My Account
Preview
Preview

An Analysis of Thucydides' Views on the Melian Dialogue Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 1591 words (4.5 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Blue      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

An Analysis of Thucydides' Views on the Melian Dialogue


The Melian Dialogue is a debate between Melian and Athenian representatives concerning the sovereignty of Melos. The debate did not really occur-the arguments given by each side were of Thucydides own creation. Thus it is reasonable to assume that we can tease out Thucydides' own beliefs. In this paper, I will first extract Thucydides views from the Melian Dialogue and then analyze whether or not these views are well founded.

Thucydides believed that the Athenians had the stronger argument. Proof of this lies in the way Thucydides picked the arguments for each side. For the moment, we will disregard the actual content of the arguments, and look at argumentation forms and the flow of the debate.

The Melians argued using consequences of an Athenian take over. In section 110, the Melians threatened that if their allies the Lacedaemonians were provoked by the takeover of Melos, they might attack Athens itself: "...the Cretan sea is a large place; and the masters of the sea will have more difficulty in overtaking vessels which want to escape than the pursued in escaping. If the attempt should fail they may invade Attica itself, and find their way to allies of yours whom Brasidas did not reach: and then you will have to fight, not for the conquest of a land in which you have no concern, but nearer home, for the preservation of your confederacy and of your own territory." In addition, the Melians complained that they would be thought of as cowards if they surrendered, and they warned the Athenians that hostility would turn other neutral city-states against them.

The Melians offered mere speculation. Their arguments sound like the work of a weak and desperate g...


... middle of paper ...


...ust have had more of the things that the gods cared about. The Melians would have been hard pressed to argue that they had more favor amongst the gods than the Athenians, because anything of virtue that they could claim to have had, the Athenians could claimed to have had but more or better. The Melian argument then that they were favored by the gods and therefore must remain free is inconsistent. If Athens and Melos went to battle against each other, the gods, if they favored anyone, would favor Athens.

We have now examined Thucydides' strongest arguments for Athenian rule. It is clear that Athens had a stronger claim to rule than the Melians had to remain sovereign. We also know that Athens' claims hold up when we examine them for validity. Thucydides beliefs in Athens' claims were therefore well founded.

Works Cited:

