Difference between revisions of "History of the Peloponnesian War"

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===by Thucydides===
 
===by Thucydides===
 
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<blockquote>This is a very good copy of the scarce first edition of this translation. Thucydides (c. 460 B.C. - c. 395 B.C.) was an Athenian general who served in the Peloponnesian War fought between the Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) and the Delian League (led by Athens). His account of the conflict to 411 B.C. is widely considered a classic and regarded as one of the earliest scholarly works of history. <ref> Lowndes Volume IV, page 2680. </ref></blockquote>
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|shorttitle=The History of the Peloponnesian War
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|author=[[:Category:Thucydides|Thucydides]]
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|trans=William Smith
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|publisher=Printed by John Watts
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}}[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thucydides Thucydides] (c. 460 BCE–c. 395 BCE) has gone down in history as one of the great ancient historians, despite the fact that (possibly because) he wrote only one book: ''History of the Peloponnesian War''.<ref>John Roberts, ed., "[http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780192801463.001.0001/acref-9780192801463-e-2194 Thucydidēs]" in ''Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World'' (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).</ref> The ''History'' consists of eight books, roughly divided into five parts or themes that cover [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peloponnesian_War the war between Athens and Sparta] (431-404 BCE) until the winter of 411/410 BCE. Continuations by other historians to complete Thucydides’ history of the war are now lost, and the original portions of the eight books are also not complete.<ref>Ibid.</ref><br/>
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<br/>
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Thucydides intended his history to be used as an instructive and accurate record of what he viewed as the most important war in Greek history. In 424 BCE, as a general or ''strategos'', Thucydides failed to save the valuable Athenian colony of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amphipolis Amphipolis] from Spartan attack. As a result, he was exiled and did not return to Athens until 404 BCE. His absence for most of the Peloponnesian War inspired him “to gain first-hand information from both sides and to have a clearer perspective.”<ref>M.C. Howatson, ed., "[http://www.oxfordreference.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199548545.001.0001/acref-9780199548545-e-2939 Thūcy'didēs]" in ''The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature'' (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).</ref> Though Thucydides strived for “exactness,” he also used a great many speeches in his history, and admitted that it was near impossible to have fully accurate speeches. In these situations, Thucydides allowed himself to trust his “historical imagination” in order to dramatically demonstrate “the workings of men’s minds and the impact of circumstance.<ref>Roberts, "Thucydidēs."</ref> His focus on accuracy is seen through the lack of divine explanations for any events, but his impartiality has been questioned, especially in reference to his favorable view of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pericles Pericles] and unjustifiably negative depiction of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cleon Cleon]. Overall, the serious nature of the writing illuminates Thucydides’ focus on historical fact and analysis.<ref>Howatson, "Thūcy'didēs.”</ref>
  
==Bibliographic Information==
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==Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library==
'''Author:''' Thucydides
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Listed in the [[Jefferson Inventory]] of [[Wythe's Library]] as ''Thucydides Eng. by Smith. 2.v. 4to.'' This was one of the titles kept by [[Thomas Jefferson]]. Both [http://www.librarything.com/profile/GeorgeWythe George Wythe's Library]<ref>''LibraryThing'', s.v. "[http://www.librarything.com/profile/GeorgeWythe Member: George Wythe]," accessed on November 19, 2013.</ref> on LibraryThing and the [https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433 Brown Bibliography]<ref>Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433.</ref> list the 1753 edition published in London based on the copy Jefferson sold to the Library of Congress in 1815.<ref>E. Millicent Sowerby, ''Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson'', (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, 1952-1959), 1:9 [http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=mdp.39015033648091;view=1up;seq=39 [no.17]].</ref> Jefferson's copy still exists but it includes no definitive ties to Wythe. There are "manuscript notes ... and pencil notes of a much later date" which may link the volume to Wythe. The Wolf Law Library added a copy of this edition.
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[[File:ThucydidesHistoryOfThePeloponnesianWar1753Headpiece.jpg|center|thumb|350px|<center>Headpiece, first page of text.</center>]]
  
'''Title:''' The History of the Peloponnesian War
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==Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy==
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Bound in full paneled calf with blind tooled decoration and expertly rebacked with original backstrip laid on. Has raised bands with the earlier label in gilt lettered morocco and all edges in red. Includes the bookplate of [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toft_Hall Toft Hall]. Purchased from Roger Middleton Fine and Rare Books.
  
'''Published:''' Translated by William Smith. London: Printed by John Watts, 1753.  
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Images of the library's copy of this book are [https://www.flickr.com/photos/wolflawlibrary/albums/72157637634841635/ available on Flickr.] View the record for this book in [https://wm.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01COWM_INST/g9pr7p/alma991016712469703196 William & Mary's online catalog.]
  
'''Edition:'''
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==See also==
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*[[George Wythe Room]]
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*[[Jefferson Inventory]]
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*''[[Thoukydidou peri tou Peloponnēsiakou Polemou Biblia Oktō|Thoukydidou peri tou Peloponnēsiakou Polemou Biblia Oktō = Thucydidis de Bello Peloponnesiaco Libri Octo]]''
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*[[Wythe's Library]]
  
==Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library==
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==References==
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<references/>
  
==Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy==
 
Bound in full paneled calf with blind tooled decoration and expertly rebacked with original backstrip laid on. Has raised bands with the earlier label in gilt lettered morocco and all edges in red. Contains a small engraved portrait of the author on title pages, 9 pictorial headpieces engraved by G. van der Gucht and a folding map in each volume. Purchased from Roger Middleton Fine and Rare books.
 
