The Tragedy of the Athenian Ideal in Thucydides and Plato
Rowman & Littlefield, Jul 15, 2020 - Philosophy - 374 pages
John T. Hogan’s The Tragedy of the Athenian Ideal in Thucydides and Plato assesses the roles of Pericles, Alcibiades, and Nicias in Athens’ defeat in Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War. Comparing Thucydides’ presentation of political leadership with ideas in Plato’s Statesman as well as Laches, Charmides, Meno, Symposium, Republic, Phaedo, Sophist, and Laws, it concludes that Plato and Thucydides reveal Pericles as lacking the political discipline (sophrosune) to plan a successful war against Sparta. Hogan argues that in his presentation of the collapse in the Corcyraean revolution of moral standards in political discourse, Thucydides shows how revolution destroys the morality implied in basic personal and political language. This reveals a general collapse in underlying prudential measurements needed for sound moral judgment. Furthermore, Hogan argues that the Statesman’s outline of the political leader serves as a paradigm for understanding the weaknesses of Pericles, Alcibiades, and Nicias in terms that parallel Thucydides’ direct and implied conclusions, which in Pericles’ case he highlights with dramatic irony. Hogan shows that Pericles failed both to develop a sufficiently robust practice of Athenian democratic rule and to set up a viable system for succession.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
Common terms and phrases
action Alcibiades allies appears argues argument Athenians Athens become beginning Book called character citizens claim clear Cleon Commentary concerning consider courage course danger debate decline deeds democracy describes desire Dialogue Diodotus discourse discussion effect emotional empire example Expedition fact failure fear follow force Funeral Oration Greek hand History human idea ideal important interest internal justice kind lack later Laws lead leader least logos means measure Melian Melos mind moderation narrative nature Nicias notes particular Pericles Persians plague Plato polis political position praise presents problem provides question reason refers relations represents Republic respect rhetorical rule says seems sense shows Sicilian Sicily Socrates Sophist Spartans speech stasis Statesman suggests things thought Thucydides tion translation turn understanding University Press values virtue wants καὶ τὸ