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On Justice, Power and Human Nature: Selections from The History of the Peloponnesian War

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Designed for students with little or no background in ancient Greek language and culture, this collection of extracts from The History of the Peloponnesian War includes those passages that shed most light on Thucydides’ political theory--famous as well as important but lesser-known pieces frequently overlooked by nonspecialists. Newly translated into spare, vigorous Englis Designed for students with little or no background in ancient Greek language and culture, this collection of extracts from The History of the Peloponnesian War includes those passages that shed most light on Thucydides’ political theory--famous as well as important but lesser-known pieces frequently overlooked by nonspecialists. Newly translated into spare, vigorous English, and situated within a connective narrative framework, Woodruff’s selections will be of special interest to instructors in political theory and Greek civilization. Includes maps, notes, glossary.


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Designed for students with little or no background in ancient Greek language and culture, this collection of extracts from The History of the Peloponnesian War includes those passages that shed most light on Thucydides’ political theory--famous as well as important but lesser-known pieces frequently overlooked by nonspecialists. Newly translated into spare, vigorous Englis Designed for students with little or no background in ancient Greek language and culture, this collection of extracts from The History of the Peloponnesian War includes those passages that shed most light on Thucydides’ political theory--famous as well as important but lesser-known pieces frequently overlooked by nonspecialists. Newly translated into spare, vigorous English, and situated within a connective narrative framework, Woodruff’s selections will be of special interest to instructors in political theory and Greek civilization. Includes maps, notes, glossary.

30 review for On Justice, Power and Human Nature: Selections from The History of the Peloponnesian War

  1. 5 out of 5

    John

    This is a great book. The introductory essay alone is worth the read. Thucydides was an interesting character in Athenian history. He either had a very modern view of political and military theory or ours is very antiquated. It is relative. However, there is no denying that we can draw parallels between Athens' quarrels and political and social debates in 412 B.C.E. and American issues that are being debated in 2010. Thucydides was theorizing about elements of fascism before the term had even be This is a great book. The introductory essay alone is worth the read. Thucydides was an interesting character in Athenian history. He either had a very modern view of political and military theory or ours is very antiquated. It is relative. However, there is no denying that we can draw parallels between Athens' quarrels and political and social debates in 412 B.C.E. and American issues that are being debated in 2010. Thucydides was theorizing about elements of fascism before the term had even been created. Very good book. As with much of Greek history the speeches are re-created by Thucydides which often leaves more questions about his views and what was really said. But this is a great book for the historian that is familiar with theory, but has not had much background in Greek history. A must read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    ashwini

    (read for class) This was a lot harder for me to get through than the other books we’ve read for class, but I did appreciate this discussions that this led to, especially ones about the human condition and power dynamics!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Ed Barton

    This is an easy to read translation of Thucydides covering the more interesting and important excerpts from the Peloponnesian War. Covering the wars opening, key battles and Tue fall of Athens at Syracuse, the monologues are easy to read and demonstrate the commonality of politics and human nature over the millennia. A good read.

  4. 4 out of 5

    clarino910

    Why was this actually kinda good though? Lots of juicy ancient tea.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mela Lozano

    Great for learning, but something that I wouldn't necessarily take on vacation. More like bedside reading. Great for learning, but something that I wouldn't necessarily take on vacation. More like bedside reading.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Olivia Rogers

    Thuc certainly has his opinions on human nature. Most of them are correct. Fascinating history of the Peloponnesian war & how human reactions stem from fear.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Aaron

    Having just read "War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning", this book served as a nice companion piece, looking at some similar issues of the cost of war, but also expanding the discussion to look at how crippling a war can be for the involved empires. Athens was able to recover culturally, but never returned to the level of power it had before the war, while Sparta just continued to decline. Should I have put a [SPOILER ALERT:] there? I read the abridged version because that was all the NYPL had, b Having just read "War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning", this book served as a nice companion piece, looking at some similar issues of the cost of war, but also expanding the discussion to look at how crippling a war can be for the involved empires. Athens was able to recover culturally, but never returned to the level of power it had before the war, while Sparta just continued to decline. Should I have put a [SPOILER ALERT:] there? I read the abridged version because that was all the NYPL had, but it that's ok because I don't think I needed any more of the book. If I return to this subject, it will probably be with Donald Kagan's contemporary version.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Peyton

    This was a surprise for me because I really liked this book. Normally I am extremely intimidated by ancient sources like this. Though Thucydides writes in an extremely dense fashion that can be a slow read, the information he provides is fascinating. He is surprisingly scientific considering the time period and is kind of like a father to scientific historical writing. Give it a try and don't get discouraged if at first it seems unapproachable, it'll grow on you if you give it a chance! This was a surprise for me because I really liked this book. Normally I am extremely intimidated by ancient sources like this. Though Thucydides writes in an extremely dense fashion that can be a slow read, the information he provides is fascinating. He is surprisingly scientific considering the time period and is kind of like a father to scientific historical writing. Give it a try and don't get discouraged if at first it seems unapproachable, it'll grow on you if you give it a chance!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cherie Noël

    I have to admit I was slightly intimidated by this book so I kept putting off reading it. When I finally got around to reading it, I was surprised to find that, while it could be dense and slow going at times, it wasn't that hard to understand. I especially enjoyed reading about the Athenian defeat in during their Sicilian Expedition. I have to admit I was slightly intimidated by this book so I kept putting off reading it. When I finally got around to reading it, I was surprised to find that, while it could be dense and slow going at times, it wasn't that hard to understand. I especially enjoyed reading about the Athenian defeat in during their Sicilian Expedition.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Claudia

    War is unecessary. Although I dislike this book for its content I must admit that it is a good source of Greek history, with a fine section about plague and the ethical implications of feeling one is nearing death.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Erica

    A bit hard to get into, but once I took some notes in class and understood who was who and what was what, it was actually very interesting. Or I'm just a super nerd. Probably both. A bit hard to get into, but once I took some notes in class and understood who was who and what was what, it was actually very interesting. Or I'm just a super nerd. Probably both.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Brian Smith

    Thucydides: exiled general, measured historian, and, dare say, first political theorist? I look forward to finishing this one. Plus, I just gotta know if Athens pulls through this one.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Darine

    this book is great.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eliza

    Second book of my freshman seminar. I went into reading this with low expectations, thinking that a history of some random war. But it was actually kinda interesting!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

  16. 4 out of 5

    G

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dean Fiacco

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Lathrop

  19. 4 out of 5

    Yvonne

  20. 5 out of 5

    E

  21. 5 out of 5

    Zac

  22. 5 out of 5

    Cathy

  23. 5 out of 5

    Evan Robichaud

  24. 4 out of 5

    Della

  25. 5 out of 5

    Annie Z.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Pierce

  27. 4 out of 5

    Quek

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Mesias

  29. 5 out of 5

    Dauphinee

  30. 4 out of 5

    Becca Beamsderfer

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