Anankē in Thucydides

Author: Martin Ostwald



Category: Anankē (The Greek word).

Page: 104

View: 324

Thucydides – a violent teacher?

History and its representations

Author: Georg Rechenauer

Publisher: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht


Category: History

Page: 332

View: 410

Das Werk des Thukydides über den Peloponnesischen Krieg hat nicht nur bis heute unsere Vorstellung von Geschichte maßgeblich geprägt, es fordert aufgrund der Komplexität seiner Darstellung auch die philologische wie historische Interpretation in besonderem Maße heraus. Neben der Konzentration der Darstellung auf die politisch-militärischen Aspekte hat dieses Werk mit der Eröffnung eines vollkommen illusionslosen, ja regelrecht naturwissenschaftlichen Blickes auf das historische Geschehen und seine Antriebskräfte Maßstäbe gesetzt, die seither kaum mehr übertroffen wurden. Angesichts der frappierenden Nüchternheit, mit der Thukydides die geschichtliche Realität als naturhaften Seinsbereich jenseits aller theologischen, ethischen oder ideologischen Verbrämung darstellt, faszinieren an diesem Geschichtsmodell die geistesgeschichtlichen Voraussetzungen wie die hermeneutischen Implikationen gleichermaßen.Der vorliegende Band versucht Antworten zu finden auf die Frage, wie sich im Geschichtswerk des Thukydides das Verhältnis zwischen historischer Realität und literarischer Darstellungsweise gestaltet. Dabei werden aus verschiedenen Blickwinkeln neue Einsichten vermittelt zu der Frage, wie der Leser – der zeitgenössische des 5. Jahrhunderts v. Chr. ebenso wie der heutige – vom Autor als »gewalttätigem Lehrer« gelenkt wird. The work of Thucydides on the Peloponnesian War has not only decisively influenced our notion of history up until the present day; the complexity of his account also constitutes a particular challenge to philological and historical interpretations alike. Besides focussing on the political and military aspects, by virtue of its unpretentious, downright scientific perspective on historical events and their driving forces, this work set standards that have hardly been surpassed since. In the light of the remarkable sobriety with which Thucydides presents historical reality as a natural realm of existence beyond all theological, ethical or ideological embellishments, the history of thought and the hermeneutical implications behind this model of history are equally fascinating.This volume endeavours to explore the nature of the relation between historical reality and literary portrayal in Thucydides' historical work. New insights are provided from different perspectives on the question how the contemporary 5th-century and the present-day reader is directed by the author as a "violent teacher".

Thucydides and the Philosophical Origins of History

Author: Darien Shanske

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


Category: Philosophy


View: 812

This book addresses the question of how and why history begins with the work of Thucydides. The History of the Peloponnesian War is distinctive in that it is a prose narrative, meant to be read rather than performed. It focuses on the unfolding of contemporary great power politics to the exclusion of almost all other elements of human life, including the divine. The power of Thucydides' text has never been attributed either to the charm of its language or to the entertainment value of its narrative, or to some personal attribute of the author. In this study, Darien Shanske analyzes the difficult language and structure of Thucydides' History and argues that the text has drawn in so many readers into its distinctive world view precisely because of its kinship to the contemporary language and structure of Classical Tragedy. This kinship is not merely a matter of shared vocabulary or even aesthetic sensibility. Rather, it is grounded in a shared philosophical position, in particular on the polemical metaphysics of Heraclitus.

The Essential Thucydides: On Justice, Power, and Human Nature

Selections from The History of the Peloponnesian War

Author: Thucydides

Publisher: Hackett Publishing


Category: History

Page: 298

View: 129

Thucydides was the first ancient Greek historian to double as a social scientist. He set out to understand human events entirely in human terms, without recourse to myth. He sought to know why people go to war and how they are affected by its violence. He studied the civil war in Corcyra, which began when radicals burst into the council house and killed leaders who favored democracy. The strengths and weaknesses of democracy are a major theme of his History. Its larger story shows how the Athenians tried to expand their empire too far and came to a crushing defeat. Here are vivid stories of land and sea battles, interspersed with fascinating and disturbing debates about war and policy. All of Thucydides’s History is here, either in summary or translation, in a volume short enough for a wide readership. This Second Edition is expanded to include all the important debates and battle scenes, and the entire translation has been revised in accord with the latest scholarship. The Essential Thucydides (Hackett, fall 2021) is the second edition of Paul Woodruff's On Justice, Power, and Human Nature: Selections from The History of the Peloponnesian War (first published by Hackett Publishing Company in 1993, paperback ISBN 978-0-87220-168-2, cloth ISBN 978-0-87220-169-9).

The Humanity of Thucydides

Author: Clifford Orwin

Publisher: Princeton University Press


Category: History


View: 254

Thucydides has long been celebrated for the unflinching realism of his presentation of political life. And yet, as some scholars have asserted, his work also displays a profound humanity. In the first thorough exploration of the relation between these two traits, Clifford Orwin argues that Thucydides' humanity is not a reflection of the author's temperament but an aspect of his thought, above all of his articulation of the central problem of political life, the tension between right and compulsion. This book provides the most complete treatment to date of Thucydides' handling of the problem of injustice, as well as the most extensive interpretations yet of the speeches in which it comes to light. Thucydides does not merely display the weakness of justice in the world, but joins his characters in exploring the implications of this weakness for our understanding of what justice is. Orwin pursues this question through Thucydides' work and relates it to the historian's other leading concerns, such as the contrast between the Athenian way and the Spartan way, the role of piety in political life, the interaction of foreign and domestic politics, and the role of statesmanship in a world dominated by frenzies of hope, fear, and indignation. Above all, Orwin demonstrates the richness, complexity, and daring of Thucydides' articulation of these issues.

