End of Athens in Thucydides

End of Athens in Thucydides - Your brain on Thucydides...

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G REAT B OOKS 191 F2011 Thucydides 5.84-116; 6.8-93 Whose justice? ATHENS: “Right, as the world goes, is only in question between equals in power, while the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.” Thucydides 5.89 Your brain on Thucydides
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Major Themes For consideration: is Thucydides a moralist or a realist? The Melian dialogue (5.84-116) 416 BCE: What has Athens learned? What has she become ? How do these Athenians compare with the Athenians of the Mytilenian debate? With the victorious Spartans of Plataea? Justice vs. Expediency; the law of nature; the futility of hope vs. necessity. The Sicilian Expedition (books 6-7) 416-413 BCE: diagnosing Athens’ political disease: stasis (= “factionalism, civil strife”); pleonexia (= “greediness, excess”); the “Shape of Things”? The defeat of Athens.
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= “greediness, excess” Alcibiades’ speech features his own ambitious character (phusis), which he also imputes to the Athenians (6.18.3) “Moreover, we cannot fix the exact point at which our empire shall stop; we have reached a position in which we must not be content with retaining what we have but must scheme to extend it , for if we cease to rule others, we shall be in danger of being ruled ourselves
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End of Athens in Thucydides - Your brain on Thucydides...

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