Intro to Thucydides
Hi Thucydides readers,
It was great to get to know some of you on the intro call. For you and especially for those of the group who couldn’t make the call, I have included a quick summary of our thoughts on reading Thucydides below. Also, here’s the link to the Book 1 questions:
Recommendations for how to approach the book:
1. Editor’s Note is essential to getting the most out of Strassler’s format and, of course, Thucydides’ numerous references to the ancient world of the 5thcentury Greek city-states.
2. Try to digest Victor David Hanson’s Introduction as you read through Book I. Even if you do not read it all in one sitting, it is conveniently divided into sections that you can chew on individually and intermittently as you read through Book I.
3. Try not to be put off by the amount of information contained in Book I at first. As you become more familiar with the names of people, places and things, the points Thucydides makes will also become clearer. The actual narration of the Peloponnesian war begins with Book II. Book I is an opportunity to get to know Thucydides’ world and the background for the war to be described. It is also a chance for those of you who had read Herodotus previously to make comparisons.
Excellent Supplementary Reading:
Zagorin, Perez. Thucydides: An Introduction for the Common Reader. Princeton University Press, 2005.