Thucydides on the Outbreak of War
Character and Contest
Reviews and Awards
"S. N. Jaffe's Thucydides on the Outbreak of War offers a richly rewarding and theoretically powerful investigation of Book I of Thucydides History. Focusing on the details of Book I its portrayal of the psychologies of Athens and Sparta and the necessities that emerge from those psychologies Jaffe opens up the whole of Thucydides' work as an exploration of the deep connections between necessity, justice and cities' characters. As with the work he studies, Jaffe uses the particulars to reveal the universal, giving his readers deep insights into the psychology and origins of armed conflicts between cities." - Dr. Arlene Saxonhouse, the Caroline Robbins Professor of Political Science and Women's Studies, the University of Michigan.
"S.N. Jaffe's provocative account of Thucydides' ideas is informed by political theory but grounded in a meticulous and scholarly reading of the first book of his history. Like its subject, his analysis transcends disciplinary boundaries, and combines the particular and the general, the historical and the theoretical, to give new insights into the origins of wars and how we make sense of them. It will be essential reading for classicists and ancient historians as much as for social scientists." - Dr. Neville Morley, Professor in Classics and Ancient History, the University of Exeter.
"S.N. Jaffe sheds new light in this relentlessly insightful and accessibly written study of the first book of Thucydides's History of the Peloponnesian War. In these pages, Thucydides comes to life as the original applied historian, weaving together two distinct narratives of the war into a single work: on the one hand, an accurate account of the particular twists and turns on the road to war, in all their complexity, and on the other hand, a universal study of political and psychological archetypes that could serve as a possession for all time. This exciting new study belongs on the bookshelf of any serious historian or political scientist who wants to better understand the origins of the Peloponnesian War and the intellectual process of one of history's greatest historians." - Graham Allison, Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and Douglas Dillon Professor of Government, Harvard Kennedy School