Thucydides ' The Peloponnesian War And View It Simply As A Mere Historical Curiosity

1333 Words Oct 21st, 2016 6 Pages
Giving only a cursory glance, one could thumb through Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War and view it simply as a mere historical curiosity. Written about events occurring almost twenty five hundred years ago, one would assume this lengthy text could not serve any contemporary purpose. Modern mechanized arms have advanced far beyond the hoplite and chariot. Triremes more resemble a third world fishing vessel rather than an aircraft carrier or a destroyer. However, examining beyond these superficial military means, one would discover Thucydides’ words a timeless study of human interaction on both individual and state-level scales. A testament to his insight into human nature, in describing the struggles of those who fought in the Peloponnesus, Thucydides might well have expressed the sentiments of future combatants in any future wars. Ancient Greek states succumbed to fears, pride, misperceptions and hubris akin to those European, American, and Asian states in conflict centuries later. Recognizing at least a glimmer of similarity, one could then assume certain consistent factor or factors have existed throughout time instrumental in shaping state relations and behavior. Assuming Gilpin’s premise that “the fundamental nature of international relations has not changed in over a millennia,” what factors have enabled this constancy and what factors have varied? By answering this question, one can equally examine any historical conflict through a similar lens. One can…

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