The History of the Peloponnesian War

The History of the Peloponnesian War

Revised Edition

Introduction by:
Notes by:

  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140440393
  • 656 Pages
  • Penguin Classics
  • Adult


Written four hundred years before the birth of Christ, this detailed contemporary account of the struggle between Athens and Sparta stands an excellent chance of fulfilling the author’s ambitious claim that the work “was done to last forever.” The conflicts between the two empires over shipping, trade, and colonial expansion came to a head in 431 b.c. in Northern Greece, and the entire Greek world was plunged into 27 years of war. Thucydides applied a passion for accuracy and a contempt for myth and romance in compiling this exhaustively factual record of the disastrous conflict that eventually ended the Athenian empire.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Table of Contents

Translated by Rex Warner with an Introduction and Notes by M. I. Finley

Translator’s Note

Book I
The Dispute over Epidamnus
The Dispute over Corcyra
The Dispute over Potidaea
The Debate at Sparta and Declaration of War
The Pentecontaetia
The Allied Congress at Sparta
The Stories of Pausanias and Themistocles
The Spartan Ultimatum and Pericles’ Reply

Book II
Outbreak of War
The First Year of the War
Pericles’ Funeral Oration
The Plague
The Policy of Pericles
The Fall of Potidaea
The Siege of Plataea
Victories of Phormio
Thrace and Macedonia

Book III
Revolt of Mytilene
The Mytilenian Debate
The End of Plataea
Civil War in Corcyra
Operations in Sicily and Greece
End of Sixth Year of War

Book IV
Athenian Success at Pylos
Final Victory at Pylos
Further Athenian Successes
Peace in Sicily
Fighting at Megara
Brasidas in Thrace
Athenian Defeat at Delium
Brasidas Captures Amphipolis
Armistice between Athens and Sparta
End of Ninth Year of War

Book V
Battle of Amphipolis
Peace of Nicias
Negotiations with Argos
Alliance between Athens and Argos
Campaigns in the Peloponnese
Battle of Mantinea
The Melian Dialogue

Book VI
Sicilian Antiquities
Launching of the Sicilian Expedition
The Debate at Syracuse
The Athenians Arrive in Sicily
The Story of Harmodius and Aristogiton
Recall of Alcibiades
Athenian Victory before Syracuse
The Debate at Camarina
Alcibiades in Sparta
More Athenian Successes at Syracuse

Book VII
Gylippus Arrives in Syracuse
Letter of Nicias
Fortification of Decelea
Athenian Defeat in the Great Harbour
Athenian Defeat at Epipolae
Syracusan Victory at Sea
Destruction of the Athenian Expedition

Alarm at Athens
Beginning of Persian Intervention
The Oligarchic Coup
Athenian Victory at Cynossema

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