The History of the Peloponnesian War: Revised Edition

The History of the Peloponnesian War: Revised Edition


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Written four hundred years before the birth of Christ, this detailed contemporary account of the struggle between Athens and Sparta stands an excellent chance of fulfilling the author's ambitious claim that the work "was done to last forever." The conflicts between the two empires over shipping, trade, and colonial expansion came to a head in 431 b.c. in Northern Greece, and the entire Greek world was plunged into 27 years of war. Thucydides applied a passion for accuracy and a contempt for myth and romance in compiling this exhaustively factual record of the disastrous conflict that eventually ended the Athenian empire.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140440393
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/30/1954
Series: Penguin Classics Series
Edition description: Revised
Pages: 656
Sales rank: 138,447
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Thucydides (c. 460 BC–400 BC) was a general who was exiled for his failure to defend the Greek city of Amphipolis in Thrace. During his exile, he began compiling histories and accounts of the war from various participants.

Rex Warner was a Professor of the University of Connecticut from 1964 until his retirement in He was born in 1905 and went to Wadham College, Oxford, where he gained a "first" in Classical Moderations, and took a degree in English Literature. He taught in Egypt and England, and was Director of the British Institute, Athens, from 1945 to 1947. He has written poems, novels and critical essays, has worked on films and broadcasting, and has translated many works, of which Xenophon’s History of My Time and The Persian Expedition, Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War, and Plutarch’s Lives (under the title Fall of the Roman Republic) and Moral Essays have been published in Penguin Classics.

M. I. Finley was a professor of ancient history and master of Darwin College, Cambridge. He died in 1986.

Table of Contents

Translated by Rex Warner with an Introduction and Notes by M. I. Finley

Translator's Note

Book I
The Dispute over Epidamnus
The Dispute over Corcyra
The Dispute over Potidaea
The Debate at Sparta and Declaration of War
The Pentecontaetia
The Allied Congress at Sparta
The Stories of Pausanias and Themistocles
The Spartan Ultimatum and Pericles' Reply

Book II
Outbreak of War
The First Year of the War
Pericles' Funeral Oration
The Plague
The Policy of Pericles
The Fall of Potidaea
The Siege of Plataea
Victories of Phormio
Thrace and Macedonia

Book III
Revolt of Mytilene
The Mytilenian Debate
The End of Plataea
Civil War in Corcyra
Operations in Sicily and Greece
End of Sixth Year of War

Book IV
Athenian Success at Pylos
Final Victory at Pylos
Further Athenian Successes
Peace in Sicily
Fighting at Megara
Brasidas in Thrace
Athenian Defeat at Delium
Brasidas Captures Amphipolis
Armistice between Athens and Sparta
End of Ninth Year of War

Book V
Battle of Amphipolis
Peace of Nicias
Negotiations with Argos
Alliance between Athens and Argos
Campaigns in the Peloponnese
Battle of Mantinea
The Melian Dialogue

Book VI
Sicilian Antiquities
Launching of the Sicilian Expedition
The Debate at Syracuse
The Athenians Arrive in Sicily
The Story of Harmodius and Aristogiton
Recall of Alcibiades
Athenian Victory before Syracuse
The Debate at Camarina
Alcibiades in Sparta
More Athenian Successes at Syracuse

Book VII
Gylippus Arrives in Syracuse
Letter of Nicias
Fortification of Decelea
Athenian Defeat in the Great Harbour
Athenian Defeat at Epipolae
Syracusan Victory at Sea
Destruction of the Athenian Expedition

Alarm at Athens
Beginning of Persian Intervention
The Oligarchic Coup
Athenian Victory at Cynossema

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History of the Peloponnesian War (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 31 reviews.
TrooperSO More than 1 year ago
Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War gives the account of the struggle between Athens and Sparta. He writes as a Stategos, or General, of Athens who participated in the war itself. This was required reading for me as a student of Political Science and history. I lost my college copy long ago and was pleased to replace it with this Barnes and Noble copy. The translation is good and the prices is excellent. I found the footnotes helpful as well. For those new to Thucydides and Greek history this book could prove tough but I still recommend it since it is a primary souce. I highly recommend books by Bagnall and Kagan on the Peloponnesian War to go along with this fine copy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a review of the e-book version. The footnotes work very well, and there are a LOT of them. However, there are numerous distracting scan errors in the text. Some would have been caught by even a cursory proof-reading, such as lists of numbers including thigs like "4z8" and "43i." The combined lowercase "ae" is frequently presented as "x," which rather changes the way the word is pronounced! I don't understand why more care wasn't taken in proofreading this volume. All those footnotes must have take a lot of work to prepare; why not finish the job by tidying up the text itself? B&N can do better.
Neutiquam_Erro on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Thucydides is known as the great-grandaddy of history, sharing that title with Herodotus but generally accepted as being the more objective of the two. And while Herodotus keeps us entertained with beguiling if largely unbelievable tales of lands he probably never saw, Thucydides renders a cold, calculated, intensely detailed snapshot of events in which he was a minor player. Thus 'The History of the Peloponnesian Wars' is at once, very believable and very dry. If you are interested in a good story about the fall of the Athenian empire you've come to the wrong place (albeit perhaps the only good source). If you are an archaeologist or historian trying to determine the number of Carmarinaean hoplites at the siege of Syracuse, Thucydides is a treasure trove.Thucydides, covers the approximately thirty years of the Pelopponesian wars. The wars, which effectively pitted the Athenian empire, formed of Athens and its mostly Ionian 'involuntary' allies, against the Spartan's and their more voluntary, if less democratically governed allies. The war grinds on for years without major event until the Athenians try to conquer Syracuse and Sicily. They ultimately fail, and, when the Persian empire intervenes on the side of Sparta, are stripped of their empire and ultimately defeated. The resulting book is full of details - not of character or daily life but of places and people. It's not an easy read.That's not to say there aren't a few moving tales amongst the vast welter of place names, personal names, ship lists and roll calls. The story of the Mytilenian debate, in which the conquered Mytilene population is nearly massacred by a decree rescinded at the last second is definitely worth a read. The sad fate of the Athenian army after the long siege of Syracuse is also gripping, as is the escape from the siege of Plataea of two hundred men.If you are an academic, this book is full of a lot of useful material on the Athenian empire, Sicily, Persia and Greece in the 4th century B.C. I imagine you could spend a lifetime cross-correlating names and places with other early documents and inscriptions. This edition is not particularly well stocked with scholarly resources, coming as it does with a brief introduction, four short appendices, few footnotes, and only a brief bibliography and index. You might be better off with the four volumes of the Loeb Classical Library's Thucydides. If you are taking a course in classical Greek history this might suffice.Since I am not an academic but read history for interest's sake only, I found the book slow, pedantic and over-absorbed with details. If you are very interested in this time period but not willing to slog through a lot of factual detail I would suggest you read a modern book on Greek history. If, like me, you feel the need to read the source material, I would suggest you get a really good atlas of classical history, familiarize yourself with the history of the time period fully and only then attempt Thucydides.
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Though itis a long and tedious read, SPARTANS and ATHENIANS were ment to RULE THE WORLD!
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