Ancient Greek History

Do You Know About Thucydides?

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It is fairly well known that Athens and Sparta were often bitter rivals. In fact, history shows that these two major parts of Ancient Greece were driven to fight for various reasons. In fact, these two places were locked in a serious conflict known as the Peloponnesian Wars, which was characterized as an all out war between Sparta and Athens.

There were several historical figures who played an important role in the events of that time period, and Thucydides was one of them. Here is more information about who he was and what he accomplished:

Thucydides Was a Top General

History remembers Thucydides as an Athenian general of the Peloponnesian War. However, we do also recognize that he was an historian and is responsible for much of what we know about that time period of Ancient Greece. Before he wrote about it, though, he had to live it. It is interesting to note that we actually don’t know much about his personal life. We simply know that he was a top military official during the Peloponnesian Wars and that he had worked his way up the ranks and eventually became a general. We don’t know anything about where he was born, what his birthdate was, and any details of his personal life. Much of what we know about him somehow relates to the wars as well as his time in the military.

Wrote History of the Peloponnesian War

In fact, much of what we do know about him is contained within the pages of Thucydides’ writings. He was the author of the History of the Peloponnesian War, and it does aim to give a factual account of these wars. In fact, he places high value on the idea that eyewitness accounts are important when recounting historical events. Despite the role he played in the war and the fact that he was an Athenian, people often say that the works are fairly objective. As such, he is regarded as a true historian. It is also interesting to note that he did write this work while he was exiled from Athens.

What He Had to Say About the Peloponnesian Wars

In some ways, the fact that he was a general during these wars seems secondary to the lasting impact his historical retelling of the tale had. Since he wrote it, the work has been split into eight volumes and has also been translated, revised, and edited. One of the interesting things about it is that he wrote it while in the Peloponnese during his exile from Athens, and this took place long after the war ended. In the work, he explained that the war pretty much occurred because Athens had become greedy. However, this statement is up for debate. At the time, Athens was known for using the money that they acquired to do seemingly lavish things, like build the Parthenon and buy slaves. The Athenian and Spartan cultures were also vastly different and eventually, these differences caused them to go to war.

Although Thucydides was in the military, he was most known for authoring the work, the History of the Peloponnesian Wars. It is because of him that we know so much about these wars in the first place.



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This post was written by Greek Boston

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