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'The greatest historian that ever lived'Such was Macaulay's verdict on Thucydides (c. 460-400 BC) and his history of the Peloponnesian War, the momentous struggle between Athens and Sparta as rival powers and political systems that lasted for twenty-seven years from 431 to 404 BC, involved virtually the whole of the Greek world, and endedin the fall of Athens. Thucydides himself was a participant in the war; to his history he brings an awesome intellect, brilliant narrative, and penetrating analysis of the nature of power, as it affects both states and individuals.Of his own work Thucydides wrote: 'I shall be content if [my history] is judged useful by those who will want to have a clear understanding of what happened - and, such is the human condition, will happen again ... It was composed as a permanent legacy, not a showpiece for a single hearing.' So ithas proved. Of the prose writers of Greece and Rome Thucydides has had more lasting influence on western thought than all but Plato and Aristotle. This new edition combines a masterly translation with comprehensive supporting material.
Martin Hammond taught Classics at St Paul's School and Harrow School before being appointed Head of Classics at Eton in 1974, and subsequently Master in College. He was Headmaster of the City of London School from 1984-90, and Tonbridge School from 1990-2005. He has published translations of the Iliad (Penguin, 1987), the Odyssey (Duckworth, 2000), and the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius (Penguin, 2006). P. J. Rhodes retired as Professor of Ancient History at Durham University in 2005. He is the author of numerous books and articles, including Athenian Democracy (OUP, 2004), A History of the Classical Greek World, 478-323 BC (Blackwell, 2006), and editions of Thucydides, II, III, and IV.1-V.24 (Aris & Phillips).