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Thucydides’ history live: Reception and politics

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the reception of Thucydides’ work. The author gives more prominence to Thucydides who not only confronts similar problems to those of Plato but in fact precedes him. The chapter begins with a quick survey of Thucydides’ explicit remarks on sources and the status of his History. While Thucydides clearly recognizes the possibilities of written report and proclaims his own work to be of that status, there is no compelling reason to think that Thucydides felt access by a silent reader was superior to that of a critical listener. The author argues that work by Plato and Thucydides would likely have been read aloud and discussed. Like Plato, Thucydides wishes to provoke his readers and auditors, so that they also become engaged in historical analysis and the business of politics.

Keywords: business of politics; History Live: Reception; Plato; Politics; reception of Thucydides’ work; Thucydides’ history



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