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The publication of Jacqueline de Romilly's Histoire et raison chez Thucydide in 1956 virtually transformed scholarship on Thucydides. Rather than mining The Peloponnesian War to speculate on its layers of composition or second-guess its accuracy, it treated it as a work of art deserving rhetorical and aesthetic analysis. Ahead of its time in its sophisticated focus upon the verbal texture of narrative, it proved that a literary approach offered the most productive and nuanced way to study Thucydides. Still in print in the original French, the book has influenced numerous Classicists and historians, and is now available in English for the first time in a careful translation by Elizabeth Trapnell Rawlings. The Cornell edition includes an introduction by Hunter R. Rawlings III and Jeffrey Rusten tracing the context of this book's original publication and its continuing influence on the study of Thucydides. Romilly shows that Thucydides constructs his account of the Peloponnesian War as a profoundly intellectual experience for readers who want to discern the patterns underlying historical events. Employing a commanding logic that exercises total control over the data of history, Thucydides uses rigorous principles of selection, suggestive juxtapositions, and artfully opposed speeches to reveal systematic relationships between plans and outcomes, impose meaning on the smallest events, and insist on the constant battle between intellect and chance. Thucydides' mind found in unity and coherence its ideal of historical truth.
|Publication date:||3rd August 2012|
|Author:||Jacqueline de Romilly, Jeffrey S. Rusten|
|Publisher:||Cornell University Press|
Jacqueline de Romilly (1913-2010) was a distinguished scholar of Greek history and culture. In 1973, she became Chair of Greek at the College de France, the first woman nominated to this prestigious institution. In 1988, she was elected to the Academie Francaise as the second woman member, after Marguerite Yourcenar. Romilly was an A.D. White Professor at large at Cornell from 1974 to 1980. Hunter R. Rawlings III is President of the Association of American Universities and Professor of Classics and History at Cornell University, where he served as president from 1995 to 2003. He is the author of The Structure of Thucydides' History and ...More About Jacqueline de Romilly, Jeffrey S. Rusten