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Thucydides on the Outbreak of War
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Thucydides on the Outbreak of War: Character and Contest

S. N. Jaffe


The cause of great power war is a perennial issue for the student of politics. Some 2400 years ago, in his monumental History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides wrote that it was the growth of Athenian power and the fear that this power inspired in Sparta which rendered the Peloponnesian War somehow necessary, inevitable, or compulsory. This new political psychological study of Thucydides’ first book shows how the History’s account of the outbreak of the war ultimately points toward the opposing characters of the Athenian and Spartan regimes, disclosing a Thucydidean preoccupation with the d ... More

Keywords: Athens, Sparta, character, contest, causes of war, political psychology, nature, convention, universal, particular

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780198716280
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198716280.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

S. N. Jaffe, author
Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at John Cabot University and an Associate Researcher at the Berlin Thucydides Center of the Freie Universität (FU) Berlin