Thudydides boasted that his account of the Peloponnesian War between the Athenians, the Spartans and their respective allies was "a possession for ever". Certainly, his work is no bare chronicle of events. It explores themes of lasting significance concerning relations between states and political behavior withing states, under the severe stresses of a long war. "Books III-V", covering the years 428 to 416 B.C., contain some of Thucydides' finest narratives and analyses, whether he is exposing tyrannical and cynical behavior on both sides of the conflict, the horrors of civil strife, or the manipulation of a sovereign citizen-assembly by an unscrupulos politician.
This commentary elucidates for Greekless readers the historical and literary aspects of an account that has always been regarded as a supreemen example of historical writing.
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