As a strategy to defeat the invading Persians during the Persian War, the poleis (Greek city-states) of Greece united in order to form one large military force. Following the war, Greece decided to adhere to this idea of unity and form the Delian League in order to protect Greece from Persian domination. However, many of the poleis begin to resent the fact that the polis of Athens held a roll at the top of the League. This tension leads to a war between Athens and Sparta, known as the Peloponnesian War. As a result, writers such as Thucydides, Plato, and Aristotle developed their own views on the effects of the war. Evidence presented shows that the philosophers' views are still relevant to today's world.
Thucydides discusses his method of recording and understanding history. Thucydides admits that it is hard for him and those who reported to him to recollect the exact words from the speeches made before or after war. Because of this, he has to be able to select words that are proper for the occasion so he can adequately express what the speaker is trying to say, while endeavoring to convey the general meaning of what is actually said. He describes nothing unless he either saw it himself or learned from others, to whom he claims to have made the most careful and particular inquiries. Thucydides explains that the task of history is a laborious one, mainly because eyewitnesses of the same occurrences give different accounts. This could be because the witnesses each remembered the incident differently, or because the witnesses have an interest in one side of the issue or the other. Thucydides states that his history should be an everlasting possession, not a...
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Edman, Irwin, ed. The Works of Plato. New York: Modern House Library, 1956.
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Johnson, Oliver A., ed. Sources of World Civilization. Volume I: To 1500. Upper
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Martin, Thomas R., "Introduction to the Historical Overview in Perseus." An Overview of Classical Greek History from Homer to Alexander. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc+1999.04.0009. 17 Jan 2001: 1. Online. Netscape. 1 March 2001.
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