Thucydides, Sicily, and the Defeat of Athens

Abstract : This paper explores the reception of Thucydides’ account of the Athenian defeat in Sicily in 415–413 BC, with a particular focus on the relation between the Sicilian disaster and the final defeat of Athens in 404 BC. It starts with a brief exploration of the fame of Thucydides’ account. It then analyses the reception in later writers of a number of specific Thucydidean motifs: the idea that the Sicilian expedition is an emblem of Athens’ defeat; the use of Persian Wars intertexts; and the possibility that defeat could have been avoided. Finally, it argues that Thucydides’ own emplotment of the Sicilian expedition was destabilised by the transfer of motifs from his work to other wars involving Sicily.
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Tim Rood. Thucydides, Sicily, and the Defeat of Athens. KTÈMA Civilisations de l'Orient, de la Grèce et de Rome antiques, Université de Strasbourg, 2017, 42, pp.19-39. ⟨halshs-01670082⟩

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