Edit The historical background of this portion of the History of the Peloponnesian War is the invasion of the island of Melos by Athens in BC during a brief lull in the Peloponnesian War. Just after the Battle of Mantinea in BC, the Athenians moved on the Melians and demanded that they join the Delian Leaguethus effectively becoming part of their empire. The Melians had always resisted the influence of the Delian Leagueand resisted this invasion as well. Thucydides created the Dialogue in order to represent the actual events of the Athenians speaking to the Melians.
Get Full Essay Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues. A question often asked, is whether Thucydides is a realist or not? He is merely recording a realist opinion?
To answer the question, lets look at what Thucydides himself says.
I will go through the text, and find example that illustrate and identify these concepts, and in doing so, I will uncover other concepts such as: Thucydides wants to draw our attention to the political and moral issues raised in such a situation.
I believe that the Athenians were right to ask for the people. If they had of done, then the whole eventual bloodshed would of being avoided. We have not come because you have offended or injured our empire in any way. But what about justice, plea the Melians?
The Athenians went on to assert that: Justice, argue the Athenians, is only assessable to the stronger party. By looking at nature, he observed that the larger and stronger animals devour the weaker, and that the astute and cleaver out do the slow and the stupid. Another sophist, echoing the theme of nature was Antiphon, who once said: Justice can only be sought if both parties are of equal strength argue the Athenians.
Lets look at this from a modern perspective, the American bombing of Kosovo. The citizens held that the United States where in the wrong, and tired to fight against it. But they knew that in the end they would have no choice but to submit to the rule of the strong.
On the other hand, if the other country had of been China, then the Americans would not of had it so easy.
China are of equal size to America, and the idea of Justice must come into the equation, because neither side wants a to start trouble with the other side.
The main antagonism in Thucydides History is between Athens and Sparta. Both Athens and Sparta wanted to out do each other.Reading Martin Wight's claim that "one of the supreme books on power politics is the history by Thucydides of the great war between Athens and.
1 The Melian dialogue ( B.C.) Thucydides, V 84The next summer Alcibiades sailed with twenty ships to Argos and seized the suspected persons still left of the Lacedaemonian faction to the number of three hundred, whom the Athenians forthwith lodged in . Melian Dialogue 1. The leaders of Melos faced a terrible choice: Have their Countrymen die as free men or live as slaves.
The powerful Athenian generals and their fleet of 38 ships carrying heavy infantry and archers waited at the shores of Melos ready for action as the Melians deliberated.
Thucydides’ Melian Dialogue 1 The Melian Dialogue (Thucydides , Rex Warner tr.) Next summer Alcibiades sailed to Argos with twenty ships and seized Argive citizens who were still suspected of being arteensevilla.com were put by the Athenians into the nearby islands under Athenian control.
The Melian dialogue is a dramatic set-piece debate inserted by Thucydides in his History of the Peloponnesian War, his account of the ruinous year long struggle (– BC) between the powerful Greek city-states of Athens and Sparta.
Sixteenth Year of the War - The Melian Conference - Fate of Melos. THE next summer Alcibiades sailed with twenty ships to Argos and seized the suspected persons still left of the Lacedaemonian faction to the number of three hundred, whom the Athenians forthwith lodged in .