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Unformatted text preview: Miller 1 Logan Miller History 110 Dr. Eckstein 27 October 2010 Midterm Part II. Quote (b) In the History of the Peloponnesian War , Thucydides wrote a dialogue between the Athenians and the people of the island of Melos. This dialogue was meant to provide an insight into international relations between the Greek states during this war, from 431 to 404 BCE. The Athenians, encamped with a force in Melian territory, sent representatives to speak to the Melians before any hostilities occurred. These attempts at reaching a diplomatic peace eventually failed, and the Athenians surrounded the town of Melos, starved out the city, killed all the men, and enslaved the women and children. The relevant quote from this dialogue is: Our opinion of the gods, and our knowledge of men, lead us to conclude that it is a general and necessary law of nature to rule wherever one can. This is not a law that we made ourselves, nor were we the first to act upon it when it was made. No: we found it already we shall leave it to exist forever among those who come after us. We are merely acting in accordance with it--and we know that you, or anybody else who possessed the same power as we do, would be acting in exactly the same way we are. 1 Written by Thucydides, the above quote takes place around 416 BCE. Thucydides attempts to use this form of dialogue to further demonstrate international power relations in ancient Greece during the Peloponnesian War. The speakers in this quote are the Athenian representatives. They are attempting to persuade the people of Melos to submit to the Athenian Empire, also known as the Delian League. Their argument is that they do not want any difficulties in bringing Melos into their League....
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