Fukidid ( ancient Greek Θουκυδίδης , ca. 460 - ca. 400 BC) is the largest ancient Greek historian, founder of historical science, author of the " History of the Peloponnesian War ."
Bust of Thucydides
|Date of Birth||about 460 BC e.|
|Place of Birth||Alimos, Attica|
|Date of death||about 400 BC. er|
|Place of death||Athens , Attica|
The year of birth of Thucydides is unknown. Based on the testimony of the writer Pamphila, he was born around 470 BC. er ; from the words of his biographer Markellin, it should be concluded that he was born around 450 BC. er The historian himself says that at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War ( 431 BC ) he was already at a quite mature age and could understand and observe the events taking place  ; in addition, it is known that in 424 BC. er Thucydides already showed strategic skills and then had at least 30 years of age. Most likely he was born around 460-455 BC. er Thus, his youth coincided with the age of Pericles : he was a contemporary of Euripides , the Sophists and Socrates .
The biography of Thucydides is not exactly known. The reports of his biographers, of which the main one is a certain Markellin (who lived in the 6th century, that is, a thousand years later) do not inspire confidence. The most reliable information are the reports of the historian himself, made in passing.
Thucydides belonged to a rich and noble family: his ancestor was the Thracian king Olor , and he was related to the Miltiades family. Son of Olore, of the Attic deme of Galimunt. Thucydides possessed great material means; in Thrace, he owned gold mines and he was influential there  . In Athens, apparently, he stood close to influential people, including, probably, to Pericles, a remarkable characterization of which he presented  .
Thucydides, as his work proves, received an excellent education. Reaching his mature age, he took part in state and military affairs. The historian spent the first years of the Peloponnesian War in Athens; during a plague epidemic that broke out in the second year of the war, he himself fell ill with this terrible disease, which he later described. When the Spartan commander Brasid transferred military operations to Thrace (424), Thucydides commanded a squadron at the island of Fasos ; he did not have time to prevent the transfer of Amphipolis to the side of Brasid (taking only measures to protect Aion ). Forced, as a result, to go into exile, he settled in his Thracian estate, where at leisure he could compose and process his work, calmly, as a spectator, observe both warring parties and, in particular, get closer to the Peloponnesians  . He visited, apparently, many places that were theater wars, the courtyard of the Macedonian king Archelaus , Sicily and in particular Syracuse, as can be concluded from a lively and accurate description of their surroundings and siege. 20 years spent Thucydides in exile. At the end of the Peloponnesian War (404), as a result of the amnesty (general or, according to some reports, especially, at the suggestion of Enobiya), he could return to his homeland, but soon died (c. 399–396; in any case, not later than 396 years, for he does not know the restoration of the Long Walls by Conon and the eruption of Etna in 396), according to some, in Athens, according to others, in a foreign land, in Thrace, or on the way home. There is news that he died a violent death.
"History of the Peloponnesian War"
Thucydides wrote The History of the Peloponnesian War , of which he was a contemporary and an eyewitness. According to his own statement, he began his work immediately after the outbreak of the war, being convinced in advance of its importance  . Nevertheless, the question of the time of compilation and processing of his “History” is one of the controversial. Ulrich (in the mid-40s of the 19th century) argued that at first Thukidid, under the war of the Peloponnesians with the Athenians, understood only the first period, the so-called Arkhidamov war , and wrote the first books after Nikiyev's world (421), thinking that war ended, and then continued his work.
This opinion, supported by many, met with objections, mainly from Klassen and Ed. Meier However, the disagreement is not as great as it seems, since the followers of Ulrich agree that Thucydides subsequently made inserts, and Klassen and his supporters recognize that the historian could have sketched some parts as material for subsequent processing before the end of the war.
"The History of the Peloponnesian War" Thucydides consists of 8 books. Book I contains the famous introduction - an essay on the ancient history of Greece, a statement of the reasons for the war and its real causes, an essay on the Fiftieth Anniversary (from the Plateia battle to the beginning of the Peloponnesian War) and the gap between Athens and Sparta; Book II begins the story of the war itself. Description brought to the winter of 411 BC. er and continued by Xenophon . Also the continuation of history was written by the historian Kratipp .
