Few works can claim to form the foundation stones of one entire academic discipline, let alone two, but Thucydides's celebrated History of the Peloponnesian War is not only one of the first great works of history, but also the departure point from which the modern discipline of international relations has been built. This is the case largely because the author is a master of analysis; setting out with the aim of giving a clear, well-reasoned account of one of the seminal events of the age – a war that resulted in the collapse of Athenian power and the rise of Sparta – Thucydides took care to build a single, beautifully-structured argument that was faithful to chronology and took remarkably few liberties with the source materials. He avoided the sort of assumptions that make earlier works frustrating for modern scholars, for example seeking reasons for outcomes that were rooted in human actions and agency, not in the will of the gods. And he was careful to explain where he had obtained much of his information. As a work of structure – and as a work of reasoning – The History of the Peloponnesian War continues to inspire, be read and be taught more than 2,000 years after it was written.
This book is an indispensable resource for readers who want to know the whole, comprehensive story of ancient naval warfare. • Describes the bloodiest naval war in human history • Reflects the expertise of the author, a much-respected historian of the ancient Mediterranean world • Includes valuable maps and illustrations
Why the Greeks? How did it happen that these people--out of all Mediterranean societies--developed democratic systems of government? The outstanding German historian of the ancient world, Christian Meier, reconstructs the process of political thinking in Greek culture that led to democracy. He demonstrates that the civic identity of the Athenians was a direct precondition for the practical reality of this form of government. Meier shows how the structure of Greek communal life gave individuals a civic role and discusses a crucial reform that institutionalized the idea of equality before the law. In Greek drama--specifically Aeschylus' Oresteia--he finds reflections of the ascendancy of civil law and of a politicizing of life in the city-state. He examines the role of the leader as well as citizen participation in Athenian democracy and describes an ancient equivalent of the idea of social progress. He also contrasts the fifth-century Greek political world with today's world, drawing revealing comparisons. The Greek Discovery of Politics is important reading for ancient historians, classicists, political scientists, and anyone interested in the history of political thought or in the culture of ancient Greece.
The world's first known empires took shape in Mesopotamia between the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea and the Persian Gulf, beginning around 2350 BCE. The next 2,500 years witnessed sustained imperial growth, bringing a growing share of humanity under the control of ever-fewer states. Two thousand years ago, just four major powers--the Roman, Parthian, Kushan, and Han empires--ruled perhaps two-thirds of the earth's entire population. Yet despite empires' prominence in the early history of civilization, there have been surprisingly few attempts to study the dynamics of ancient empires in the western Old World comparatively. Such grand comparisons were popular in the eighteenth century, but scholars then had only Greek and Latin literature and the Hebrew Bible as evidence, and necessarily framed the problem in different, more limited, terms. Near Eastern texts, and knowledge of their languages, only appeared in large amounts in the later nineteenth century. Neither Karl Marx nor Max Weber could make much use of this material, and not until the 1920s were there enough archaeological data to make syntheses of early European and west Asian history possible. But one consequence of the increase in empirical knowledge was that twentieth-century scholars generally defined the disciplinary and geographical boundaries of their specialties more narrowly than their Enlightenment predecessors had done, shying away from large questions and cross-cultural comparisons. As a result, Greek and Roman empires have largely been studied in isolation from those of the Near East. This volume is designed to address these deficits and encourage dialogue across disciplinary boundaries by examining the fundamental features of the successive and partly overlapping imperial states that dominated much of the Near East and the Mediterranean in the first millennia BCE and CE. A substantial introductory discussion of recent thought on the mechanisms of imperial state formation prefaces the five newly commissioned case studies of the Neo-Assyrian, Achaemenid Persian, Athenian, Roman, and Byzantine empires. A final chapter draws on the findings of evolutionary psychology to improve our understanding of ultimate causation in imperial predation and exploitation in a wide range of historical systems from all over the globe. Contributors include John Haldon, Jack Goldstone, Peter Bedford, Josef Wieseh?fer, Ian Morris, Walter Scheidel, and Keith Hopkins, whose essay on Roman political economy was completed just before his death in 2004.
This volume discusses Koreas role as a middle power in the midst of the 21st century global power shift. Focusing on Koreas middle power diplomacy from the perspective of coalition building, the book discusses structural factors that shape middle power strategy and diplomacy. Written by leading Korean researchers, the chapters use diverse methodologies to offer a range of perspectives on Koreas place in the developing global order. Topics discussed include South Koreas approach to technology policy in the midst of US-China cyber competition, the East Asian Thucydides Trap, MITKA and middle power diplomacy, Koreas role in the South China Sea dispute, and South Korean cyber security. Providing a unique treatment of middle power opportunities and motivations in the East Asia region, this volume will be of interest to students and scholars of international relations, Asian politics, diplomacy, security studies, and global governance.
For centuries scholars have analyzed the composition of Luke-Acts presupposing that the reference to “many” accounts in Luke’s Preface indicates the written texts which served as the author’s primary sources of information. To justify this portrait of Luke as a text-based author, scholars have appealed to analogies with the text-based authors Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Diodorus Siculus, Plutarch, and Arrian. Luke among the Ancient Historians challenges this portrait of Luke’s method through surveying the origins and development of ancient Greek historiography in chapters on Herodotus, Thucydides, Polybius, Josephus, and Luke. By focusing on the values and practices of ancient historians, Peters demonstrates not only that ancient authors following the model of Thucydides regarded the testimony of eyewitnesses, as opposed to texts, as the proper sources for historians but that Luke emulated the values, practices, and craft terminology of the contemporary historiographical tradition. Taking seriously the self-presentation of Luke as a reporter of contemporary events who claims to write on the basis of “eyewitnesses from the beginning,” and personal investigation, this book argues against analogies with text-based historians who wrote about non-contemporary events and instead situates Luke within a portrait of the values and practices of historians of contemporary events.
This radical study argues against the view that the historian's craft has remained largely unchanged since classical times. Includes detailed discussion of the work of Thucydides, Cicero, Sallust, Livy and Tacitus.