History of the Peloponnesian War

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Penguin Books Limited, 1972 - History - 648 pages
201 Reviews
A first-hand account of the war between Sparta and Athens from a man dubbed the 'father of scientific history', Thucydides History of The Peloponnesian War is translated from the Greek by Rex Warner with an introduction and notes by M.I. Finley in Penguin Classics. 'My work is not a piece of writing designed to meet the taste of an immediate public, but was done to last for ever' Written four hundred years before the birth of Christ, this detailed contemporary account of the long life-and-death struggle between Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) and the Delian League (led by Athens) stands an excellent chance of fulfilling its author's ambitious claim. Thucydides himself was an Athenian and achieved the rank of general in the earlier stages of the war. He applied thereafter a passion for accuracy and a contempt for myth and romance in compiling this factual record of a disastrous conflict. Thucydides (c.460-400 BC), Greek historian and author, took a small part in the Peloponnesian War when it broke out in 431BC. His account The Peoloponnesian War is the only surviving source for much of the period that he describes. Some of the chronological inconsistencies have been the cause of controversy among scholars for centuries. If you enjoyed History of the Peloponnesian War, you might like Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars, also available in Penguin Classics.

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Review: The History of the Peloponnesian War

User Review  - Liz Polding - Goodreads

Thucydides was pretty uncompromising about why he wrote this and his writing style. He wanted to create a record of this incredibly turbulent period in history that would endure, rather than something ... Read full review

Review: The History of the Peloponnesian War

User Review  - David Kowalski - Goodreads

I'm changing tack here and stopping this translation, by Rex Warner, and restarting the Strassler edited version in the Landmark series. That version, annotated, full of appropriate maps and ... Read full review

About the author (1972)

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.


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

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