W. Robert Connor
This full-scale sequential reading of Thucydides' history of the Peloponnesian War will be invaluable to the specialist and also to those in search of an introduction and companion to the "Histories." Moving beyond other studies by its focus on the reader's role in giving meaning to the text, it reveals Thucydides' use of objectivity not so much as standard for the proper presentation of his subject matter as a method for communicating with his readers and involving them in the complexity and suffering of the Peloponnesian War. W. Robert Connor shows that as Thucydides' themes and ideas are reintroduced and developed, the initial reactions of the reader are challenged, subverted, and eventually made to contribute to a deeper understanding of the war. This book described earlier approaches to the "Histories," including attempts to account for the paradox of the intense emotional power of a work ostensibly so cool and detached. It demonstrates that many features previously thought to be signs of inconsistencies in Thucydides' thought or of different stages of composition are instead parts of the development of the reader's reaction to the war.