The Melian Dialogue, Thucydides


Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Thucydides and Homer: Cultures Essay - Thucydides and Homer: Cultures Thucydides and Homer, though they lived a relatively short 300 years apart, wrote about very different Greek cultures. While the Greeks who Homer wrote about in The Iliad were, in many respects, dissimilar to the Greeks in Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, this stands in marked contrast to the profound similarities that exist between contemporary cultures and those that Thucydides wrote of. There are, however, similarities between modern cultures and those in Homer’s writing, as well as differences between modern ones and those in Thucydides’ writing....   [tags: Cultural Greece Thucydides Homer Papers]
:: 2 Works Cited
1806 words
(5.2 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Melian Dialogue as interpreted through perspectives of Realism, Liberalism, and Constructivism - Melian Dialogue as interpreted through perspectives of Realism, Liberalism, and Constructivism Imagine Cleomedes, son of Lycomedes, general of the famed forces of the lustrous Athenian Empire, waiting for a trio of representatives to return from The Melian Dialogue. “Well?” he demands impatiently as they arrive, “What did they say?” As perspectives and opinions in the realm of political science are fluid and bound to change, he receives a variety of replies, for the representatives body he sent happen to comprise a Realist, a Liberal and a Constructivist....   [tags: Essays Papers] 1175 words
(3.4 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on Thucydides and Nature and Convention - There are many ancient political philosophers who have contributed to a large discussion on the issue of nature and convention. The relationship between the two can be seen in the writings of Plato and Aristotle among other ancient political philosophers. However, it should be duly noted how the first “historian” understood nature and convention in relation to each other. Thucydides provides a fascinating aspect of this relationship by having a very negative view of human nature and does so while trying to remain impartial and scientific (Ehrenberg 1968, 355)....   [tags: Philosophy ]
:: 18 Works Cited
2254 words
(6.4 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Essay about Thucydides and the Human Behavior - In Thucydides’, “The Peloponnesian War”, there is a specific passage that was rejected in antiquity and is still reject now by most modern scholars, book 3 paragraph 84. It does seem, however, that this paragraph was added in by almost a want to-be Thucydides imitator because it seems to break his character. Nevertheless, I believe that this paragraph should be included with the rest of the book. Although, the text is somewhat difficult to understand how it could fit in with Thucydides, it does follow his train of thought throughout the books....   [tags: Philosophy ]
:: 1 Works Cited
1523 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Dialogue - The Locket Essay - Dialogue - The Locket At midnight, Paul went outside and sat on the bench on the old, plank porch. Despite bundling himself in a heavy blanket, he shivered in the cold. The eastern sky before him was dotted with stars, scintillating above the quiet spread of desert. A few lonely clouds were drifting by. Patricia timidly opened the door; hesitant to disrupt Paul’s solitude. As he glanced up at Patricia, she could see the melancholy in his eyes. “What you said today at the funeral was beautiful,” she murmured....   [tags: Dialogue Conversation Essays] 1769 words
(5.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Dialogue Essay - Ron was Unhappy - Dialogue Essay - Ron was Unhappy Ron was unhappy with the way his life had turned out. He had always expected to be a celebrity; a wealthy celebrity. He had not realized that this would probably require a lot of hard work and discipline. He had depended on luck. Luck had let him down. As he looked back on his short life, he could see how often he had had the opportunity to take luck by the throat. But those opportunities were past now. His life no longer had the prospect of wealth or celebrity....   [tags: Dialogue Essays] 1430 words
(4.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Dialogue Essays - Freshly Cut Grass - Dialogue Essays - Freshly Cut Grass The air sings with the fragrance of freshly cut grass. As a backdrop to other things, children are at play, swinging too and fro, running and skipping; there are toddlers who toddle and mindful mothers who watch on in painful and patient distraction. The sun is everywhere: in the corners of the pavilion, bearing down on the tennis courts, caressing the flower beds, the convection of its heat pulling at the carpet-like lawns, dragging out bodily its scent....   [tags: Dialogue Essays] 1381 words
(3.9 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on High School Dialogue - High School Dialogue ME- So much to do so little time. What did he say. What paper. Oh crap I have a doctor’s appointment at 4 o’clock. I forgot to tell coach. I’m in trouble. Did I leave the curling iron on, mom’s gonna kill me. Ohh I forgot to wash the dishes last night. What paper is he talking about. I did my biology, Spanish and that paper for theology. I wonder if I have to work next Friday. Hopefully I get out of the doctors on time, my boss hates it when I’m late but I should be okay I don’t start till 6 o’clock....   [tags: Dialogue Essays] 1168 words
(3.3 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Thucydides Essay - Thucydides Thucydides ignored social, economic and cultural matters and excluded topics that he felt unable to write about, such as women. Further inadequacies can be found throughout the History, especially when the search for truth seems to have become subordinate to artistic considerations. The narrative is punctuated by speeches, the primary literary device used in the 'History' and these are unreliable and subjective. In refusing to verify his sources we are forced to accept or reject his testimony based on the satisfactory (or otherwise) nature of the account of the war as a piece of history....   [tags: Papers] 1606 words
(4.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Thucydides Essay - In the year 426, the tensions between the oligarchs (the rich minority) and the democrats (poor majority) rose so high, that it developed into a civil war. It had begun with the democrats tricking the oligarchs in to believing that Thucydides recounts the events that took place during the civil war in Corcyra. He claims that the civil war was just the first of many within Greece. Once word spread to the rest of the country with what happened in Corcyra, many civil wars broke out between many political groups (3.82) The varying political ideas among the two main parties created even more of a division than there already was, setting the two groups into a major civil war....   [tags: Ancient History, Greek] 1353 words
(3.9 pages)
Good Essays [preview]