In his work, Thucydides is one of the most prominent and characteristic representatives of the Greek thought of that era, which can be called the era of the "Enlightenment"; This was the time of the new philosophical movement that engulfed Greece, critical thought and rationalism. The goal of Thucydides, as he himself defines it, is “the search for truth.” He is the enemy of anecdotes, fictions, poetic embellishment; he does not strive for entertaining. He himself contrasts his work to the works of both poets, with their exaggerations and embellishments, and "logographs" (I, 21).
Thucydides knew that his presentation would seem less entertaining and pleasant; but he considered it sufficient if his work "is found useful by those who wish to have a clear and correct view of the past, in view of the fact that something similar may happen in the future in the future of human nature." He looked at his work not as a temporary fun for listeners, but as “wealth forever” (I, 22).
Thucydides, in his own words, strove for exact knowledge (V, 26) and set out not as he thought or as the first comer informed, but as an eyewitness or on the basis of information, although obtained from others, but subjected to possible thorough and accurate testing ( I, 22), He realizes that it was difficult to learn the truth, because eyewitnesses said the same thing is not the same, but under the influence of addiction or memory (I, 22). Thus, the basic techniques of historical criticism were first discovered and applied by Thucydides.
His whole work testifies to his conscientiousness, thoroughness and caution in finding the truth. Thucydides was the first to properly appreciate the importance of the documents and some of them were fully included in his history (for example, the armistice text of 423, Nikieev Mir, the treaty of the Athenians with Argos, Mantinea and Elida). It extracts data from the labels; knows how to use myth and folk tradition, explain the origin of a story, even an incorrect version (see, for example, VI, 54 ff.).
With regard to the techniques, the initial chapters are particularly interesting, in which Thucydides tries to reconstruct the most important moments of ancient Greek history; On the part of the method, these chapters are one of the most remarkable manifestations of Greek thought. Here the historian applies in a wide way the method of inverse conclusion - from the present to the past, from the known to the unknown, and the evidence for the epos, topographic data, real monuments, preserved names, culturally backward Greek tribes and barbarians serve as the basis for his conclusions and combinations. customs, festivals and ceremonies, in general - cultural experiences.
The techniques of Thucydides resemble those of modern scholars and his method of inverse conclusion is at the same time a comparative method: Thucydides notes the analogy between the life of the Greeks, at a certain stage of their development, and the barbarians (I, 3.6); the idea of gradual development is not alien to him; the oldest, fabulous olden time he has only one of the phases in the development of Greek society. In his work, the idea of causality is clearly revealed: Thucydides is distinguished by common, underlying causes and motives or random circumstances. For example, he notes that the events in Epidamna and Potidaea, the complaints of Megara and Aegina are only reasons and pretexts for war; its true reason was hidden in the rise of Athenian power, which aroused fear and envy in the Lacedaemonians (I, 23; II, 8).
Thucydides recognizes the legality of historical phenomena; He encounters a number of generalizations based on the conviction that the same causes and conditions cause the same effects: in his opinion, until human nature changes, until then, phenomena similar to those described by him will occur. Thus, regarding the struggle of parties on the island of Corfu, Thucydides gives a striking in depth analysis of the image of pathological phenomena - the distortion of concepts, the savagery and demoralization of Greek society, as the pernicious and inevitable consequences of a bitter internecine war (III, 82-83), and at the same time notices : “As a result of civil strife, a lot of serious troubles fell upon states, misfortunes that usually and always will happen, while human nature remains the same,” but only to a greater or lesser extent and different in forms, according to the circumstances stvam in each individual case.
Historical events Thucydides explains, without introducing mythological elements, including divine intervention. He does not believe in oracles and omens; however, he mentions them, but not because he believes in them, but because the masses believed them, and as a result, they were a factor with which the historian had to be considered. With regard to some of the sayings of the oracle, Thucydides makes extremely accurate criticisms (see II, 17, 54). According to Thucydides, not fortunetellers, omens and oracles, but mind and knowledge can foresee the future. In a historical figure, he puts the mind, the ability to make a correct judgment of the state of affairs above all, and thus foresee the future. However, he does not judge in terms of ultimate success; for example, the war started at Pericles led to disaster, but Thucydides praises Pericles and his vision; on the contrary, Cleon took the Sphacteria, keeping his promise, but the historian considers it frivolous and extravagant (IV, 28, 3 6).
