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Imparfait, aoriste et présent historique dans les récits des quatre batailles navales de Syracuse (Guerre du Péloponnèse, livre 7)

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Chapter Summary

In the seventh book of his Peloponnesian War, Thucydides relates the four naval battles that took place before Syracuse between the Athenians and their enemies. These four narratives are neatly written with many correlations between them. Special care seems to have been devoted to the use of verbal narrative tenses. The tense used most is the imperfect. It expresses the course of events in an even way. When aorist and historical present occur, they may be viewed as contributing to shape the narrative. An unexpected event with heavy consequences is indeed what this tense seems to express, as we may see in the first and the second battles, as well as in its use for the eclipse of the moon before the third battle.

Keywords: Syracuse; Thucydides



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