Thucydides and Internal War

Thucydides and Internal War

Thucydides and Internal War

Thucydides and Internal War

Synopsis

This book explains in detail Thucydides' abstract model of internal war, and then shows how, by the terms of the model itself, Thucydides perceived and narrated the Peloponnesian War not as a conventional war but as an internal conflict. Viewing the great war as a destructive internal conflict had profound consequences for Thucydides' understanding of this particular war and all wars in general, and of Greece as a whole.

Excerpt

The commentaries by Gomme (and his successors) and by Hornblower have been my constant companions during research and writing; full acknowledgment of their influence cannot be represented even by my many references to them. A fortiori I have by no means intended to provide a survey of all literature on Thucydides. I have not felt compelled to react to or account for everything I have read, nor have I read every word written (which would have been an unwise use of time). My practice has been to cite works which I have found particularly useful and which have helped me to sharpen my thinking or ask better questions. Most works cited are those from which I have learned positively and cite with approval; the exceptions are either those compelling and intelligent interpretations, disagreement with which has greatly clarified my own thought, or those works which have been so influential that they must be mentioned and either explicitly or implicitly answered. Nonetheless, many readers may still find that too many works have been cited, and I would have difficulty disagreeing with that judgment.

I finished writing and researching this book by the end of 1998, and despite the appearance of two 1999 journal articles in the bibliography, I have not been able to incorporate scholarship which has appeared — or fallen into my hands — since then.

It is a pleasure to acknowledge the many personal debts accumulated during this project. Martin Ostwald read the entire manuscript with his famously sensitive eye, profound learning and wise judgment. His influence is present throughout the work, but particularly in the discussions of γνώμη (Chapter 1), “self-interest” (Chapter 5) and the relations between Sparta and Thebes, in relation to Thuc. 2.9 (Chapter 6). I have also learned immeasurably . . .

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