Thucydides and the Ancient Simplicity

The Limits of Political Realism

Author: Gregory Crane

Publisher: Univ of California Press


Category: Political Science

Page: 330

View: 661

Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War is the earliest surviving realist text in the European tradition. As an account of the Peloponnesian War, it is famous both as an analysis of power politics and as a classic of political realism. From the opening speeches, Thucydides' Athenians emerge as a new and frightening source of power, motivated by self-interest and oblivious to the rules and shared values under which the Greeks had operated for centuries. Gregory Crane demonstrates how Thucydides' history brilliantly analyzes both the power and the dramatic weaknesses of realist thought. The tragedy of Thucydides' history emerges from the ultimate failure of the Athenian project. The new morality of the imperialists proved as conflicted as the old; history shows that their values were unstable and self-destructive. Thucydides' history ends with the recounting of an intellectual stalemate that, a century later, motivated Plato's greatest work. Thucydides and the Ancient Simplicity includes a thought-provoking discussion questioning currently held ideas of political realism and its limits. Crane's sophisticated claim for the continuing usefulness of the political examples of the classical past will appeal to anyone interested in the conflict between the exercise of political power and the preservation of human freedom and dignity.

Author of Illusions

Thucydides’ Rewriting of the History of the Peloponnesian War

Author: Robert D. Luginbill

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing


Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 285

View: 242

Pericles, famed general and foremost political leader of Athens during her glory days of the 5th century, brought about the downfall of the Athenian empire almost single-handedly. This truth, obvious to contemporary Greeks, is today not generally understood, and we have Thucydides and his History of the Peloponnesian War to thank for the confusion. That Thucydides, a fierce partisan of Pericles and a soldier exiled for his own military misadventures, should wish to reinvent the history of that famous war to show himself and Pericles in a more favorable light is understandable. But how could one man with a single literary production manage to replace the reality of the war with a myth of his own making, creating in the process an edifice of illusion that would last for millennia, scarcely questioned even by scholars? The answer lies in Thucydides’ ability to engage the reader’s mind and emotions with his psychological motifs. By promising to peel back the superficial layers of contemporary descriptions of the war and reveal the true ‘mysteries’ of history, Thucydides draws in his readers and persuades them to accept his overall thesis of Pericles’ innocence. Author of Illusions examines Thucydides’ techniques and demonstrates just how it was that he was able to reinterpret the history of the Peloponnesian War so successfully for his own and for Pericles’ benefit.

The Thucydidean Turn

(Re)Interpreting Thucydides’ Political Thought Before, During and After the Great War

Author: Benjamin Earley

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing


Category: Political Science

Page: 256

View: 609

The emergence of Thucydides as an influential political thinker in the first half of the 20th century has been astonishingly neglected by modern scholars. This volume examines how, why, and when the Athenian historical came to occupy such a prominent position in political discourse in the US and Europe today. It argues that in the years before, during, and after the Great War Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War was mined for the insights that it could offer into contemporary politics, and that it was also used as part of the justification for the academic and cultural relevance of Classics at this time of great political upheaval. Academic classicists and classically trained commentators were instrumental in this 'turn' in academic focus onto Thucydides' contemporary relevance. Among the former were several prominent figures, such as Francis Cornford, Gilbert Murray, and Enoch Powell, who attempted to find in Thucydides a dark depiction of human nature and the passions that drove politics to justify his contemporary relevance. The latter included International Relations scholars and journalists such as Alfred Zimmern, Albert Toynbee, and George Abbott, who 'turned' to Thucydides in order to better understand contemporary global and European politics. A final chapter demonstrates how this British 'turn' to Thucydides was received and reinterpreted in America on the eve of the Second World War.

Greek Historiography

Author: Thomas F. Scanlon

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons


Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 352

View: 709

This volume provides an accessible, comprehensive, and up-to-date survey of the ancient Greek genre of historical writing from its origins before Herodotus to the Greek historians of the Roman imperial era, seven centuries later. Focuses on the themes of power and human nature, causation, divine justice, leadership, civilization versus barbarism, legacy, and literary reception Includes thorough summaries alongside textual analysis that signpost key passages and highlight thematic connections, helping readers navigate their way through the original texts Situates historical writing among the forms of epic and lyric poetry, drama, philosophy, and science Uses the best current translations and includes a detailed list of further reading that includes important new scholarship

Greek Thought

A Guide to Classical Knowledge

Author: John Burnet (Professor of Greek in the University of St. Andrews.)

Publisher: Harvard University Press


Category: History

Page: 1024

View: 866

In more than 60 essays by an international team of scholars, this volume explores the full breadth and reach of Greek thought, investigating what the Greeks knew as well as what they thought they knew, and what they believed, invented, and understood about the possibilities of knowing. 65 color illustrations. Maps.