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The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War
 
 

The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War [Kindle Edition]

Robert B. Strassler , Victor Davis Hanson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Review

Paul A. Rahne "The Washington Times" Without question, this is the finest edition of Thueydides history ever produced; It is a treasure.

Product Description

Thucydides called his account of two decades of war between Athens and Sparta "a possession for all time," and indeed it is the first and still most famous work in the Western historical tradition. Considered essential reading for generals, statesmen, and liberally educated citizens for more than 2,000 years, The Peloponnesian War is a mine of military, moral, political, and philosophical wisdom.
However, this classic book has long presented obstacles to the uninitiated reader. Robert Strassler's new edition removes these obstacles by providing a new coherence to the narrative overall, and by effectively reconstructing the lost cultural context that Thucydides shared with his original audience. Based on the venerable Richard Crawley translation, updated and revised for modern readers. The Landmark Thucydides includes a vast array of superbly designed and presented maps, brief informative appendices by outstanding classical scholars on subjects of special relevance to the text, explanatory marginal notes on each page, an index of unprecedented subtlety, and numerous other useful features.
In any list of the Great Books of Western Civilization, The Peloponnesian War stands near the top. This authoritative new edition will ensure that its greatness is appreciated by future generations.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 7225 KB
  • Print Length: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (10 Sep 1998)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003YCOQ3I
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #374,565 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic made clear 18 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
It is hard to imagine, no, I cannot imagine, a clearer, more lucid setting out of a great classic work. Strassler's abundant maps, well-thought-out appendices and helpful footnotes clear the path for the reader through an absolutely gripping, but not always transparent, work.
First credit must go, of course, to Thucydides for his monumental effort, his mastery of an enormously complex chronicle of events and his profound insights into the personalities and the political interests which impelled the events of the war. But Strassler has provided the means for any interested amateur reader of history to enjoy fully and at first reading this marvelous epic. This is perhaps the best presentation of a classic work I have ever encountered. Well done!
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle version does not work well 12 July 2011
By TrevorB
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I purchased the Kindle version of this book but unfortunately it does not work well on Kindle. There are a number of errors in the text, presumably resulting from the transfer process. More seriously, much of the added-value referred to in the introduction - such as detailed annotations and cross-references - does not work on the Kindle. For example, the text is full of references to notes, but the notes are all bundled together at the end of each chapter without numbers and no way of relating them to the text. I am a big fan of Kindle but I am very disappointed with this purchase. I bought this book because I find the small print of many books easier to read on Kindle, but I shall stick to fiction in future.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Accessible Masterpiece 15 Aug 2011
Format:Hardcover
According to strategist Colin Gray: "If Thucydides, Sun-Tzu, and Clausewitz did not say it, it probably is not worth saying." (Colin Gray, Fighting Talk: Maxim 14) Although that might be a bit of an overstatement, it is undoubtedly true that "The Peloponnesian War" is a real masterpiece. In it, Thucydides describes the war between Athena and archrival Sparta (433-405 BC) between 433 and 411 BC, where the book abruptly stops. The rest of the book being either lost or never written, although the writer surely did survive the war and - probably - died in the mid-390s.

In "The Landmark Thucydides", (editor) Robert Strassler has done everybody a huge favor, in making this book as accessible as possible. The book is heavily annotated, littered with maps and completed with annexes on subjects such as Land Warfare, Trireme Warfare, Spartan Institutions, Greek Currency and Religious Festivals.

The Peloponnesian War is not always easy to read, littered as it is with names of places, tribes, cities and coalitions, but some of the longer stories of the war a particularly rewarding (like the fatal Athenian expedition to Sicily). Also the 'Melian Dialogue' ("... the strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must.") is considered the classical example of die-hard Realpolitik.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is the best way for the non-scholar to approach Thucydides. This volume has it's own built in atlas! Every town,village or city mentioned is indexed with one of the books maps! There's almost a map on every other page. Every reference in the text is explained. The only problem is that all you get is Thucydides. If you want a modern history of this war, get Donald Kagan's history of the Peloponnesian war. It's an excellent history and makes a nice set with The Landmark Thucydides.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb book. 18 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
For those seeking to understand the nature of war and human behavior in war, this is the book to read. The story of greed and ambition - and the adverse effects it can have on policy - threads its way through the book. Thucydides' remark, "I have written this work, not as an essay which is to win applause of the moment, but as a possession for all time" is a very appropriate statement. The eternity of Thucydides' work is evident in the similarities of policy and war today as compared to the author's world. The numerous maps and footnoting within this book, makes it much easier to comprehend than other accounts of the Peloponnesian War.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Translation for the Layman 30 Sep 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
When I first bought this book I was a little frightened. After all, Thucydides did not write for the common man. I mean a translation of a book from Ancient Greek seemed scary to me. But once I started reading this book the pages whizzed by.The introduction is not hard to read at all and that sets the setting for the book. Strassler excellently summarizes each chapter and makes even the toughest chapters easy to understand. The appendices make the book even easier to understand and comprehend. Thucydides was actually enjoyable. The footnotes were an extra help. Even if you do not get to read everyday, Strassler's book is fun to read. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in ancient history, military history, or any other type of history. Do not be intimidated.
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