Thucydides Facts

Thucydides Facts
Thucydides was an Athenian general and historian who participated in and wrote about the Peloponnesian War. In terms of historiography, Thucydides was one of the world's first military historians and probably influenced later military historians, such as Xenophon. Although Thucydides was no doubt influenced by Herodotus, his major work, which is often translated into English as The Peloponnesian War, is considered much more accurate and academic than his predecessor's writings. Thucydides was born in Athens around the year 460 BC to a father named Olorus. He no doubt came from a relatively privileged family, which allowed him to pursue a career in the military and the time to engage in intellectual endeavors.
Interesting Thucydides Facts:
Thucydides was read by the Romans in the original Greek, which meant that once Rome collapsed his writings were forgotten in the West.
Thucydides continued to be read in the Greek speaking Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire) after the Western Roman Empire collapsed.
Although Thucydides confined his work to the Peloponnesian War for the most part, he did discuss some events that happened earlier. One of the early accounts he related was the tragic life of the Athenian hero Themistocles (ca. 524-459 BC)
Thucydides' work was first translated into Latin during the fifteenth century, thereby making his work accessible to Western Europeans for the first time.
Thucydides was exiled from Athens for nearly twenty years for losing control of a city to the Spartans.
When not examining military operations, Thucydides focused on political life. Essentially, he examined the political causes of the Peloponnesian War and the political impacts it had on the various Greek city-states and kingdoms.
He believed that human nature was essentially the same throughout different ages, but that present is the only period where one has reliable information, so that is where all historical research should start.
Although a proud Athenian, he could be objective and even critical of his country. On the revolts of some of the members of the Athenian led Delian League, he wrote, "The Athenians were exacting and made themselves odious by putting severe pressure on people neither accustomed nor willing to exert themselves."
The Greek title of Thucydides' work is Hellenika.
Thucydides family probably owned an estate in Thrace.
The Peloponnesian War ends abruptly with the events of 411 BC, which has led many modern historians to believe that he died while writing his work.
He died around the year 400 BC in Athens, having just been given amnesty and allowed to return at the end of the war. The second century AD geographer Pausanias and the first century AD biographer Plutarch both claimed that Thucydides was murdered.

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