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date: 16 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter shows how Thucydides’ rigorous critical method and literary artistry combine to produce an intellectually penetrating and emotionally gripping account of the past. For Thucydides, the key to accuracy is his interpretation of the facts. But he also wanted his readers to experience events as he perceived them and thereby also experience the validity of his interpretations. In addition to analyzing Thucydides’ goals, the essay also discusses Thucydides’ approach to chronology, the types of evidence and modes of reasoning that he uses, his understanding of human nature, his distinction between true and alleged causes, and his use of literary techniques such as vivid detail, dialogue, and the rhetorical figure of hyperbole.

Keywords: historical method, truth, evidence, narrative artistry, causation, speeches, scientific history, Leopold von Ranke

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