Archive for the ‘User’s Guide to Thucydides’ Category


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πŸ˜§πŸ˜’βš”οΈπŸ€‘βš”οΈβš”οΈπŸ€‘βš”οΈπŸ¦‰πŸ—‘πŸ¦‰β˜ οΈβš”οΈπŸ€‘βš”οΈπŸ˜§πŸ˜’πŸ€‘βš”οΈπŸ€”

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A User’s Guide to Thucydides Part 3

Is Thucydides more like a swimming pool – best to dive right in – or a mountain, where the key is careful preparation and planning, construction of base camp etc.? In both cases it can be a daunting prospect; the question, prompted by a discussion on the Twitter last night where someone planning a Thucydides reading group asked for suggestions on preparatory reading, is how best to get started.

Personally, I’d go for the swimming-pool approach (more…)

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I’ve never seen the whole of The Phantom Menace,* only odd five- or ten-minute snatches here and there, generally with the sound turned down, but over the years this has been enough to build up an overall impression of the film. This has tended to confirm the comments of various critics that it’s basically a number of show-piece action sequences interspersed with long discussions of galactic politics and trade embargoes with the Naboo, that could easily have been edited down into something a bit punchier. Some critics have said similar things about Thucydides – though in this case the temptation is to skip the battles and action sequences** to get to the meaty political debates, rather than vice versa. There is also, thankfully, no equivalent of Jar Jar Binks. Thucydides doesn’t really do comedy, even if it seriously cuts his margins on the merchandising.

How should one read Thucydides? Or, as I put the question at the end of the last blog post, do you really have to read all of it? (more…)

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Welcome to the world of Thucydides! It’s a world that is broad, deep, rich and complex, bringing together the ancient Greek past and the global present with the claim that understanding the former can help make sense of the latter. It’s not to everyone’s taste – indeed, Thucydides makes a big thing of the fact that many readers will be unimpressed with his work and will fail to grasp what he’s doing – but if this does turn out to be your sort of thing, then there is a lifetime’s worth of ideas to be uncovered here. (more…)

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