A New History of the Peloponnesian War
December 2009, Wiley-Blackwell
A penetrating new study of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta by an established scholar
Offers an original interpretation of how and why the war began
Weaves in the contemporary evidence of Aristophanes in order to give readers a new sense of how the war affected the individual
Discusses the practicalities and realities of the war
Examines the blossoming of culture and intellectual achievement in Athens despite the war
Challenges the approach of Thucydides in his account of the war
Prelude - a band of brothers.
1. ‘From this the Corinthians developed their bitter hatred for the Athenians’.
2. ‘Give the Greeks their freedom’.
3. ‘Our city is an education to Greece’.
4. ‘War is a violent teacher’.
5. ‘Spindles would be worth a lot’.
6. ‘Weeping for joy’.
7. ‘The strong do what they have the power to do’.
8. ‘What of us then who for our children must weep?’
9. ‘The whole of Hellas against Athens’.
10. ‘Ships gone … don’t know what to do’.
11. ‘Athens is taken’.
12. ‘Here’s to the noble Critias!’
14. Appendix I: A Note on Sources.
15. Appendix II: Who’s Who in the Peloponnesian War.
16. Appendix III: A Peloponnesian War Glossary.
* Offers an original interpretation of how and why the war
actually came about.
* Weaves in the contemporary evidence of Aristophanes in order
to give readers a sense of how the War affected the common
* Looks at the practicalities and realities of the war rather
than taking a “war-gamer’s” approach.
* Examines the blossoming of culture and intellectual achievement in Athens despite the war.
"He has produced a major new account of the Peloponnesian War that will allow readers of Thucydides to feel what it was actually like to be at war and to understand the breakdown of legal, moral, and political principles that caused prolonged human suffering on such a colossal scale. We are in his debt.." (Michigan War Studies Review, 2 October 2010)
"Recommended. Undergraduate libraries and above". (Choice, 1 November 2010)“An insightful, highly readable history of the first all-out war in western history. Tritle knows Greek history and he knows what war does to soldiers and civilians alike.”
Tom Palaima, University of Texas at Austin
“Not another paraphrase of Thucydides, Tritle's sensitive
new history of the great war between Athens and Sparta marshals the
literary and material evidence to explore the human and societal
experience, showing once again that military history extends far
beyond the battlefield.”
Waldemar Heckel, University of Calgary
“Swift narrative, mastery of modern scholarship, and
unusual integration of classical literature. Like his great source
Thucydides, the author was a soldier, and the terrible brutality of
war is immanent.”
Mortimer Chambers, UCLA
“By helping us understand broadly and deeply the human and
social dimension of this war, Tritle’s book brilliantly
justifies its ambitious title of a ‘new history’ of an
often-treated old war.”
Kurt A. Raaflaub, Brown University