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.
"You better know the events before listening"
The Peloponnesian War broke out in 431 B.C. and continued intermittently for 27 years. It pitted the all-powerful land force of Sparta and its allies against the supremely powerful naval force of Athens. Thucydides actually participated in this conflict, a war that he realized would have a greater influence on the history of Greece than any other. He vividly narrates exciting episodes and carefully describes tactical aspects of the war, and also provides illuminating character profiles.
"Amazing, Beautiful and Important Piece of History"
Thucydides’s History of the Peloponnesian War is one of the most famous, influential, and moving works of genuine history in our traditions. His brilliant account of the civil war among the Greeks redefined how we should analyze the past, driving a permanent wedge between accounts based on myth and folk traditions and those based on empirical investigation and a rational inquiry into human motives. The work is also a profoundly tragic illumination, not merely of the self-destructive events of the civil war, but also of the future course of human history.
"Entire Chapters Are Completely Skipped Over"