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Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the ancient Greek historian Thucydides and his work entitled The History of the Peloponnesian War.

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the ancient Greek historian Thucydides. In the fifth century BC Thucydides wrote The History of the Peloponnesian War, an account of a conflict in which he had himself taken part. This work is now seen as one of the first great masterpieces of history writing, a book which influenced writers for centuries afterwards. Thucydides was arguably the first historian to make a conscious attempt to be objective, bringing a rational and impartial approach to his scholarship. Today his work is still widely studied at military colleges and in the field of international relations for the insight it brings to bear on complex political situations.


Paul Cartledge
Emeritus Professor of Greek Culture and AG Leventis Senior Research Fellow at Clare College, Cambridge

Katherine Harloe
Associate Professor in Classics and Intellectual History at the University of Reading

Neville Morley
Professor of Ancient History at the University of Bristol

Producer: Thomas Morris.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 29 Jan 2015 21:30


Reading list

Emily Greenwood, Thucydides and the Shaping of History (Bristol Classical Press, 2005)

Victor Davis Hanson, A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War (Random House, 2006)

Katherine Harloe & Neville Morley (eds.), Thucydides and the Modern World: Reception, Reinterpretation and Influence from the Renaissance to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2012)

Geoffrey Hawthorn, Thucydides on Politics: Back to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2014)

Neville Morley, Thucydides and the Idea of History (IB Tauris, 2014)

Robin Osborne (ed.), Classical Greece: 500-323 BC (Oxford University Press, 2000)

Christopher Pelling and Maria Wyke, Twelve Voices from Greece and Rome: Ancient Ideas for Modern Times (Oxford University Press, 2014) 

Plutarch (trans. Ian Scott-Kilvert), The Rise and Fall of Athens: Nine Greek Lives (Penguin, 1973)

Philip de Souza, The Peloponnesian War 431-404 BC (Osprey Publishing, 2002)

Robert B. Strassler (ed.), The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War (Simon & Schuster, 1998)

Thucydides (trans. Martin Hammond), The Peloponnesian War (Oxford University Press, 2009)

Thucydides (trans. Jeremy Mynott), Thucydides: The War of the Peloponnesians and the Athenians (Cambridge University Press, 2013)

Thucydides (trans. Rex Warner), History of the Peloponnesian War (Penguin, 2000)


Thucydides: Wikipedia


Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Paul Cartledge
Interviewed Guest Katherine Harloe
Interviewed Guest Neville Morley
Producer Thomas Morris


  • Thu 29 Jan 2015 09:00
  • Thu 29 Jan 2015 21:30

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