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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $21
  • July 1998
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-97167-5
  • 5.7 × 9.2 in / 592 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

The Peloponnesian War

Norton Critical Editions


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Thucydides (Author), Walter Blanco (Editor, Translator, Lehman College, City University of New York), Jennifer Tolbert Roberts (Editor, City College, City University of New York)


A masterpiece of historical writing, Thucydides' account of the war fourth in the fifth century B.C. between the Athenian and Spartan alliances established a paradigm for the war monograph. The complete text appears here in a new and spirited translation by Walter Blanco. Jennifer Roberts's introduction and annotations provide vital background information.

Thucydides' military and diplomatic acumen, his understanding of human psychology, and his narrative skill have shaped the writing of history for over two thousand years. "Backgrounds and Contexts" provides supplementary selections from Xenophon, Herodotus, Plato, Machiavelli, Hobbes, and twentieth-century journalist, Walter Karp. "Interpretations" includes richly varied assessments of Thucydides by Theodor Gomperz, Francis M. Cornford, Charles N. Chochrane, R. G. Collingwood, Albert Cook, Cynthia Farrar, Adam Parry, Glen Bowersock, Robert Gilpin, Michael Doyle, and Gregory Crane.

The edition also includes fourteen maps, a chronology, a glossary, a selected bibliography, and an index.


    List of Maps

    Translator’s Note, by Walter Blanco

    Introduction, by Jennifer Roberts

    The Text of The Peloponnesian War

    1. Book 1
    2. Book 2
    3. Book 3
    4. Book 4
    5. Book 5
    6. Book 6
    7. Book 7
    8. Book 8

    Backgrounds and Contexts

    Xenophon – Hellenica, Book 1

    1. Book 2, Chapters 1–3

    Herodotus – The Histories

    1. Book 2, Chapters 111–20
    2. Book 3, Chapters 80–88

    Plato – Gorgias, 479d–484c

    1. 488b–492c

    Niccolò Machiavelli – The Prince, Chapters 18 and 25 – The Discourses, Book 1, Chapter 39 and 53

    1. Book 3, Chapter 16

    Thomas Hobbes – To the Reader – Leviathan, Part 1, Chapter 13

    Walter Karp – The Two Thousand Years’ War


    1. Theodor Gomperz – [Secular Thucydides]
    2. Francis M. Cornford – [Thucydides and the Irrational]
    3. Charles N. Cochrane – [Thucydides, Cornford, and History]
    4. R. G. Collingwood – [Greek Thought and the Writing of History]
    5. Albert Cook – Particular and General in Thucydides
    6. Cynthia Farrar – [Historical Understanding and the Polis]
    7. Adam Parry – Thucydides’ Historical Perspective
    8. Glen Bowersock – The Personality of Thucydides
    9. Robert Gilpin – The Theory of Hegemonic War
    10. Michael Doyle – Thucydides: A Realist?
    11. Gregory Crane – Truest Causes and Thucydidean Realisms


    1. The Principal Combatants at the Outbreak of the War
    2. The Kings of Sparta during the Peloponnesian War and the Kings of Persia during the Fifth Century


    Selected Bibliography

    Index of Places and People

    Index of Important Figures