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The Peloponnesian War | [Thucydides]

The Peloponnesian War

Historians universally agree that Thucydides was the greatest historian who has ever lived, and that his story of the Peloponnesian conflict is a marvel of forensic science and fine literature. That such a triumph of intellectual accomplishment was created at the end of the fifth century B.C. in Greece is, perhaps, not so surprising, given the number of original geniuses we find in that period. But that such an historical work would also be simultaneously acknowledged as a work of great literature and a penetrating ethical evaluation of humanity is one of the miracles of ancient history.
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Publisher's Summary

Historians universally agree that Thucydides was the greatest historian who has ever lived, and that his story of the Peloponnesian conflict is a marvel of forensic science and fine literature. That such a triumph of intellectual accomplishment was created at the end of the fifth century B.C. in Greece is, perhaps, not so surprising, given the number of original geniuses we find in that period. But that such an historical work would also be simultaneously acknowledged as a work of great literature and a penetrating ethical evaluation of humanity is one of the miracles of ancient history. For in the pages of Thucydides we find examples of every ethical and political problem ever faced by democratic governments in the last 2,400 years. And it was all organized and written with a breathtaking skill and dramatic intensity which have never been equalled.

Thucydides was an Athenian noble born around 455 B.C. whose antecedents could be traced back to the great Peisitratus and Cimon. In 424 B.C., Thucydides was in command of naval forces attempting to defend Amphipolis in Thrace. Although unsuccessful through no fault of his own, his enemies in Athens blamed him for failure and engineered his exile. It was a fortunate event, for it was upon this accident of history that Thucydides gained the opportunity to become the chronicler of events in Greece. In complete contrast to the furious passions which raged around him, he described events with a cool detachment and an absolute impartiality that is little short of miraculous. He is believed to have died violently, perhaps while writing, in about 400 B.C. His manuscript simply breaks off in mid paragraph.

The Peloponnesian War is organized into eight parts (“books”). This recording uses the highly esteemed translation of Benjamin Jowett. There are several essays preceding and following the work.

(P)2012 Audio Connoisseur

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    Glenn 10-20-13
    Glenn 10-20-13
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    "A must read"
    Where does The Peloponnesian War rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Thucydides was one of the best authors of history I have ever read, but the narrative and the way he writes is not very suitable for a audiobook without having studied the ancient greeks and this book before. For 2000 years, greater minds than me have struggled with this book, I could not follow it in audio, but had to get the Landmark edition reading it instead. But I will relisten it at a later time when I have a better grip of the narrative.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Brasidas the Spartan.


    Have you listened to any of Charlton Griffin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I really enjoy all of his work. Normally I choose him if there are more than one version of the book at Audible


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The melian dialog


    Any additional comments?

    For me, Thucydides was to complex as a audio book. I had to get the Landmark edition Thucydides to understand and follow the narrative.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
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  • A. baldwin
    uk
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "helps get through the text"

    useful to keep focus on the text. Helped me finish the reading. pleased with purchase would recommend the purchase

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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