(4786 words)
  • Clifford Orwin (University of Toronto)

Thucydides is to my taste the true model of an historian. He reports the facts without judging them, but he omits none of the circumstances proper to making us judge them ourselves. He puts all he recounts before the reader’s eyes. Far from putting himself between the events and his readers, he hides himself. The reader no longer believes he reads; he believes he sees. [Rousseau, Emile or On Education, Book 4 (tr. Bloom, 239)]

The author

Thucydides, son of Olorus, was an Athenian writer of the late fifth century B.C. He was the author of a single untitled work conventionally called The Peloponnesian War. Nothing reliable is known of Thucydides’ life beyond what he tells us.…

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Orwin, Clifford. "Thucydides". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 19 July 2010
[, accessed 01 July 2015.]