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The History of the Peloponnesian War

Page: 1

Produced by Albert Imrie, and David Widger



THE HISTORY OF THE PELOPONNESIAN WAR



By Thucydides 431 BC



Translated by Richard Crawley



With Permission
to
CONNOP THIRLWALL
Historian of Greece
This Translation of the Work of His
Great Predecessor
is Respectfully Inscribed
by —The Translator—






CONTENTS


BOOK I

CHAPTER I

CHAPTER II

CHAPTER III

CHAPTER IV

CHAPTER V


BOOK II

CHAPTER VI

CHAPTER VII

CHAPTER VIII


BOOK III

CHAPTER IX

CHAPTER X

CHAPTER XI


BOOK IV

CHAPTER XII

CHAPTER XIII

CHAPTER XIV


BOOK V

CHAPTER XV

CHAPTER XVI

CHAPTER XVII


BOOK VI

CHAPTER XVIII

CHAPTER XIX

CHAPTER XX


BOOK VII

CHAPTER XXI

CHAPTER XXII

CHAPTER XXIII


BOOK VIII

CHAPTER XXIV

CHAPTER XXV

CHAPTER XXVI







BOOK I





CHAPTER I

The State of Greece from the earliest Times to the Commencement of the Peloponnesian War

Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote the history of the war between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, beginning at the moment that it broke out, and believing that it would be a great war and more worthy of relation than any that had preceded it. This belief was not without its grounds. The preparations of both the combatants were in every department in the last state of perfection; and he could see the rest of the Hellenic race taking sides in the quarrel; those who delayed doing so at once having it in contemplation. Indeed this was the greatest movement yet known in history, not only of the Hellenes, but of a large part of the barbarian world—I had almost said of mankind. For though the events of remote antiquity, and even those that more immediately preceded the war, could not from lapse of time be clearly ascertained, yet the evidences which an inquiry carried as far back as was practicable leads me to trust, all point to the conclusion that there was nothing on a great scale, either in war or in other matters.

For instance, it is evident that the country now called Hellas had in ancient times no settled population; on the contrary, migrations were of frequent occurrence, the several tribes readily abandoning their homes under the pressure of superior numbers. Without commerce, without freedom of communication either by land or sea, cultivating no more of their territory than the exigencies of life required, destitute of capital, never planting their land (for they could not tell when an invader might not come and take it all away, and when he did come they had no walls to stop him), thinking that the necessities of daily sustenance could be supplied at one place as well as another, they cared little for shifting their habitation, and consequently neither built large cities nor attained to any other form of greatness. The richest soils were always most subject to this change of masters; such as the district now called Thessaly, Boeotia, most of the Peloponnese, Arcadia excepted, and the most fertile parts of the rest of Hellas. The goodness of the land favoured the aggrandizement of particular individuals, and thus created faction which proved a fertile source of ruin. It also invited invasion. Accordingly Attica, from the poverty of its soil enjoying from a very remote period freedom from faction, never changed its inhabitants. And here is no inconsiderable exemplification of my assertion that the migrations were the cause of there being no correspondent growth in other parts. The most powerful victims of war or faction from the rest of Hellas took refuge with the Athenians as a safe retreat; and at an early period, becoming naturalized, swelled the already large population of the city to such a height that Attica became at last too small to hold them, and they had to send out colonies to Ionia.


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