Here’s the singular classic by Thucydides, the pre-eminent historian who chronicles the war that ended the Golden Age of Greece. In this translation by Thomas Hobbes, he of the ‘Omnium Bellum Contra Omnes’ fame, we are treated to a superlative translation of the original, with the few errors present highlighted and corrected in the footnotes. Athens is powerful and has gradually built the Athenian empire, something that causes envy in militaristic Sparta. It has been half a century since the famous stand at Thermopylae and the war grows inevitable. The book covers all the usual episodes of warfare and spates of peace in detail, some of it witness firsthand by the author.
Thucydides himself is mentioned in this tome, with a fleeting note about his failure that made this book possible. I found several parts of this book to be tough reading, with my eyes glazing over at the mention of innumerable Greek tribes and their peculiarities. Chalk this one up for another re-read soon, it looks as though this is another Ulysses-style candidate for numerous passes. In comparison to Herodotus, I would have to say that Herodotus is the better writer, though of course, Thucydides scores major points for factual integrity. All in all, this book is a great classic and should be read end to end, no excuses. Fifty trillion points if you can actually read it in Ancient Greek.