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Thucydides on Strategy Grand Strategies in the Peloponnesian War and Their Relevance Today by Athanassios G. Platias, Konstantinos Koliopoulos

Thucydides on Strategy Grand Strategies in the Peloponnesian War and Their Relevance Today



Thucydides on Strategy Grand Strategies in the Peloponnesian War and Their Relevance Today by Athanassios G. Platias, Konstantinos Koliopoulos

Masterfully crafted and surprisingly modern, History of the Peloponnesian War has long been celebrated as an insightful, eloquent, and exhaustively detailed work of classical Greek history. The text is also remarkable for its deep political and military dimensions, and scholars have begun to place the work alongside Sun Tzu's The Art of War and Clausewitz's On War as one of the great treatises on strategy. The perfect companion to Thucydides' impressive History, this volume details the specific strategic concepts at work within the History of the Peloponnesian War and demonstrates, through case studies of recent conflicts in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, the continuing relevance of Thucydidean thought to an analysis and planning of strategic operations. Some have even credited Thucydides with founding the discipline of international relations. Written by two scholars with extensive experience in this and related fields, Thucydides on Strategy situates the classical historian solidly in the modern world of war.


'Thucydides, as he himself anticipated, wrote not only the history of the Peloponnesian War. He wrote the history of the Napoleonic Wars, World War I, World War II, and the Cold War.' * Louis Halle * 'International relations continue to be a recurring struggle for wealth and power among independent actors in a state of anarchy. The classic history of Thucydides is as meaningful a guide to the behavior of states today as when it was written in the fifth century B.C.E.' * Robert Gilpin * 'I read Thucydides on Strategy with considerable interest, pleasure, and care. - The authors have made an original contribution to scholarship ... and have managed to synthesize a coherent whole that goes far to explain how Athens lost and the Peloponnesians won this war. In the course of doing this, they also manage to explain why Thucydides'
work is a

for all time

. They show that the same sorts of strategic questions and problems are likely to recur, again and again, as Thucydides says, so long as human nature remains the same, e.g., defining political objectives, matching a grand strategy to meet them, integrating a military strategy with the grand strategy, interacting with an enemy, avoiding overextension, and a whole range of other themes commonly studied by strategists today.' * Karl Walling, Professor, Department of Policy and Strategy, United States Naval War College * 'An excellent companion to the 'History', and an aid to the essential reflection that Thucydides's work requires.' * RUSI Journal *

About the Author

Platias Athanassios is Professor of Strategy at the Department of International and European Studies, University of Piraeus. Constantinos Koliopoulos is Lecturer in International Politics, Panteion University of Political and Social Sciences, Athens.

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Book Info

Publication date

12th May 2010


Athanassios G. Platias, Konstantinos Koliopoulos

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C Hurst & Co Publishers Ltd


210 pages


Ancient history: to c 500 CE
Military history
European history
Defence strategy, planning & research



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