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This book, the second volume in Donald Kagan's tetralogy about the Peloponnesian War, is a provocative and tightly argued history of the first ten years of the war. Taking a chronological approach that allows him to present at each stage the choices that were open to both sides in the conflict, Kagan focuses on political, economic, diplomatic, and military developments. He evaluates the strategies used by both sides and reconsiders the roles played by several key individuals.
A New History of the Peloponnesian War is an ebook-only omnibus edition that includes all four volumes of Donald Kagan's acclaimed account of the war between Athens and Sparta (431–404 B.C.): The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, The Archidamian War, The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition, and The Fall of the Athenian Empire. Reviewing the four-volume set in The New Yorker, George Steiner wrote, "The temptation to acclaim Kagan's four volumes as the foremost work of history produced in North America in the twentieth century is vivid. . . . Here is an achievement that not only honors the criteria of dispassion and of unstinting scruple which mark the best of modern historicism but honors its readers." All four volumes are also sold separately as both print books and ebooks.
This stimulating new study provides a narrative of the monumentalconflict of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, andexamines the realities of the war and its effects on the averageAthenian. A penetrating new study of the Peloponnesian War betweenAthens and Sparta by an established scholar Offers an original interpretation of how and why the warbegan Weaves in the contemporary evidence of Aristophanes in orderto give readers a new sense of how the war affected theindividual Discusses the practicalities and realities of the war Examines the blossoming of culture and intellectualachievement in Athens despite the war Challenges the approach of Thucydides in his account of thewar
The classical scholar takes a new look at the war between Athens and Sparta, examining the conflict that devastated Ancient Greece in the fifth century B.C.E.
Why did the Peace of Nicias fail to reconcile Athens and Sparta? In the third volume of his landmark four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War, Donald Kagan examines the years between the signing of the peace treaty and the destruction of the Athenian expedition to Sicily in 413 B.C. The principal figure in the narrative is the Athenian politician and general Nicias, whose policies shaped the treaty and whose military strategies played a major role in the attack against Sicily.
Pericles, famed general and foremost political leader of Athens during her glory days of the 5th century, brought about the downfall of the Athenian empire almost single-handedly. This truth, obvious to contemporary Greeks, is today not generally understood, and we have Thucydides and his History of the Peloponnesian War to thank for the confusion. That Thucydides, a fierce partisan of Pericles and a soldier exiled for his own military misadventures, should wish to reinvent the history of that famous war to show himself and Pericles in a more favorable light is understandable. But how could one man with a single literary production manage to replace the reality of the war with a myth of his own making, creating in the process an edifice of illusion that would last for millennia, scarcely questioned even by scholars? The answer lies in Thucydides’ ability to engage the reader’s mind and emotions with his psychological motifs. By promising to peel back the superficial layers of contemporary descriptions of the war and reveal the true ‘mysteries’ of history, Thucydides draws in his readers and persuades them to accept his overall thesis of Pericles’ innocence. Author of Illusions examines Thucydides’ techniques and demonstrates just how it was that he was able to reinterpret the history of the Peloponnesian War so successfully for his own and for Pericles’ benefit.
Examines the Peloponnesian War from political, geographical, material, and cultural perspectives.

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