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date: 16 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Thucydides’ narrative of the first ten years of the Peloponnesian War (the Archidamian War) encompasses a large number of varied military activities and structures them to present a comprehensible if simplified version of the war. This chapter considers both the accuracy of his narrative and the way he organizes it, especially the choices he makes of which trends to emphasize and which to play down. Thucydides is not perfectly accurate, but when we have other sources of information about the war, they often confirm his account. Included among the themes that Thucydides highlights and those that he has been suspected of neglecting are the following: the basic strategies of Athens and Sparta, Athenian leadership, the Helots, the Plague, Athenian financial difficulties, and the Peace of Nicias.

Keywords: plague, helots, inscriptions, finances, strategy, Pylos, Aristophanes, Archidamian

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