Thucydides's Melian Dialogue and Sicilian Expedition
A Student Commentary
Oklahoma Series in Classical Culture
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
486 Pages | 6 x 9 | 3 maps
Best known for his account of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides (c. 454–c. 395 b.c.) was an Athenian general and historian. This valuable commentary addresses the most famous part of Thucydides’s narrative: the Sicilian Expedition (books 6–8.1), which resulted in a major defeat for Athens. Designed for advanced undergraduate and graduate students of Greek, Martha C. Taylor’s student-friendly text is the first single volume in more than a century to focus on the expedition and the first to include the Melian Dialogue (5.84–116), considered the “prelude” to the invasion.
Many beginning readers of Thucydides require assistance with the author’s often difficult constructions. In her notes to the text, Taylor breaks down Thucydides’s convoluted sentences and explains them piece by piece. Her notes also explain the author’s many historical and literary references.
In her in-depth introduction, Taylor provides students with all the information they need to begin reading Thucydides. She discusses what we know about the Greek author—and what we do not—and she analyzes his unique language and style. To place the Sicilian Expedition in historical context, she summarizes the events leading up to and following the Sicilian Expedition, and she examines important aspects of Athenian democracy, including Thucydides’s presentation of the Athenian boule, the city’s advisory citizen council.
In addition to textual and historical commentary, this volume includes three maps; an appendix addressing the epitaph of Perikles (2.65.5–13), in which Thucydides appears to contradict his later presentation of the Sicilian Expedition; source suggestions for student term papers on relevant topics; and a general bibliography.
Thucydides’s Melian Dialogue and Sicilian Expedition is designed for use with the Oxford Classical Text of Thucydides, which is available online.