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  Thucydides. Man's place in history
by H.-P. Stahl
IISBN 978-1-905125-32-6, paperback, v+248 pp., 2009,

Hans-Peter Stahl is one of the most distinguished contemporary writers on classical literature. An authority on both Greece and Rome, his particular achievement is to reveal the logic of writers, imaginative and factual alike, in the political sphere. Author of numerous studies of the Greek classical period, Stahl has also written Propertius, 'Love' and 'War': Individual and state under Augustus (University of California Press), and is editor of Vergil's Aeneid: Augustan epic and political context (Classical Press of Wales). He is at present preparing a major new study of Vergil.

Stahl's classic book on Thucydides, here in English for the first time, penetrates as few others to the Greek writer's deepest interests. Stahl reveals Thucydides' work as a study in the fallibility of human projections. Above all, Thucydides is shown as interested in tracking how optimistic plans lead to irremediable suffering in the field of foreign policy. For this new edition, the original has been revised and enlarged by two chapters which reflect the author's subsequent work.


1. The question (Book 6.53-61)
2. Retrospective (the state of Thucydidean studies; methodology)
3. Projections and prospects (Book 1)
4. Prelude to war (Book 2.2-6)
5. Plan and reality (Book 2)
6. Endpoints of series of events (Book 3.2-85)
7. Recurring structural elements of event sequences (Books 3.94-114; 4.2 - 5.14)
8. Behaviour in the extreme situation (Book 5.84-113)
9. Speeches vs course of events in Books 6 and 7: attitudes-perceptions-responses
10. Literary detail and historical crisis point: the Sicilian Books
Index rerum
Index nominum
Index verborum graecorum
Index locorum

Available from January 2009