We take Pericles' Funeral Oration out of context at our peril. For a true picture of war, read Thucydides to the end...
The ancient Greek historian Thucydides has had an enormous impact on modern historiography, political theory, international relations and strategic studies, but this influence has never been properly studied. This book brings together leading scholars from a range of disciplines to explore the different facets of Thucydides' modern reception and influence, from the birth of political theory in Renaissance Europe to the rise of scientific history in nineteenth-century Germany and the triumph of 'realism' in twentieth-century international relations theory. Its chapters consider the different national and disciplinary traditions of reading and citing Thucydides, but also highlight common themes and questions; in particular, the variety of images of the historian produced by his modern readers: the scientific historian or the artful rhetorician, the brilliant analyst of society and politics or the great narrator of political and military events, the man of experience and affairs or the man of contemplation and reflection. This volume brings together papers from the original 2007 research workshops (funded by the AHRC) on the reception of Thucydides, held in Bristol, Oxford and Cambridge, with some specially commissioned chapters.
(1) ‘Introduction: the modern reception of Thucydides’: Katherine Harloe (Reading) & Neville Morley (Bristol)
(2) ‘Thucydides and the bellicose beginnings of early modern political theory’: Kinch Hoekstra (Berkeley)
(3) ‘Thucydides the Thermidorian; the rediscovery of democracy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries’: Nadia Urbinati (Columbia)
(4) ‘Historicizing the classics: how nineteenth-century German historiography changed the perspective on historical tradition’: Johannes Süssmann (Frankfurt)
(5) ‘The Education Offered by Athens: Thucydides and the stirrings of democracy in Britain’: Elizabeth Potter (Oxford)
(6) ‘Thucydides, History and Historicism in Wilhelm Roscher’: Neville Morley (Bristol)
(7) ‘The reception of Pericles’ Funeral Oration’: Jennifer Talbot Roberts (City University of New York)
(8) ‘The Greek Thucydides: Venizelos’ Thucydides and modern Greek fiction’: Emily Greenwood (St Andrews)
(9) ‘Thucydides and ‘realism’ among the classics of international relations’: Steve Forde (U. of North Texas)
(10) ‘Thucydides from the Cold War to today’: Richard Ned Lebow (Dartmouth)
(11) ‘Receiving Thucydides in modern politics’: Geoffrey Hawthorn (Cambridge)
Noch einmal für Thukydides, a collection of prose pieces by the Austrian writer Peter Handke, invites reflection on the history of his engagement with this classical author. In Kindergeschichte, he draws on a reading of Thucydides as a war narrative in order to solve the problems he experienced in telling the story of the relationship between a father and daughter. Handke's reading of Thucydides differs significantly from the prevailing modern traditions of reception; and, unlike those who revere the ancient author solely as an analyst and critic, he explores what it might mean to write as a modern Thucydides.