I read the Melian Dialogue, a central episode in Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, and offer some commentary on the most significant parts. Thucydides’ realism is not identical to the Athenians’ realism, which is more deterministic and extreme. … More “The Strong Do What They Can and the Weak Suffer What They Must:” The Melian Dialogue (Thucydides 6)
Returning to my ongoing series on Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, I discuss the events and meaning of the Corcyrean Revolution, including proxy war, ideological conflict, irreligion and fanaticism.
The Maurin Academy’s next short series, on Agricultural biotechnology and information technology will start in late August. Sign up on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/agriculture-biotechnology-the-information-economy-tickets-373417821757 … More The Root Cause of Civil War (Thucydidean Realism 5)
At the beginning of the Peloponnesian War, Athenian leader Pericles took the helm as first general and leader. His first two speeches exhort the Athenians to stay strong in war and praise Athens in the context of a funeral for the first to die. In his funeral speech, Pericles almost forgets the dead soldiers in his love panegyric to Athenian glory. The implications are discussed from the point of view of the general problem of state worship. … More Pericles’ Funeral Oration and State Worship: Thucydidean Realism (3)
This is always a hotly contested question, no matter the war. Thucydides teaches that the real cause was not the declaration of war by Sparta that officially started the Peloponnesian War, but the imbalance of power created by Athenian aggression over time relative to the Spartan reticence to act. Thucydides is teaching that wars are determined years in advance. It is the creation of the conditions of war that we need to look at to explain any given war. … More Who Started the War? Thucydidean Realism 2
in a series on the Ancient Greek historian Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War, with an emphasis on using Thucydidean realism to understand events in International relations. Thucydides begins his work with an “archeology,” a history of ancient times. Through it, we begin to see his take on human nature and the dynamics of power. I begin with a brief discussion of Hans Morgenthau’s “old fashioned realism.” … More Thucydidean Realism: The Emergence of Rivals (1)
earlier series on John Maynard Keynes’s view of the aftermath of WWI and the failure of the Treaty of Versailles to create a lasting peace, the remarks of political scientist John Mearsheimer give a perspective on the Russia/Ukraine conflict that you won’t hear on the news. … More The Realist View of Ukraine/Russia: John Mearsheimer on the “Thucydides View”
Resonating with my earlier series on John Maynard Keynes’s view of the aftermath of WWI and the failure of the Treaty of Versailles to create a lasting peace, the remarks of political scientist John Mearsheimer give a perspective on the Russia/Ukraine conflict that you won’t hear on the news. … More The Realist View of Ukraine/Russia: John Mearsheimer on the “Thucydides View”