The History Of The Peloponnesian War Analysis

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In his book The History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides analyses the causes and events of the Peloponnesian war. He provides the reader with an overview of Greek history leading up to the war and the factors that set apart this war from previous conflicts in the region. For his accounts, Thucydides relies on his own observations, as well as multiple sources that he tries to verify as far as possible. This paper will analyse some of the major themes and ideas presented in Thucydides work.
In the first book Thucydides claims that the main cause of the Peloponnesian war was Sparta and its allies’ fear of an ever stronger growing Athens. After the persian war Athens implemented the “Treasurer of Hellas”. This meant that Athens allies started
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The speaker talks about an idealistic Athens and the greatness of Athenian culture, policy, law and openness to foreigners, which make the city the great place of learning that, in his opinion, it is. Therefore, Pericles’ funeral oration is not as much about the fallen soldiers, as it is about the greatness of Athens and the reason that the Athenians had for fighting this war. This speech has become such an important and often imitated part of Thucydides’ The History of the Peloponnesian War, because it portrays one of the mindsets of the people at that time. It shows their broadcasted reasons for fighting the war and their own outlook on their culture and the culture of their enemies. It provides the reader with a snapshot of the situation at that time and shows a way of communication that was meaningful and reached a greater audience. Based on the speech and the following section, in which Thucydides describes the plague that devastated Athens, the reader might assume that Thucydides did not completely agree with Pericles idealised view of Athens’ culture. While Thucydides mentions the compassion those who had suffered the plague and survived had for those who were still suffering, he does mention that this was mostly due to the believe that a person would not be infected twice and if so, only mildly. Hence, these individuals did not have much to fear when helping the infected, but still celebrated themselves as heroes. Further, Thucydides reports how during the plague law abiding Athenians became criminal and partook in behaviours that were previously shunned in their society. The honourable Athenians who previously had put so much stock in their culture and intellect started to act in ways that defied their honoured values. The major dishonour the Athenians brought on themselves was their treatment of the dead. While some still tried to honour their dead, others just

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