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The Humanity of Thucydides


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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsA Note on the NotesA Note on Narrative StyleIntroduction3Ch. 1Prologue: The Athenian Empire as Freely Chosen Project: Pericles' Funeral Oration15Ch. 2The Outbreak of the War and the Problem of Blame30The State of the Problem30"It Is Right..." "It Is Necessary..."38To the First Spartan Congress and the Speech of the Corinthian Envoys41Nature, Necessity, and Justice: The Speech of the Athenian Envoys at Sparta44The "Fifty Years" as a Commentary on the Athenian Speech50Unresolved Tensions in the Speech of the Athenians at Sparta53Through Spartan Eyes56Ch. 3Justice as Usual64Justice, Virtue, and the Duties of Alliance: The Speech of the Mytilenians at Olympia (3.9-14)64Plataea and Thebes70The Justice of Sparta and the Athenian Thesis75Ch. 4Piety and Necessity87Piety, Necessity, and the Athenian Thesis: The Delian Debate90Ch. 5The Melian Dialogue and the Fate of Melos97Why a Dialogue: Speech and Context (5.84-89)97Ought the Athenians Attack? (5.90-99)100Ought the Melians Resist? (5.100-113)103Spartan Neglect, Athenian Cruelty, Disaster in Sicily109The Envoys to Melos as Exponents of the Athenian Thesis111Ch. 6Melos and Syracuse118The Wisdom and Folly of Nicias118The Dialogue on Melos and the Mendacity of Euphemus126Athens and Mycalessus133The Folly and Wisdom of Nicias136Motive and Compulsion in the Sicilian Campaign139Ch. 7The Athenian Thesis Reconsidered: Diodotus and Hermocrates142The Mytilenian Debate142The Speech of Hermocrates at Gela163Ch. 8Domestic Politics172Plague173Stasis175Plague, Stasis, and the Periclean Vision182The Question of the Regime185Ch. 9Recapitulation and Conclusion: The Humanity of Thucydides193Appendix 1: Thucydides 1.22.1-3207Appendix 2: Thucydides' Use of Prophasis at 1.23.5-6213Appendix 3: Thucydides' Presentation of the Demand for the Repeal of the Megarian Decree215Bibliography217Index229

About the Author

Clifford Orwin is Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto.


"Orwin has given us an important, provocative, and ultimately unsettling new book on Thucydides... [A] valuable piece of scholarship. It asks important questions, marshaling an impressive breadth and depth of learning."--Geoff Bakewell, Bryn Mawr Classical Review "[Orwin] allows us to see Thucydides' entire work in a fresh light. No one who reads this carefully crafted, wittily written study will emerge with his or her vision unchanged... Orwin is in full control of the secondary literature on Thucydides, his handling of the philological questions is magisterial, and if the passages that he discusses are familiar, his treatment of them is not. This may be the best book to appear on the subject thus far, and given the quality of the secondary literature produced in the last half-century, that is saying a lot."--Paul A. Rahe, American Historical Review

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