(c.460 – 395)

Thucydides is considered one of the greatest historians of the ancient world together with Herodotus. He tried to be as neutral as he possible could and he stated that what he wrote was something that belonged to the future. Some people like to call him a journalist, which perhaps is not too far from the truth, since he based his texts on witness reports and interviews.He wrote using the ancient Attic language and many poetic words.
He was born in the municipality of Alimounta near Athens. His father was Oloros, an aristocrat with Thracian royal descent, and his mother was Igisipyli. Thucydides was well educated and his teachers was the philosopher Anaxagoras and the orator Antiphon. Prodicus of Ceos , Gorgias and many others with spiritual virtues had an impact in shaping his character.

When he was old enough he joined the army and became squadron leader of the Athenian fleet in 424 BC during the period of the Peloponnesian War. His duty was to guard the Thracian coast and the island of Thassos from the Spartans. When he failed at Amphipolis against the Spartan army and its general Brasidas, was accused of treason and sentenced to death. However he left Athens to escape his punishment and stayed in exile for 20 years . This motivated him to start writing about his the accounts of his time. He went to Italy, Sicily, Macedonia and returned to Athens after the overthrow of the Thirty Tyrants.

Thucydides wrote the "Peloponnesian War" (431-404) without completing the whole story, because his work ends in 411. The completion of the story was made by Xenophon in his work "Hellenika". The history of Thucydides it is considered objective
because it was written to reveal the truth. He wrote what he saw, and the accounts of witnesses in order to reach the truth. When in doubt, he put all the evidence in order not to do injustice to anyone. He sees clearly the link between the history of war and the inner life of the country. It shows how the course of the war influenced the struggle within the individual states, especially in Athens.

Thucydides distinguishes clearly the causes and reasons for the events. In contrast to Herodotus, Thucydides was a rationalist historian. Although he stated predictions, he doubts them and certainly did not give them any special meaning. He saw in natural phenomena nothing supernatural nor superstitious unlike some of his contemporaries. However, Thucydides was unable to overcome his belief in fate, which is typical of writers of that time and characterizes all the later ancient historians, both Greek and the Roman.

His work is a model of historical study, distinguished by the clarity, fairness an actual recounting of events. The author was aware of enemies and friends and he was not affected by passions and interests. With a pure spirit he recounted the causes and actual basis of the results and, Without religious superstition, records events for those who want to learn the past and learn for the future. The history of Thucydides is the obsessive attempt to present the true lesson of freedom and love for the homeland.

The history of the Peloponnesian War was divided into 8 books. The first is an introduction to the history of the war, starting from the history of previous years and leads the reader up to the events of the war.The first
twenty chapters of the book have the title "Archaeology of Thucydides" and serve as an introduction to the narrative of events immediately before the Peloponnesian War. The introduction reflects the basic idea of Thucydides, who concluded that "in the past, Greece has not been in wars like the Peloponnesian one". Thucydides obviously did not know a lot about the existence of the Minoan -Mycenaean civilization. The permanent local population, in his opinion, appeared in Greece long ago.
It takes account of the role of natural conditions, the dependence of the occupations of residents on the development and role oftrade in developing and securing the city states. Thucydides explains that the ancient cities were built at some distance from the sea,this was due to the fact that the people feared attacks from pirates. Speaking about the war of Troy, he says: "I think that Agamemnon succeeded in mobilizing forces for the campaign because he was more powerful than the rulers that lived during this time. Thucydides represents the past based on remnants of culture. Thus Thucydides made the first
attempt to recreate the past, critically analyzing the documents and accounts of contemporaries and those who took part in the events, the poetic legends traditions and the laws that were previously in force. Thucydides states in chronological order the actual history of the war. He rarely draw conclusions and leaves the reader to do that. In the first line he puts the war story, the campaigns, the situation of the troops, the course of military operations described by him with great knowledge of the matter, and sometimes exhaustive completeness. This corresponds to his purpose, as set out in the beginning
of his work. 

swedewheel sp