The historical and philosophical concept of Thucydides is based on the rationalistic ideas of Anaxagoras and the philosophical school of sophists  .
As for the political views of Thucydides, he was not inclined to an extreme democracy; more than once he responds scornfully about the variability and impermanence of the crowd; he feels antipathy for demagogues (characteristic, for example, his attitude toward Cleon); regarding the establishment of a very moderate democracy (after the overthrow of the oligarchy in 400 BC), he claims that this was the best form of government that existed in his time, since it was a moderate combination of oligarchy and democracy (VIII, 97). In general, Thucydides rarely gives personal opinions; he avoids talking from himself and makes talking the most facts.
In general, he is distinguished by remarkable objectivity and impartiality, and his conscientiousness in presenting facts is such that with the help of the same reported data one can sometimes check and even refute his view. For example, on the basis of the information by which we owe Thucydid, we can form a somewhat different opinion about Cleon, to whom he relates, obviously, with hostility; Thucydides glorified Pericles in his famous characterization (II, 65), but we will not find in him a simple panegyric to the leader of Athens: Thucydides speaks about his military actions with great moderation. An aristocrat of origin and position, not a supporter of extreme democracy, Thucydides does not hide the evil deeds of the oligarchs, and with the mouth of Pericles drew the magnificent ideal of Athenian democracy. The Athenian himself, he vividly exposes the merits of their enemy, defender of Syracuse, Hermokrat , and treats Sparta with complete impartiality, not sharing the disgust that the Democrats had for her, nor the soft, which began to spread in Athenian society and literature. Thucidides is sympathetic to some Spartans (for example, to Brasid, Arkhidam), but he does not hide the shortcomings of Sparta, its cruel actions. An exile living in a foreign land, he belongs to his hometown without hatred and malice. It is not surprising that the most laudatory reviews about Thucydides prevail in the scientific literature. The objectivity of Thucydides questioned Arnold Wycombe Gomm .
Thucydides' 19th Century Criticism
But in the 70s and 80s of the XIX century, he was attacked by Müller-Strybing, who began by accusing him of subjectivity, concealing the truth, and Jesuit casuistry (reservatio mentalis), deliberate obscurity (see “Aristophanes und die histor. Kritik ", 1873), then began to discover traces of the" bloodthirsty interpolator ", which allegedly tickled the text of Thucydides with its inserts (" Thukydideische Forschungen ", 1881); then he began to argue that Fukididov's work is “military didactic epic” and “military novel” (“Das erste Jahr d. Pelopon. Krieges”, in “Neue Jahrb. f. Philol”, 1883, and “Die Glaubwüdigkeit d. Thukydides geprüft an seiner Darstellung d. Belagerung von Plataia ”, ibid., 1885), and finally called the famous historian“ pure theoretical doctrinaire ”and“ pedant ”(“ Die Korkyräischen Händel bei Thukydides ”, ibid., 1886). The Hungarian scientist J. Schwartz also made a no less passionate attack on Thucydides (in his op. Die Demokratie, I, 1884); an incredulous attitude toward Thucydides, although not to the same extent, is also found in Max Dunker (“Gesch. d. Alterthums”, NF, I — II, 1884-86) and Pflugk-Harttung (“Perikles als Feldherr”, 1884), who debunked Pericles. The extreme and inconsistency of this criticism has now been sufficiently discovered (see Thucydides G. Mishchenko, “Afterword” to the translation of Thucydides, 1888; W. Buzescul, “Pericles”, 1889; A. Bauer, “Thukyd. Und H. Müller-Strübing ", 1887; Lange," Zur Frage über die Glaubwürdigkeit d. Thukyd. "In" Neue Jahrb. F. Philol. ", 1887 and others.), Although some comments from these opponents of Fukidid are not without foundation: rebelling against the extremes of the hypercritical direction, we must admit the necessity of criticism in relation to Thucydides, in each individual case, just as in relation to every other source. He, of course, there will be individual, private mistakes, errors and inaccuracies. Despite this, Thucydides generally remains what he was in the eyes of even such authorities in the field of historical criticism as Niebuhr and Ranke , that is, one of the greatest historians and a reliable source as much as a person’s work can be reliably; the majority of his blunders, inaccuracies and incorrect reports should be included in the category of involuntary mistakes, more or less common to everyone, and even more so to the historian who lived for 4 centuries BC. In general, if science is to understand science and something more than a simple narration about memorable events, Thucydides can be called her father more than Herodot , and in him we will find many features that bring him closer to modern historiography.