 
View this book in [https://catalog.swem.wm.edu/law/Record/3446408 William & Mary's online catalog.]
 
 
==External Links==
 
==External Links==
[http://books.google.com/books?id=WvULAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+History+of+the+Peloponnesian+War+1753+volume+1&hl=en&sa=X&ei=p-_3UfuRM4L-4API-4C4Bg&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false Volume 1:Google Books]
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Read volume one of this book in [http://books.google.com/books?id=WvULAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover Google Books].<br />
[http://books.google.com/books?id=WvULAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=The+History+of+the+Peloponnesian+War&hl=en&sa=X&ei=hu_eUYunFJKo4APqm4GwCw&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=The%20History%20of%20the%20Peloponnesian%20War&f=false Volume 3:Google Books]
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Read volume two of this book in [http://books.google.com/books?id=WvULAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover Google Books].
  
===References===
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[[Category:Ancient History]]
<references/>
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[[Category:George Wythe Collection at William & Mary's Wolf Law Library]]
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[[Category:Jefferson's Books]]
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[[Category:Probable Surviving Wythe Volumes]]
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[[Category:Thucydides]]
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[[Category:Titles in Wythe's Library]]
  
[[Category:Books]]
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[[Category:English]]
[[Category:Titles in Wythe's Library]]
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[[Category:London]]
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[[Category:Quartos]]

Latest revision as of 08:48, 25 October 2021

by Thucydides

The History of the Peloponnesian War
ThucydidesHistoryOfThePeloponnesian1753.jpg

Title page from The History of the Peloponnesian War, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Thucydides
Editor {{{editor}}}
Translator William Smith
Published London: Printed by John Watts
Date 1753
Edition {{{edition}}}
Language English
Volumes 8 parts in 2 volumes bound as 1 volume set
Pages {{{pages}}}
Desc. 4to (25 cm)
Location Shelf B-3
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]
Bookplate of Toft Hall, front pastedown.

Thucydides (c. 460 BCE–c. 395 BCE) has gone down in history as one of the great ancient historians, despite the fact that (possibly because) he wrote only one book: History of the Peloponnesian War.[1] The History consists of eight books, roughly divided into five parts or themes that cover the war between Athens and Sparta (431-404 BCE) until the winter of 411/410 BCE. Continuations by other historians to complete Thucydides’ history of the war are now lost, and the original portions of the eight books are also not complete.[2]

Thucydides intended his history to be used as an instructive and accurate record of what he viewed as the most important war in Greek history. In 424 BCE, as a general or strategos, Thucydides failed to save the valuable Athenian colony of Amphipolis from Spartan attack. As a result, he was exiled and did not return to Athens until 404 BCE. His absence for most of the Peloponnesian War inspired him “to gain first-hand information from both sides and to have a clearer perspective.”[3] Though Thucydides strived for “exactness,” he also used a great many speeches in his history, and admitted that it was near impossible to have fully accurate speeches. In these situations, Thucydides allowed himself to trust his “historical imagination” in order to dramatically demonstrate “the workings of men’s minds and the impact of circumstance.” [4] His focus on accuracy is seen through the lack of divine explanations for any events, but his impartiality has been questioned, especially in reference to his favorable view of Pericles and unjustifiably negative depiction of Cleon. Overall, the serious nature of the writing illuminates Thucydides’ focus on historical fact and analysis.[5]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as Thucydides Eng. by Smith. 2.v. 4to. This was one of the titles kept by Thomas Jefferson. Both George Wythe's Library[6] on LibraryThing and the Brown Bibliography[7] list the 1753 edition published in London based on the copy Jefferson sold to the Library of Congress in 1815.[8] Jefferson's copy still exists but it includes no definitive ties to Wythe. There are "manuscript notes ... and pencil notes of a much later date" which may link the volume to Wythe. The Wolf Law Library added a copy of this edition.

Headpiece, first page of text.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in full paneled calf with blind tooled decoration and expertly rebacked with original backstrip laid on. Has raised bands with the earlier label in gilt lettered morocco and all edges in red. Includes the bookplate of Toft Hall. Purchased from Roger Middleton Fine and Rare Books.

Images of the library's copy of this book are available on Flickr. View the record for this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

See also

References

  1. John Roberts, ed., "Thucydidēs" in Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007).
  2. Ibid.
  3. M.C. Howatson, ed., "Thūcy'didēs" in The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).
  4. Roberts, "Thucydidēs."
  5. Howatson, "Thūcy'didēs.”
  6. LibraryThing, s.v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on November 19, 2013.
  7. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at: https://digitalarchive.wm.edu/handle/10288/13433.
  8. E. Millicent Sowerby, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson, (Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, 1952-1959), 1:9 [no.17].

External Links

Read volume one of this book in Google Books.
Read volume two of this book in Google Books.