Flory Stewart is professor in classical history having developed interest in Latin while at a tender age. He taught at private boarding school in Athens, before returning to Yale to undertake his PhD. In this book, Flory recounts Thucydide’s hypothesis of the Peloponnesian War. By referring to the wars Greeks fighting each other, Athenians against the Spartans, the author gives a radical analysis of the factors that led to the war basing on accounts already presented by Thucydides. Notable in his argument is that the war must have arisen from the progressive rise of a powerful Athenian empire. The radical nature in which Flory uses Thucydide’s hypothesis seems to exemplify his theory even amidst critical remarks from other scholars. Generally, the book is important for any reader who would like to understand the ancient work by Thucydides in details. The classical nature of the book and simple language used makes it appropriate for a modern researcher.
This book was written by Donald Kagan, who is an American historian at Yale University having specialized in ancient Greece. The four volume book gives vivid account of destructive war of Greeks against each other, and Athenians against the Spartans. It is a distinguished historical account meant for general readers, providing a new dimension to the examination of Western civilization. The author spent a great deal of time or re-examine the factors that instigated the conflict by reviewing both the ancient texts and accounts of modern scholars. The entire book seems to be informed by the question: Was the war inevitable, or could it have been avoided? Something unique about the author is that he courageously confronted and argued either in favour or against some historical figures, hence giving his view a balanced argumentative structure.