The Peloponnesian War, Volume 1 (Unabridged)


Written By: Thucydides

Written By: Charlton Griffin

Length:14 hours and 50 min.

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Audiobook Summary:Historians universally agree that Thucydides was the greatest historian who has ever lived, and that his story of the Peloponnesian conflict is a marvel of forensic science and fine literature. That such a triumph of intellectual accomplishment was created at the end of the fifth century B.C. in Greece is, perhaps, not so surprising, given the number of original geniuses we find in that period. But that such an historical work would also be simultaneously acknowledged as a work of great literature and a penetrating ethical evaluation of humanity is one of the miracles of ancient history. For in the pages of Thucydides we find examples of every ethical and political problem ever faced by democratic governments in the last 2,400 years. And it was all organized and written with a breathtaking skill and dramatic intensity which have never been equaled. In complete contrast to the furious passions which raged around him, Thucydides described events with a cool detachment and an absolute impartiality that is little short of miraculous. The Peloponnesian War is organized into eight parts ("books"). This recording uses the highly esteemed translation of Benjamin Jowett. There are several essays preceding and following the work. Volume 1 begins with a brief digression into early Greek history to set the stage on the eve of war. Thucydides explains how Athens came to be an imperial power and how the Peloponnesian confederacy, led by Sparta, became estranged. We learn how Sparta was dragged unwillingly into the conflict by Corinth in 431 B.C. and how Pericles set the strategy by which Athens was to conduct the war. We follow as the antagonists conduct raids, engage in shifting alliances, and devastate one another's territory. The plague at Athens and the Spartan disaster at Pylos are just a few of the highlights. Volume1 ends with the efforts of the brilliant Spartan general, Brasidas, in the full tide of success.