- Thucydides. History of the Peloponnesian War. V, 26; Wed I, 1
- Thucydides. History of the Peloponnesian War. IV, 105
- Thucydides. History of the Peloponnesian War. II, 65
- Thucydides. History of the Peloponnesian War. V, 26
- Thucydides. History of the Peloponnesian War. I, 1
- V. Strogetsky. Problems of the formation of history as a science in antiquity
Texts and translations
- In the “ Loeb classical library ” series “History” is published in 4 volumes.
- In the “ Collection Budé ” series “History” is published . Archived November 28, 2012. in 5 volumes.
- Thucydides . About the Peloponnesian War. (Series "Military Library"). 1837. T. 1. Kn. 2-3. Pp. 101-563.
- Thucydides . Story. / Per. F. G. Mishchenko . In 2 t. M., 1887-1888. T. 1. Kn. 1-4. CXXXII, 516 pages. T. 2. Kn. 5-8. Pointer. 540 pp.
- In processing S. A. Zhebeleva. M .: Sabashnikova. 1915. In 2 tons
- repr .: In 2 t. SPb .: Sofia. 1994; (Series "Historical Library"). SPb .: Science. 1999. 588 pp.
- Thucydides . Story. / Per. and note. G. A. Stratanovsky . Ed. ed. Ya. M. Borovsky. (Series " Literary monuments "). L .: Science, 1981 . 543 p. 100,000 copies.
- repr .: M .: Ladomir-Science. 1993. 3rd ed. (Series " Classics of historical thought "). M .: Ladomir-AST. 1999. 736 p.
- Ugyansky A.O. Discourse on the preface of Thucydides from a critical historical point of view. Kazan, 1868. 95 p.
- F. Mishchenko. Experience in the history of rationalism in ancient Greece. Part 1. Thucydides rationalism in the history of the Peloponnesian War. Kiev, 1881. 367 p.
- Denisov Ya. A. Biography of Thucydides. Kharkiv, 1911. 88 p. (Litogr.)
- Mikhalenko Yu. P. Hobbes and Thucydides (on the place of Hobbes in the late English Renaissance) // Historical and Philosophical Yearbook '86. M., 1986. pp. 104-124.
- Cassidy F.H. The philosophy of the history of Thucydides. (Series "Antique Library: Research"). SPb .: Aletheia. 2008. 263 pages. ISBN 978-5-91419-086-3
- Karpyuk S.G. 2010: Two patriotisms in the "History" of Thucydides . Archived November 28, 2012. // Bulletin of the RSUH. Series "Historical Sciences." 10, 101-116.
- P. P. Georgiev. People's Government or Democracy? Features of the domestic translations of "gravestone speech" of Pericles in the "History" of Thucydides // Antiquitas Iuventae. - Saratov, 2006. - pp. 23-28.
- Ulyanov O. G. Historiography on Athos: the historical-critical method of Fukidid in “History” of John (Josaphan) Kantakuzin // Round table “Mastering the ancient tradition in Western European historiography of the Middle Ages and Early Modern Times” October 3, 2012 (IHI RAS) .
- History (Thucydides)
- Eclipses of Thucydides
- Buzeskul V.P. Fukidid // Encyclopedic Dictionary of Brockhaus and Efron : in 86 tons (82 tons and 4 extras). - SPb. , 1890-1907.
- Greek text and English translations . Archived November 28, 2012.
- Thucydides in the library of Maxim Moshkov
- The History of the Peloponnesian War . Archived November 28, 2012. by thucydides
- Thucydides. History . Archived November 28, 2012.