The History of the Peloponnesian War


I began this translation when I was still almost a schoolboy, very much in love with my author, and sufficiently simple to think that all the world must be eager to read Thucydides. The publication of the first book very quickly convinced me of my error; nobody took the least notice of my labours, and I had not even the satisfaction of hearing them abused. Although not a little discouraged by this indifference, I nevertheless translated the second book some time afterwards, being now actuated, not by any idea of fame or usefulness, but merely by an instinctive wish to finish what I had once begun. In the course of the year 1873 I completed the remaining six books, and now offer the whole work to the public in the hope that it may meet with the attention which a fragment failed to obtain. It is not for me to say how it is executed; but I think I have bestowed more care on my work than is often given by labourers in so unprofitable a field, and if I have failed in doing justice to my original, it is from the innate difficulty of the task, or my own want of the proper ability, and not from any lack of diligence. I have throughout attempted to convey the meaning of my author, not only as faithfully but as clearly as possible, and to avoid the intrusion of the Greek idioms which so often disfigure translations, rendering them only fit for pedants or schoolboys. If I have not completely succeeded in this last endeavour, I hope the reader will consider the nature of the undertaking, and hold me absolved for my good intention. I have also adopted a new arrangement of chapters, to provide the breaks to which use has . . .

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • New York
Publication year:
  • 1950


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