The History of the Peloponnesian War

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by Thucydides

The History of the Peloponnesian War

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 1 volume set
Pages {{{pages}}}
Desc. {{{desc}}}
Location [[Shelf {{{shelf}}}]]
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]
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. [1]

Bibliographic Information

Author: Thucydides

Title: The History of the Peloponnesian War

Published: Translated by William Smith. London: Printed by John Watts, 1753.


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 and later sold to the Library of Congress in 1815. Both George Wythe's Library[2] on LibraryThing and the Brown Bibliography[3] list the 1753 edition published in London based on the copy Jefferson sold to the Library of Congress in 1815.[4] 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.

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 William & Mary's online catalog.

External Links

Volume 1:Google Books Volume 3:Google Books


  1. Lowndes Volume IV, page 2680.
  2. LibraryThing, s. v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on November 19, 2013,
  3. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  4. E. Millicent Sowerby, ""Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson 2nd ed. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1983), 1:9 [no.17].