Mantinea, Decelea and the Interwar Years (421-413 BCE)

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The chapter examines Thucydides' account of the interwar years. The work discusses its introductory sections (5.25-26), which set forth the thesis of the unity of the war, and sequentially considers the crisis of Spartan hegemony in the Peloponnesus from the Peace of Nicias to the battle of Mantinea; the intervention of Athens in Peloponnesian issues and Alcibiades' projects in the Peloponnesus; the events related to Melos; Alcibiades' flight to Sparta after the scandal of the Herms, the importance of his advice to the enemy on the Sicilian expedition and the occupation of Decelea. The chapter also considers the typical narrative and historiographical features of Thucydides' account in this part of his work, among which, in particular, the inclusion of a large number of transcribed documents, in the light of the debate on the possible incompleteness of Book 5.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteThe Oxford Handbook on Thucydides
EditorR. Balot, S. Forsdyke, E. Foster
Numero di pagine16
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2017


  • Interwar Years
  • Thucydides


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