History Of The Greatest War Ever Faced By The Hellenic Race Essays

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Intended as a literary masterpiece about the history of the greatest war ever faced by the Hellenic race, Thucydides’ history on the Peloponnesian War has been noted for its objectivity and theoretical approach since antiquity. Indeed, its impact on Western civilization was anticipated by the author himself, who strove to write an accurate account of the war, free from romance. However, Thucydides’ work is not without its limitations, and historians today are aware of inconsistencies and omissions that exist within the text. To this end, the history of Thucydides cannot be judged strictly for its historical merit as a primary source for the Peloponnesian War, but must also be judged for the author’s more far-reaching intentions. By considering his attempts to demonstrate repetitions in the history of Hellas, his deliberate placement of the narratives, and his portrayals of the war’s key characters, it is evident that Thucydides sought to compose a text about human nature as much as he sought to write “the war.”
In the first chapters of his text, 1.1-23, Thucydides examines the history of Greece in an attempt to demonstrate that the Peloponnesian War was far greater than any prior conflict the Greeks had experienced. He ends the section by explaining the policies of both Athens and Sparta – a natural jumping off point into the main focus of his text – before briefly launching into an explanation of his methodology and purpose for writing. It is at this early juncture where…

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