Edition: 2000
Pages: 200
Series: BCM
ISBN: 9788842039020

Thucydides and the Empire. The Fall of Melos

Luciano Canfora


In a war the exercise of strength is followed by meaningless restrictions which scarcely deserve mention, such as the right of the people. (K. Von Clausewitz). This is, basically, what the Athenians tell the people of Melos while they are destroying them. The contrast between strength and right becomes - in the dialogue by Thucydides included in The Peloponnesian War - a philosophical debate between necessity and the nature and freedom of will. But is this presentation by Thucydides of the suppression of the people of Melos completely truthful? The documents in our possession leave room for doubt.

The author

Luciano Canfora

Luciano Canfora, historian of the ancient world and Italian philologist, is one of Italy’s foremost living intellectuals. Professor emeritus of Greek and Latin philology at the University of Bari, he is a member of the “Institute for the classical tradition” in Boston, of the “Fondazione Istituto Gramsci” in Rome, and directs the journal Quaderni di storia. His numerous studies, translated worldwide, are characterised by a multidisciplinary approach and a broad field of research.

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