Thucydides: The Causes Of The Peloponnesian War

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The ancient historian, Thucydides, a realist and aristocrat by birth, gave the world The History of the Peloponnesian War, but with a questionably biased view of the happenings of the 5th century BC, specifically the causes of the Peloponnesian War and the key personality(s) that played an influential role to the end result, a deep understanding of his writing style and attitude towards history must be learnt to allow for his work to be viewed as a credible source. The writing itself was the most scientifically accurate piece of work at the time but readers are misled by the downplaying and ignoring of events that negatively portray the role Athens had in the war. This deliberate action has been the foundation for countless scholars’ analysis of the reliability of Thucydides as a historian. Even though Thucydides was significantly more advanced and accurate than other historians to date, his pro-Athenian attitude, specifically surrounding the causes of the war, resulted in a History that has proven difficult to view wholly as a credible source. The causes of the Peloponnesian War described by Thucydides as “the truest” are accurate but intentionally ignore the motives behind them that would insinuate that the true aggressor of the Peloponnesian War was in fact Athens. The Peloponnesian War as described by Thucydides primarily started due to the reaction of Sparta in response to the growing power of Athens. It was in the Pentecontaetia that Athens’ power increased
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