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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter studies Thucydides’ account of early Greek history in the “Archaeology” (1.1.2–1.21.2). It shows that Thucydides’ criteria of development and his reconstruction of history are heavily influenced by power relations in Greece during the early stages of the Peloponnesian War. Comparison with other sources for both the legendary and the historical past reveals the extent to which Thucydides, by means of omission, selective emphasis, and skewed interpretation, manipulates traditions that were well known to Athenian audiences, in order to create his distinctive vision of history as reaching a peak of military and economic development and “modernity” in the Greece of his own day. The chapter concludes by exploring the ways in which Thucydides’ influential model of Greek history fails to do justice to the historical realities of archaic Greece.

Keywords: archaeology, navy, public finance, Greek warfare, modernity, tyranny, historiography, Archaic Greece

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