The life and influence of historian thucydides

There have been, however, some misleading misinterpretations of Thucydides. Each was named after The life and influence of historian thucydides of the Muses.

The contemporary interpretation of the Peloponnesian War paraphrases what realists have come to term the "security dilemma": Conventional moral considerations play no role in his analysis of political events while geographic and ethnographic aspects are omitted or, at best, of secondary importance.

More recently, scholars have questioned the perception of Thucydides as simply, "the father of realpolitik".


He was filled with a passion for the truth as he saw it, which not only kept him free from vulgar partiality against the enemy but served him as a historian in the accurate narrative of events—accurate in their detail and order and also in their relative importance.

Thucydides views life exclusively as political life, and history in terms of political history. Euclesthe Athenian commander at Amphipolis, sent to Thucydides for help. A celebrated example is Pericles' funeral orationwhich heaps honour on the dead and includes a defence of democracy: He also defined the spiral bearing his name, formulae for the volumes of surfaces of revolution and an ingenious system for expressing very large numbers.

He does not, for example, exaggerate the significance of the campaign he himself commanded, nor does he offer a self-defense for his failure. My follow-up comment to this would be how this point meshes with the second and third points of the ambitions—if man is unchanging, Thucydides wants to show why there is a rise, and why there is a fall.

This is all that he expressly tells of his aim and methods. All these trends made Xenophon an author of crucial importance and encouraged more-discriminating reading of his works. Philosophical outlook and influences[ edit ] Paul Shorey calls Thucydides "a cynic devoid of moral sensibility".

As a result of his study of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides drew a fundamental distinction between the mode of politics within a certain state and the pattern of political interaction among several states.

He wrote, "most people seem to think sheer domination is what is appropriate in the political sphere; and they are not ashamed to practice in regard to outsiders what they recognize is neither just nor expedient in their dealings with each other as individuals.

His works contain the earliest known formal study of logic, which was incorporated in the late 19th century into modern formal logic. He lived through the war, and his exile of 20 years ended only with the fall of Athens and the peace of In metaphysics, Aristotelianism had a profound influence on philosophical and theological thinking in the Islamic and Jewish traditions in the Middle Ages, and it continues to influence Christian theology, especially the scholastic tradition of the Catholic Church.

Character studies Besides the political causes of the war, Thucydides was interested in and emphasized the conflict between two types of character: This much at least is known: He started an ambitious project that generated most of the surviving structures on the Acropolis including the Parthenon.

By a different method, in speeches, he portrays the hard fate of the town of Plataea due to the long-embittered envy and cruelty of Thebes and the faithlessness of Sparta, and the harsh brutality of Cleon when he proposed to execute all the men of the Aegean island city of Mytilene.

For me, this has led to a much deeper understanding of the modern legacy of Greek political thought in general, as well as the relation between different disciplines and ways of viewing the world" - Professor Neville Morley.

His Socratic world often resembles a sanitized version of reality; Xenophon created a fictive history in which propositions about the pursuit of virtue—though they derive authority from being rooted in the past—acquire either a mythical aura or an intriguing piquancy through the use of a deviant version of that past.

Although the Anabasis narrative stops at this point and further details are lacking, he clearly became closely involved with senior Spartans, notably after King Agesilaus II.

It was said that he was the first man to call himself a philosopher, or lover of wisdom and Pythagorean ideas exercised a marked influence on Plato, and through him, all of Western philosophy. The project team also shared their findings more widely with a number of public events and media work, not least because of the surprising contemporary relevance of the subject.

All four of them were of the active, revolutionary type. His contemporaries perhaps saw things differently: Because of this blunder, Thucydides was recalled, tried, and sentenced to exile. Visit Website Origins of the Histories Instead of settling in one place, Herodotus spent his life traveling from one Persian territory to another.

The struggle between these contenders for preeminence and their accumulating alliances lead to a bipolarization of the international system. Share9 Shares Ancient Greece has had an enormous amount of impact on culture in the Western world.

His exact contributions are difficult to disentangle from his mentor Leucippus, as they are often mentioned together in texts.

Thucydides — still relevant today?

He gave readings in public places and collected fees from officials for his appearances. Leo Strauss in The City and Man locates the problem in the nature of Athenian democracy itself, about which, he argued, Thucydides had a deeply ambivalent view: The Histories Herodotus spent his entire life working on just one project: He is often revered as a great mathematician, mystic and scientist, but he is best known for the Pythagorean theorem which bears his name.

These epics lie at the beginning of the Western canon of literature, and have had an enormous influence on the history of literature. This subdivision was most likely made by librarians and archivists, themselves being historians and scholars, most likely working in the Library of Alexandria. It is evident that he did not long survive the war since he did not leave any connected account, even at stage two, of the last six years.

But how extensive is his influence on the modern world? Structural realists such as Kenneth Waltz and Robert Gilpin found that the Hellenic world, and particularly the relationship between Athens and Sparta, as Thucydides describes it, provided an allegory for the Cold War polarization.Thucydides was an Athenian general and historian, most notable for his work known as the History of the Peloponnesian War.

Whilst Herodotus, a near-contemporary of his, is often hailed as the Father of History, Thucydides himself has been dubbed the Father of Scientific History. Thucydides, the Ancient Greek historian of the fifth century B.C., is not only the father of scientific history, but also of political "realism," the school of thought which posits that interstate relations are based on might rather than right.

The Greek historian Thucydides (ca. ca. B.C.) wrote on the Peloponnesian War. The greatest ancient historian, he is in a real sense the creator of modern historiography.

Thucydides Facts

Little is known about the life of Thucydides Most modern scholars place his birth between and B.C., with a. Pericles was born c.

BC, in Athens, Greece. He was the son of the politician Xanthippus, who, though ostracized in – BC, returned to Athens to command the Athenian contingent in the Greek victory at Mycale just five years later. Pericles' mother, Agariste, a member of the powerful and controversial noble family of the Alcmaeonidae, and her familial connections played a crucial role.

Life. In spite of his stature as a historian, modern historians know relatively little about Thucydides's life. The most reliable information comes from his own History of the Peloponnesian War, which expounds his nationality, paternity, and native agronumericus.comides says that he fought in the war, contracted the plague, and was exiled by the democracy.

First, under the influence of Xenocritus, he was away from his deme. Then, when he returned to Athens, he created confusion in the law courts and was captured while attempting to flee. Later, he was ostracized for ten years.

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The life and influence of historian thucydides
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