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Written four hundred years before the birth of Christ, this detailed contemporary account of the long life-and-death struggle between Athens and Sparta stands an excellent chance of fulfilling its author's ambitious claim. Thucydides himself (c.460-400 BC) 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.
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Customer ReviewPaulo Roberto de Almeida:
Beyond the description of the many stages of the protracted war between Athens and Sparta, the work is a master class on how to write history: the need to stay trustworthy, glued to the facts, with this brilliant resource of transcribing the actual words of the protagonists. In short, it is the description of a mortal struggle between democracy and oligarchy: sometimes oligarchy wins, and democracy disappears, but only temporary; in the end, the aspiration for Liberty will prevail.
Thucydides (c. 460 B.C. – c. 395 B.C.) (Greek Θουκυδίδης, Thoukydídēs) was a Greek historian and author of the History of the Peloponnesian War, which recounts the 5th century B.C. war between Sparta and Athens to the year 411 B.C. Thucydides has been dubbed the father of "scientific history" due to his strict standards of evidence-gathering and analysis in terms of cause and effect without reference to intervention by the gods, as outlined in his introduction to his work.
He has also been called the father of the school of political realism, which views the relations between nations as based on might rather than right. His classical text is still studied at advanced military colleges worldwide, and the Melian dialogue remains a seminal work of international relations theory.
More generally, Thucydides showed an interest in developing an understanding of human nature to explain behaviour in such crises as plague, genocide (as practised against the Melians), and civil war.
Excerpted from Wikipedia.