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Who was Thucydides?

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Thucydides was a Greek historian. Born Athens, Greece, in about 460 B.C.

Thucydides is regarded as the first scientific historian.

During the Peloponnesian War he was made a general of the Athenian army. When he failed to prevent the Spartans from seizing the city of Amphipolis in 424 B.C., he went into exile. He then set out to write an impartial account of the Peloponnesian War. He intended it "not as an essay to win the applause of the moment, but as a possession for all times."

Thucydides sought to sift fact from fiction and to achieve accuracy in his narrative. He did not live to complete his work. His History of the Peloponnesian War begins with the causes of the war and ends in the year 411 B.C. Thucydides emphasized the military and political aspects of the war. He reconstructed or composed the speeches of the main participants in order to present their divergent views. As critical history and as literature, Thucydides' history is a masterpiece. Many English translations are available.

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