Ancient History & Civilisation

History of the Peloponnesian War

History of the Peloponnesian War

Commonly acknowledged as one of the earliest written accounts of history, this classic work of Thucydides chronicles the war between Athens and Sparta during the fifth century B.C. While dispassionately and accurately reporting the events of this ancient Greek war in a strict chronology, Thucydides includes the causes of the conflict, descriptions of battlefield strategy, political opinions, and all other aspects of the war in brilliant detail with the tactful insights of an intellectual and observant eyewitness. Himself an Athenian general who served in the war, Thucydides relates the invasions, treacheries, plagues, amazing speeches, ambitions, virtues, and emotions of the conflict between two of Greece's most dominant city-states in a work that has the feel of a tragic drama. Though in part an analysis of war policy, "The History" is also a dramatic account of the rise and fall of Athens by an Athenian man. As such, it has the ring of historical warning that has sounded over two thousand years, continuing for modern military, politics, and international relations an ageless admonition.

BOOK I

Chapter I. The State of Greece from the earliest Times to the Commencement of the Peloponnesian War

Chapter II. Causes of the War - The Affair of Epidamnus - The Affair of Potidaea

Chapter III. Congress of the Peloponnesian Confederacy at Lacedaemon

Chapter IV. From the end of the Persian to the beginning of the Peloponnesian War - The Progress from Supremacy to Empire

Chapter V. Second Congress at Lacedaemon - Preparations for War and Diplomatic Skirmishes - Cylon - Pausanias - Themistocles

BOOK II

Chapter VI. Beginning of the Peloponnesian War - First Invasion of Attica - Funeral Oration of Pericles

Chapter VII. Second Year of the War - The Plague of Athens - Position and Policy of Pericles - Fall of Potidaea

Chapter VIII. Third Year of the War - Investment of Plataea - Naval Victories of Phormio - Thracian Irruption into Macedonia under Sitalces

BOOK III

Chapter IX. Fourth and Fifth Years of the War - Revolt of Mitylene

Chapter X. Fifth Year of the War - Trial and Execution of the Plataeans - Corcyraean Revolution

Chapter XI. Year of the War - Campaigns of Demosthenes in Western Greece - Ruin of Ambracia

BOOK IV

Chapter XII. Seventh Year of the War - Occupation of Pylos - Surrender of the Spartan Army in Sphacteria

Chapter XIII. Seventh and Eighth Years of the War - End of Corcyraean Revolution - Peace of Gela - Capture of Nisaea

Chapter XIV. Eighth and Ninth Years of the War - Invasion of Boeotia - Fall of Amphipolis - Brilliant Successes of Brasidas

BOOK V

Chapter XV. Tenth Year of the War - Death of Cleon and Brasidas - Peace of Nicias

Chapter XVI. Feeling against Sparta in Peloponnese - League of the Mantineans, Eleans, Argives, and Athenians - Battle of Mantinea and breaking up of the League

Chapter XVII. Sixteenth Year of the War - The Melian Conference - Fate of Melos

BOOK VI

Chapter XVIII. Seventeenth Year of the War - The Sicilian Campaign - Affair of the Hermae - Departure of the Expedition

Chapter XIX. Seventeenth Year of the War - Parties at Syracuse - Story of Harmodius and Aristogiton - Disgrace of Alcibiades

Chapter XX. Seventeenth and Eighteenth Years of the War - Inaction of the Athenian Army - Alcibiades at Sparta - Investment of Syracuse

BOOK VII

Chapter XXI. Eighteenth and Nineteenth Years of the War - Arrival of Gylippus at Syracuse - Fortification of Decelea - Successes of the Syracusans

Chapter XXII. Nineteenth Year of the War - Arrival of Demosthenes - Defeat of the Athenians at Epipolae - Folly and Obstinancy of Nicias

Chapter XXIII. Nineteenth Year of the War - Battles in the Great Harbour - Retreat and Annihilation of the Athenian Army

BOOK VIII

Chapter XXIV. Nineteenth and Twentieth Years of the War - Revolt of Ionia - Intervention of Persia - The War in Ionia

Chapter XXV. Twentieth and Twenty-first Years of the War - Intrigues of Alcibiades - Withdrawal of the Persian Subsidies - Oligarchical Coup d'Etat at Athens - Patriotism of the Army at Samos

Chapter XXVI. Twenty-first Year of the War - Recall of Alcibiades to Samos - Revolt of Euboea and Downfall of the Four Hundred - Battle of Cynossema