Translated by Richard Crawley.
tion with posterity to refuse to accept her fame as a true exponent of her power. And yet they occupy two-fifths of Peloponnese and lead the whole, not to speak of their numerous allies without. Still, as the city is neither built in a compact form nor adorned with magnificent temples and public edifices, but composed of villages after the old fashion of Hellas, there would be an impression of inadequacy. Whereas, if Athens were to suffer the same misfortune, I suppose that any inference from the appearance presented to the eye would make her power to have been twice as great as it is. We have therefore no right to be sceptical, nor to content ourselves with an inspection of a town to the exclusion of a consideration of its power; but we may safely conclude that the armament in question surpassed all before it, as it fell short of modern efforts; if we can here also accept the testimony of Homer's poems, in which, without allowing for the exaggeration which a poet would feel himself licensed to employ, we can
I have not yet downloaded this edition, thus do not know the quality and the translation. However I have read more than three editions of this tremendous book in the past forty years.
History of the Peloponnesian War is a real history, the best of the ancient times. And Thucydides, not only the best historian of the ancient Greece, perhaps the only real of the era and even somehow comparable with many of the good modern timers. Thucydides discovered that history cannot be told as it has been. He celeverly chose to write it as he imagined the personalities should do to convince their contemporaries. This methode has even been used by some good modern time historians. Only remains if those personalities were not just and right in their conclusions.
'History of the Peloponnesian War' explains the ancient Greek society with many of their complexities. It is a sotry of a conflict between two merely different concepts. The Athenian society with their somehow idealistic evaluations, opposing the hard less cultured Spartans. Though the Sparts were already leading to decline, they won from the actually decadanced Athene. Both to lose later to the least cultured of the Hellas people; the semi-Barbarians of Macedonia.
History of the Peloponnesian War is the story of the decline of the Greek civilization. A fatalisti story leading to the same destiny in spite of all the errands of either side.
Thucydides could not have any idea about the scientific concept of history, but if he lived a short period of two thousand years later, he could easily be considered a good scientific historian.