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{theory, work, human}
{son, year, death}
{god, call, give}
{work, book, publish}
{war, force, army}
{government, party, election}
{area, part, region}
{mi², represent, 1st}
{land, century, early}

Thucydides (c. 460 BCc. 395 BC) (Greek Θουκυδίδης, Thoukydídēs) was a Greek historian from Alimos and author of the History of the Peloponnesian War, which recounts the 5th century BC war between Sparta and Athens to the year 411 BC. Thucydides has been dubbed the father of "scientific history" because of his strict standards of evidence-gathering and analysis in terms of cause and effect without reference to intervention by the gods, as outlined in his introduction to his work.[1]

He has also been called the father of the school of political realism, which views the relations between nations as based on might rather than right.[2] His classical text is still studied at advanced military colleges worldwide, and the Melian dialogue remains a seminal work of international relations theory.

More generally, Thucydides showed an interest in developing an understanding of human nature to explain behavior in such crises as plague, massacres, as in that of the Melians, and civil war.



In spite of his stature as a historian, modern historians know relatively little about Thucydides' life. The most reliable information comes from his own History of the Peloponnesian War, which expounds his nationality, paternity and native locality. Thucydides informs us that he fought in the war, contracted the plague and was exiled by the democracy. He may have also been involved in quelling the Samian Revolt.[3]

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