A review of thucydides documentary the melian dialogue

Renfrew, Colin; Wagstaff, Malcolm, eds. The fleet that transported this army had 38 ships: Analysis[ edit ] Warships of the era triremes could carry little in the way of supplies, and thus needed friendly and neutral ports where the crew could purchase food and other necessities on a daily basis.

It was a pioneering and polemical work, written in opposition to a commonly-held belief prevalent in Germany especially but not exclusively, at the time that Thucydides had written his history as a manual for future politicians and generals which would enable them to understand exactly the wellsprings of human action, and, more than that, to predict confidently what would happen in the future.

The Melian Dialogue

Chapter 7 continues with the story to the end of the Archidamian War. The Melians argue that "might" in this instance is opposed to what is morally right and that the Athenians should act in accordance with morality rather than expediency. Badian have provided much more detailed and sophisticated analyses: Genocide in the Twentieth Century.

The Melians do not change their minds and politely dismiss the envoys. And these events set in motion an entire series of consequences: The phrase "Melian hunger" became a byword for extreme starvation.

Inno less than three new full-length editions of Thucydides were published, of which two were brand new translations, by Steven Lattimore the son of Richmond Lattimore, famous for his exceptional translations of Homer and by Walter Blanco, an English professor at City University of New York.

Neither side was able to sway the other and the negotiations failed. This choice is compounded by additional difficulties when the work under scrutiny was composed far off in the distant past.

You are not currently authenticated. Chapter 10 returns to the detailed treatment practiced elsewhere in the book, and asks the question whether the "hinges" of history as examined in the previous chapters are also true for Books 6 and 7.

If some of his insights will seem familiar to readers, that is again the result of the influence the book has had over the years. The Melians believe that they will have the assistance of the gods because their position is morally just. The situation at Mytilene is again shown to be the result of a series of misunderstandings and false inferences.

The Athenians argue that it does and that, therefore, it is both natural and just that Melos should surrender to Athens. They say that there is no shame in submitting to a stronger enemy, especially one who is offering reasonable terms.

Thucydides has expanded the scope of his work, such that it is no longer bound to the political realm or Athenian imperialism but instead includes all parties and individuals.

Whereas the Athenians use the unpredictability of war to warn the Spartans 1. The Athenian Tribute Lists. I have not reproduced his italics, believing that in brief quotations they will only distract the reader.

The Melians rejected the ultimatum. At the same time, the reasoned calculations of Archidamus are overcome by the passion of Sthenelaidas, a pattern that recurs throughout the history: A History of Ancient Coinage.

Siege of Melos

In producing this handsome volume, Dr. In the same summer the Aetolians manage to persuade the Spartans to attack Naupactus, and again a similar type of failure results. There is no shame in submitting to an overwhelmingly superior opponent like Athens.

By demonstrating that surrender is the practical option, the Athenians believe they have proven that it is therefore the correct option.

A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

How does the Melian dialogue of Thucydides reflect

The Athenians do not wish to waste time arguing over the morality of the situation, because in practice might makes right—or, in their own words, "the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must". The Athenians also had help from traitors within Melos. Events had no "necessity" about them, and throughout the Peloponnesian War and by extension in human history as a whole the unforeseen, the incalculable, the irrational, and chance played important, sometimes dominant, roles.

Stahl Bryn Mawr Classical Review, This sum could have paid the wages of a trireme crew for 15 months, [13] or bought metric tons of wheat, enough to feed 2, men for a year.

The book was enormously influential, and together with the work of W. Thucydides also considers missed opportunities: However, it is marred by omissions and garbling of names, which should be put right urgently in a reprinting, and the emphasis of the notes is uneven in important respects.

To those familiar with the trends of the last thirty years of Thucydidean scholarship, this chapter will seem the most dated, but, again, that is thanks largely to the influence of Stahl and others.-- the Melian dialogue as stated earlier is a good example of the ideals of realism at work -- the strategic context for the Melian Dialogue was that at the time there was a turf war between Athens and Persia.

Since Thomas Hobbes’s exquisite translation, there have been 11 translations published of the entirety of Thucydides’s history, not counting numerous revisions of translations and innumerable translations of such sections as the Funeral Oration or the Melian Dialogue.

Review of Thucydides: Man's place in history, by H.-P. Stahl. Bryn Mawr Classical Review, Review by John Marincola, The Florida State University. Hans-Peter Stahl's Thukydides: Die Stellung des Menschen im geschichtlichen Prozess was originally published in An Analysis of Thucydides' Views on the Melian Dialogue The Melian Dialogue is a debate between Melian and Athenian representatives concerning the sovereignty of Melos.

The debate did not really occur-the arguments given by each side were of Thucydides own creation. Thus it is reasonable to assume that we can tease out Thucydides' own beliefs. The Melian Dialogue. In History of the Peloponnesian War (book 5, chapters 84–), the contemporary Athenian historian Thucydides inserted a dramatization of the negotiations between the emissaries of the Athenian invaders and the rulers of Melos.

Thucydides did not witness the negotiations and in fact had been in exile at the time, so this dialogue. The inscription is ML 61, and unlike IG I 3 83 it is available in an accessible translation, C.

W. Fornara, Archaic Times to the End of the Peloponnesian War, 2d ed. (Cambridge ), doc. no. Two inscriptions have long been cited by commentators in connection with the Melian dialogue.

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