The War of the Peloponnesians and the Athenians

Edited and translated by Jeremy Mynott, Wolfson College, Cambridge
ISBN: 9781139050371


Thucydides’ classic work is a foundational text in the history of Western political thought. His narrative of the great war between Athens and Sparta in the fifth century BC is now seen as a highly sophisticated study of the nature of political power itself: its exercise and effects, its agents and victims, and the arguments through which it is defended and deployed. It is therefore increasingly read as a text in politics, international relations and political theory, whose students will find in Thucydides many striking contemporary resonances. This edition seeks to present the author and the text in their proper historical context. The new translation is particularly sensitive to the risks of anachronism, and the notes and extensive reference material provide students with all the necessary historical, cultural and linguistic background they need to engage with the text on its own terms.


“I recommend Mynott’s version most highly for advanced discussions of Thucydides’ ideas…. Altogether, this edition in a crowded field offers many unique annotations complementing its fresh and accurate translation.”
Donald Lateiner, Ancient History Bulletin
Full review at:

“This summer, a cab driver told me Thucydides contained the answer to all problems in American politics. He wasn’t overstating this book’s importance, especially this year. At the 150th anniversary of Gettysburg Address, revisit Pericles’ funeral oration, Lincoln’s great source. Looking abroad, remember Athens’ devastating Sicilian expedition. When crisis shakes contemporary political discourse, remember the Athenian plague of 430 B.C., when words lost their meaning. Mynott translates Thucydides’s history with an aim to strip from the text “anachronistic concepts derived from later developments and theories.” Thucydides knows more about us than we do; here he is unvarnished and clarion.”
Julia Fisher, New Republic 

“Mynott’s work is an extremely useful edition for its re-situation of Thucydides in his own context, especially for the large numbers of readers of Thucydides in disciplines outside the classics. It is no small achievement to convey in modern English the literary qualities of this most political of ancient historians.”
Liz Sawyer, Oxonian Review
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“This translation [will be] invaluable to students of political thought, as well as a welcome addition to the library of many classicists and ancient historians and an extremely valuable teaching resource.”
Benjamin Earley, The Classical Review