martin Hammond has published translations of the Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius.
P. J. Rhodes is the author of numerous books and articles, including A History of the Classical Greek World, 478-323 BC.
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I highly recommend the book to people who might want to see how democracies can go aground, and how there is always a tendency for people to listen to and to elect people who tell them what they want to hear rather than what they should know. When an electorate does that, things do not turn out well.
I did not have such good luck with this book. the introduction was entirely too long (something like 40 pages) and is a summation of the entire book, instead of, you know, an introduction to the subject. it is unnecessarily verbose, as if written by a college graduate attempting to meet a minimum word count, instead of conveying information succinctly. if i wished to read a summary of the book i would not be buying the book!
as for the actual explanatory notes themselves, where to begin! first of all, the notation system is not sufficiently explained: At the beginning of the index it states, and i quote "References are to book and chapter (eg 2.68 refers to book 2, chapter 68)" note that this is the only indication of what these numbers mean that i have found in the entire book. then, the very first times these numbers are referenced in the explanatory notes, it is written as 1-23.3. given that the only information i have been given is that a number followed by a decimal point and 1-2 more numbers references book and chapter, you would then most likely infer that this note is written about book 1 through book 23, chapter 3? clearly it isnt, as there are only 8 books, but how would i know otherwise? there is no referenced name of this notation system, and i have no idea what to look for to find any additional rules for such a system as it has not been named inside of these pages, so all that there is to do is figure it out on your own. i dont know about you, but i do not buy a book so that i may attempt to decipher its notation system. i would much prefer to actually read what the book has to say and not spend my time just trying to figure it how to read it.
to make it even worse, the notes are even more unnecessarily verbose than the introduction, to the point of being redundant. for example, lets use the note for 1.144 as an example "the advice to not be over ambitious by trying to extend the empire during the war is praised by Thucydides in 2.65-and is advice which is not followed after Pericles' death." Does that sound like it imparts any information that you would not otherwise get from reading the rest of the book to you? why would i want notes that reference other parts of the book i am currently reading? i will get to those parts of the book eventually, i dont need to be told something that i would read in the book normally twice over.
while some notes are genuinely informative about telling what Thucydides got right and wrong, and how we know what he didnt know, many of the explanatory notes are very similar to the one i have just described, and makes reading them as a companion to the book painfully tedious.
there is also several maps in the back, but wernt very helpful for reading book 1, being either too large or too small, i would recommend buying a wall map or atlas of ancient greece if you want to try to follow the action as it happens in the book. i do not hold this against the book though.
TL;DR the explanatory notes are unnecessarily long and mostly uninformative to the point that i am unwilling to read them. i would not recommenced buying this version if you are doing it solely for the explanatory notes.