The Sicilian Expedition: Alcibiades and Nicias in Thucydides’s Peloponnesian War (Books VI-VII)

Thucydides claims the Peloponnesian War is the greatest event or movement in human history, and the most important part of this great war takes place in Books VI-VII: The ill-fated Sicilian Expedition. The Sicilian Expedition represents the turning point in the war. Thucydides begins to explain the expedition by offering a history of the origins … Continue reading The Sicilian Expedition: Alcibiades and Nicias in Thucydides’s Peloponnesian War (Books VI-VII)

Reflections on Thucydides

Reading Thucydides is familiar to modern audiences. His succinct style of political and military history is perhaps the most commonly mirrored practice for writing contemporary history. However, his project is still somewhat elusive. Unlike Herodotus, Thucydides does not explicitly call his work a "history" (historia), and he calls his book a work for all time, … Continue reading Reflections on Thucydides

The Peloponnesian War, Book V: Battle Recommences and Melos Enslaved

Book V opens at the conclusion of the truce between Athens and the Spartans. Cleon leads the Athenians in an attack on Thrace. A double surprise attack is launched against Cleon and the Athenians by Brasidas of of the Spartans, catching Cleon off guard and kills him en route, as well as Brasidas. After this … Continue reading The Peloponnesian War, Book V: Battle Recommences and Melos Enslaved

The Peloponnesian War, Book IV: Armistice and Mounting Losses

Book IV opens with yet another revolt from allies of the Athenians, this time the city of Messana. Syracuse encouraged the revolt to prevent Athens from a clear path to Sicily. Additionally, Athens is again invaded by the Spartans under King Agis, son of Archidamus. Meanwhile an Athenian fleet builds a fort as an outpost … Continue reading The Peloponnesian War, Book IV: Armistice and Mounting Losses

The Peloponnesian War, Book III: Invasion and Revolution

Book III begins as Archidamus, King of Sparta, invades Attica. This triggers a revolt, notably on the island of Lesbos, because of Athens's enslavement of its allies, which causes a proxy war for Athens with the Mytilenians. The Plataeans were attacked by Thebes and retreat to Athens, and Athens defeats the revolt of the Mytilenians, … Continue reading The Peloponnesian War, Book III: Invasion and Revolution

The Peloponnesian War, Book II: Proxy Wars and Pericles’s Funeral Oration

Book II begins the rise of the war chronologically. The thirty years peace ends when Thebes (allied with the Peloponnesians) attacks Plataea (allied with Athens) and the Thebans surrender. Both cities are loctaed borth of Athens in Boetia. Plataea executes its 180 vaptured prisoners in the country before Athenian emissaries could arrive to instruct them … Continue reading The Peloponnesian War, Book II: Proxy Wars and Pericles’s Funeral Oration