Thucydides was an Athenian historian of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BCE). The conflict between Athens, Sparta, and their allies convulsed the entire Hellenic world and inspired him to compose the first analytic contemporary military history in Western literature. His work is not only a primary source for the military and political events of the 5th century BCE but also a fundamental text for the study of political science and international relations.

What little is known of Thucydides personally is derived almost entirely from his own work in which he figures as an actor. Born about 460 BCE, he was an unabashed admirer of Pericles and his political and imperial policies. In 424 BCE, Thucydides entered into office as one of Athens’s 10 annually elected generals. While ...

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