Item description for The History of the Peloponnesian War: Revised Edition (Penguin Classics) by Thucydides, Rex Warner & M. I. Finley...
Overview A translation of Thucydide's history of the wars between Athens and Sparta is critically introduced
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.
Citations And Professional Reviews The History of the Peloponnesian War: Revised Edition (Penguin Classics) by Thucydides, Rex Warner & M. I. Finley has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Public Library Catalog - 12/31/2008 page 1113
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Studio: Penguin Classics
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.7" Width: 5" Height: 1.1" Weight: 0.85 lbs.
Release Date Dec 23, 2008
Publisher Penguin Classics
Series Penguin Classics
ISBN 0140440399 ISBN13 9780140440393
Availability 18 units. Availability accurate as of Jan 23, 2017 12:03.
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More About Thucydides, Rex Warner & M. I. Finley
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."
Thucydides has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The History of the Peloponnesian War: Revised Edition (Penguin Classics)?
They don't call them the Classics for Nothing Jun 15, 2008
The reason books become classics is they convey wisdom pertanent to all ages. This history is one such classic example of Rhetoric, RealPolitik, Politics of Personality, as well as the higher themes of Honor, Loyalty, Duty, Courage. etc. I'd give the book five stars but this translation is only adequate. I loved having the greek on the page opposite the english translation, as well as the convenient, carry-anywhere size of the text. A must read if you wish to be considered truely educated.
Translations of Thucydides May 20, 2007
There are three main translations of Thucydides available for the English reader:
Thomas Hobbes' 1628 version. Although made over 300 years ago this translation is still considered a classic by many in the English-speaking world. His vigorous and lively Jacobean English prose will enchant those more literary minded souls, but Hobbes version has been noted for some inaccuracies due to the lack of proper understanding of the original Greek language text.
William Smith's 1754 translation. Most know of Crawley and Hobbes works but Smith's excellent 18th century version has been almost forgotten. Smith's prose is as majestic and virile as Hobbes while avoiding the sometimes vapid modernity of Crawley and Warner. While a bit hard to read for most modern readers Smith's prose is worth the effort if you stick with him. Some things were not meant to be "dumbed down".
Rex Warner's Penguin edition. This is the version offered here. Warner is excellent for those who want to avoid the archaic and more challenging prose of Hobbes, Smith, or Crawley. He is very clear and lucid in his rendition of the text. For those of you who are first embarking on your exploration of Thucydides I would recommend this edition.
A Masterpiece May 8, 2007
A true masterpiece of historical literature. As modern today as it was when written. Any understanding of human and national behavior is incomplete without a thorough understanding of Thucydides' magnificient work. One of those works you could read every year of your life and never quite come to terms with the totality of the lessons it contains.
Great Book Mar 20, 2007
I am a total history buff and this book has really expanded my knowledge. Great to use in class to gain that upper hand in the philosophical arguments. I highly suggest you pick it up.
Good version of Thucydides Mar 4, 2007
This is one of the early classic "histories" written. Of course, Herodotus had written his "History" before. But his acceptance of the role of gods in history renders Thucydides' hard-headed accounts of the Greek internecine warfare a further advance in historiography. Thus, we begin to experience something like a real history in this volume (and that does not denigrate the real contributions of Herodotus).
This is a nice volume. The Introduction by M. I. Finley sets the stage; the translation by Rex Warner is (as far as I can tell) serviceable. The work of Thucydides comes through in this collaboration.
Thucydides' focus is on the origins of this bloody inter-Greek war. The forces of Athens (and her allies) against Sparta (and her allies) is the center of this work. He notes the cause (page 49): "What made war inevitable was the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta." This is, as noted earlier, a fairly hard-headed view of history. To use contemporary terms, the author was something like a "realist."
Some major parts of the work. . . . One of these is the funeral oration by Pericles, the Athenian leader. He spoke of what made Athens special. His death, according to Thucydides, was harmful to the Athenian cause. He says (page 163): "For Pericles had said that Athens would be victorious if she bided her time and took care of the navy, if she avoided trying to add to the empire during the course of the war, and if she did nothing to risk the safety of the city itself. But his successors did the exact opposite. . . ."
This work has much of interest in it. Just one example. The Melian dialogue featured a debate between the Melians and Athenians. The Melians argued that morality was on their side. The Athenians acknowledged the argument, but also noted that they had the numbers and the weapons. This is an early debate between two schools of thought in international relations--idealists versus realists. The hard-nosed attitude of the Athenians won out in this case. . . .
In some ways, Thucydides is best understood by reading Herodotus and then comparing the two, so that one can get a sense of one of the first historians and then someone who adopts a different posture as historian. This is a very good version of Thucydides (from someone who cannot read Greek, by the way). Well worth looking at if a person is interested in the devastating Peloponnesian War.