reading Thucydides, how are others doing?

Thanks to inter-library lending, I now have a copy of the Landmark edition we are reading until mine gets here from Amazon.  I read the intro, forward & first 20% or so of Book 1 this weekend.  I’m spellbound.  It’s like this Hellenic Greek nobleman just stepped out of a time machine and started talking.  Which, I guess, in a way, is exactly what it is.

Can’t wait for the next session!  -Chuck

11. November 2008 by Arrian
Categories: Commentary, Thucydides | Tags: , | 1 comment

One Comment

  1. <p>Re: "there is nothing new under the sun."</p><p>What I’ve had swirling through my head is actually the opposite – a fascination with what’s changed. If you start with the "human nature is fixed" supposition, it then becomes interesting to contemplate how that nature shows up differently in different context, and whether learning – memes, if you will – can ameliorate that nature. </p><p>For example, the little statement in Book 1 that piracy was not always looked upon with disdain, and in fact was once a way to gain glory. Clearly, by Thucydides’ time, that was no longer so. Why not? My guess is changing memes about personal property and civil behavior (though clearly war was still conscienable). I spent most of the weekend thinking just about this one thing – how the rise of city-states, and eventually nations, traces back to this simple idea, how skill specialization arises from it as well, which accelerates advances in science, technology and thought.</p><p>So, are wars a forever thing? Perhaps, but I’ll continue to look not only for what has not changed since Thucydides’ time, but also for what has changed profoundly, and consider what the implications of those changes might be.<br></p>