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Life[ edit ] In spite of his stature as a historian, modern historians know relatively little about Thucydides's life.
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The most reliable information comes from his own History of the Peloponnesian Warwhich expounds his nationality, paternity, and native locality. Thucydides says that he fought in the war, contracted the plague, and was exiled by the democracy. He may have also been involved in quelling the Samian Revolt.
He also records that he owned gold mines at Scapte Hyle literally "Dug Woodland"a coastal area in Thraceopposite the island of Thasos. During the winter of — BC, the Spartan general Brasidas attacked Amphipolisa half-day's sail west from Thasos on the Thracian coast, instigating the Battle of Amphipolis.
Euclesthe Athenian commander at Amphipolis, sent to Thucydides for help. Thus, when Thucydides arrived, Amphipolis was already under Spartan control. Because of his failure to save Amphipolis, he was exiled: It was also my fate to be an exile from my country for twenty years after my command at Amphipolis ; and being present with both parties, and more especially with the Peloponnesians by reason of my exile, I had leisure to observe affairs somewhat particularly.
Using his status as an exile from Athens to travel freely among the Peloponnesian allies, he was able to view the war from the perspective of both sides. Thucydides claimed that he began writing his history as soon as the war broke out, because he thought it would be one of the greatest wars waged among the Greeks in terms of scale: Thucydides, an Athenian, wrote the history of the war between the Peloponnesians and the Athenians, beginning at the moment that it broke out, and believing that it would be a great war, and more worthy of relation than any that had preceded it.
Herodotus wrote that the name OlorusThucydides's father's name, was connected with Thrace and Thracian royalty. Cimon's maternal grandfather's name also was Olorus, making the connection exceedingly likely. Another Thucydides lived before the historian and was also linked with Thrace, making a family connection between them very likely as well.
Once exiled, Thucydides took permanent residence in the estate and, given his ample income from the gold mines, he was able to dedicate himself to full-time history writing and research, including many fact-finding trips. In essence, he was a well-connected gentleman of considerable resources who, after involuntarily retiring from the political and military spheres, decided to fund his own historical investigations.
Later sources[ edit ] The remaining evidence for Thucydides's life comes from rather less reliable, later ancient sources.
According to Pausaniassomeone named Oenobius was able to get a law passed allowing Thucydides to return to Athens, presumably sometime shortly after the city's surrender and the end of the war in BC.
Many doubt this account, seeing evidence to suggest he lived as late as BC. Plutarch claims that his remains were returned to Athens and placed in Cimon 's family vault. Bust of Pericles Inferences about Thucydides's character can only be drawn with due caution from his book.This essay delves deeply into the origins of the Vietnam War, critiques U.S.
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