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Thucydides, Pericles, and Periclean Imperialism

  • Date Published: October 2013
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107692329

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  • Edith Foster compares Thucydides' narrative explanations and descriptions of the Peloponnesian War in Books One and Two of the History with the arguments about warfare and war materials offered by the Athenian statesman Pericles in those same books. In Thucydides' narrative presentations, she argues, the aggressive deployment of armed force is frequently unproductive or counterproductive, and even the threat to use armed force against others causes consequences that can be impossible for the aggressor to predict or contain. By contrast, Pericles' speeches demonstrate that he shared with many other figures in the History a mistaken confidence in the power, glory, and reliability of warfare and the instruments of force. Foster argues that Pericles does not speak for Thucydides, and that Thucydides should not be associated with Pericles' intransigent imperialism.

    • Discusses Thucydides and Pericles, who are famous figures of ancient Athens
    • Talks about Thucydides' view of warfare and imperialism, and about Pericles' contrasting view of these same things
    • Provides a close reading of a large section of Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Foster's book is impressively erudite and meticulous in its attention to detail.' Christine M. Lee, Journal of Hellenic Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2013
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107692329
    • length: 256 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.38kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. War materials and their glory in archaeology
    2. Arms and passion: Corinth and Corcyra at war
    3. The Athenian acme in book one of Thucydides: the Spartan War
    4. Pericles in history
    5. Pericles and Athens: Pericles' speech in indirect discourse in narrative context
    6. Thucydides and Pericles' final speeches
    Conclusion.

  • Author

    Edith Foster, Ashland University, Ohio
    Edith Foster is Assistant Professor of History at Ashland University in Ohio. She has contributed articles to the American Journal of Philology, Humanitas, and Academe and has published book reviews in Classical Philology, Bryn Mawr Classical Reviews, and Gnomen.

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