In this provocative and wide-ranging examination of the causes of the Peloponnesian war, first published in 1972, Geoffrey de Ste Croix argued against most previous historiography (which tended to blame Athens), that the Spartans and their allies must bear the immediate and ultimate responsibility for the war. The book includes a strong argument for the fundamental credibility of Thucydides' narrative, background on Corcyraean and Potidaean affairs, a lengthy re-examination of the Athenian decree excluding Megarians from the civic centre of Athens and the ports of the empire, and three chapters on Spartan and Corinthian foreign policy and relations with Athens from earliest times till the outbreak of was in 431 BC. Forty-seven appendices treat questions of detail.
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