'War is a harsh teache' wrote Thucydides in the fifth-century BC. Rood analyses the techniques through which Thucydides' narrative explains the origin and course of the Peloponnesian War and exposes harsh truths about how individuals and states behave. Rood concentrates on how the use of techniques, such as selectivity, interaction of speech and narrative, and manipulation of time and perspective, points at one level to general human constraints, at another to the self-destructiveness of Athens' imperial power. The book explores some techniques that have received little attention and offers new ways of reading others; it gives new insight into Thucydides' sophistication and the way he relates to his predecessors. It is also important for its attempts to refute views that Thucydides' History is made up of different compositional strata or inspired by pro-Athenian bias. And it addresses directly the way modern historians use Thucydides, contributes to the contemporary debate over narrative history, and shows the value of applying some of the concepts of recent narrative theory to historical texts.
`Review from previous edition the value of Rood's work lies in the options for interpretation with which we are presented.'
The Classical Outlook
`Rood makes the case for a fresh reading of the great Greek historian, literary stylist, and student of human natrure using the tools of modern narratology ... Rood makes many sensible points.'
`Rood's book is a successful and insightful look into how Thucydides' text works and is another example of narratology's contribution to our understanding of how stories interact with readers to create meaning.'
The Classical Bulletin
`It is a tribute to Rood's efforts that his book will stimulate thinking not only on Thucydides, but also on the narratives of other ancient historians, and on the tools of literary analysis now used to explicate historiographical texts. For scholars interested in the structure and arrangement of Thucydides' work, Rood's book will now be the fundamental starting point for future analyses.'
Bryn Mawr Classical Review
`Rood has much to say that is new and exciting. He has brought to the task wide reading and a great sensitivity to his author, and he has applied the techniques of narratology to Thucydides' text more expertly than anyone before. And in so doing, he has produced the most important book on Thucydides since Connor's work of nearly two decades ago.'
Bryn Mawr Classical Review
I. Interpreting Thucydides
1: Introduction: History and Literature
2: The Analysis of Narrative: Pylos
II. Time, Perception, Knowledge
3: Perceptions: Towards Peace
4: Misreadings: Book V
5: Temporal Manipulation
III. Explaining Defeat
6: Selectivity and Omission: Athenian Politics
7: Athens and Sicily
8: Nikias and Athens
IV. Explaining War
9: Selectivity and Omission: Book I
10: The Pentekontaetia
V. Continuity and Closure
11: Continuity: Book VIII
12: Conclusion: The Ends of History