Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2 Vol. Set)
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This volume on Thucydides, the most important historian of the ancient world, comprises articles by thirty leading international scholars. The contributions cover a wide range of issues, including Thucydides life, intellectual milieu and predecessors, Thucydides and the act of writing, his rhetoric, historical method and narrative techniques, narrative unity in the History, the speeches, Thucydides reliability as a historian, and his legacy through the centuries. Other topics dealt with include warfare, religion, individuals, democracy and oligarchy, the invention of political science, Thucydides and Athens, Sparta, Macedonia/Thrace, Sicily/South Italy, Persia, and the Argives. The volume aims to provide a survey of current trends in Thucydidean studies which will be of interest to all students of ancient history. "Brill's Companion to Thucydides was awarded Choice Outstanding Academic Title 2007.""
experience of Athenian political life was just as important as the confrontation with his predecessors in determining the character of his work. 8. In common with other ancient historians, Thucydides selected and deﬁned his subject and methods through a close confrontation with his predecessors, whom he recognized as such: he shared much 79 On Antiphon, see Gagarin (2002). On rhetoric and method, see Butti de Lima (1996); Pires (1998); Tsakmakis (1998). 80 See Lendle (1990); diﬀerent points of
agents and the victims of the spectacle; they fall into the trap of their own §p¤deijiw and draw conclusions about the eﬀectiveness of their ﬂeet from its splendid appearance. Finally at Egesta, the Athenians are the object of the trickery. The Egestans’ spectacle aims at, and succeeds in, deceiving them. The progression from the “activity” illustrated by the Athenians in the §p¤deijiw of Book III to the “passivity” of the §pide¤jeiw of Book VI is yet another manifestation of the post-Periclean
thought: We cannot know the sequence in which he took up and developed the ideas and understandings that ultimately resulted in the production of the text as we have it. So the postulated developmental scheme that follows should be regarded as a heuristic device rather than as a defensible hypothesis. But the order in which thoughts occurred to Thucydides is actually not important for my argument. What is important is specifying the several intellectual elements without which the text as we have
taught their students, understanding the ultimate psychological basis of human action was not, in and of itself, adequate to allow a given agent to intervene eﬀectively in a given social system: Thucydides’ text shows that actual political behavior was much more complex and various than just “selﬁsh human nature writ large.” The simple realization that humans tend to seek their own interests was only one part of a larger sociopolitical equation. Democracy and Power Thucydides suggests (5.14.3)
psychology of rational risk taking. That psychology in turn furthered the productivity of the system and reinforced trust in it. Athenian “national character,” which appeared to less astute observers to be a simple fact of Athenian “nature,” was explicable to Thucydides’ readers in terms of the reﬂexive interaction between a technology of power and human psychology. But how did this reﬂexive power/trust system connect to political structure, to the democracy? Here Thucydides could build upon the