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Volume 3 of the Grene and Lattimore editions, which offer the most comprehensive selection of the Greek tragedies available in English.
Details nearly fifty turbulent years of warfare in Greece between 411 and 362 BC. Presenting the story of the Peloponnesian War at the point where Thucydides finished his magisterial history, this title chronicles the conflicts that ultimately led to the decline of Greece, and the wars with both Thebes and the might of Persia.
A first-hand account of the war between Sparta and Athens from a man dubbed the 'father of scientific history', Thucydides. History of The Peloponnesian War is translated from the Greek by Rex Warner with an introduction and notes by M. I. Finley in Penguin Classics. 'My work is not a piece of writing designed to meet the taste of an immediate public, but was done to last for ever' Written four hundred years before the birth of Christ, this detailed contemporary account of the long life-and-death struggle between Peloponnesian League (led by Sparta) and the Delian League (led by Athens) stands an excellent chance of fulfilling its author's ambitious claim. Thucydides himself was an Athenian and achieved the rank of general in the earlier stages of the war. He applied thereafter a passion for accuracy and a contempt for myth and romance in compiling this factual record of a disastrous conflict. Thucydides (c. 460-400 BC), Greek historian and author, took a small part in the Peloponnesian War when it broke out in 431BC. His account The Peoloponnesian War is the only surviving source for much of the period that he describes. Some of the chronological inconsistencies have been the cause of controversy among scholars for centuries. If you enjoyed History of the Peloponnesian War, you might like Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars, also available in Penguin Classics.
In The Persian Expedition, Xenophon, a young Athenian noble who sought his destiny abroad, provides an enthralling eyewitness account of the attempt by a Greek mercenary army - the Ten Thousand - to help Prince Cyrus overthrow his brother and take the Persian throne. When the Greeks were then betrayed by their Persian employers, they were forced to march home through hundreds of miles of difficult terrain - adrift in a hostile country and under constant attack from the unforgiving Persians and warlike tribes. In this outstanding description of endurance and individual bravery, Xenophon, one of those chosen to lead the retreating army, provides a vivid narrative of the campaign and its aftermath, and his account remains one of the best pictures we have of Greeks confronting a 'barbarian' world.