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Thucydides Research Papers

Research papers on Thucydides explore ancient Greece in light of the Athenians and their conflict with the Spartans. Have the writers at Paper Masters that specialize in world history write your research paper on Thucydides.

According to Thucydides, the Spartans would be considered morally superior to the Athenians by virtue of what the Athenians had become. Thucydides illustrates that the ultimate victory for Sparta was the moral and political blunders of the Athenians by their own doing than anything the Spartan army forced. Thucydides

The powerful amount of wealth that Greece had acquired allowed them to push aside moral obligation to their own people and, in Thucydides eyes, made the Athenians no longer subject to wrestling with moral issues. The public corruption that ensued from Athenian wealth and power led to complete disregard for the need to justify their actions. This is demonstrated aptly in the Athenian debt on war in the cases of Corcyra and Melos. In Corcyra, the Athenians debated heavily over going to war, and, even though they decided to engage in battle, it was not done without careful deliberation and with purpose to improve their strategic positioning. However, later, in regards to Melos, no pretence or thought to reasoning for engagement was taken up, only the will to conquer. Thucydides sites this as foreshadowing of the eminent downfall of the Athenians because of their lack of moral consideration. 

One finds themselves cheering for the Athenians in the Persian War but being mildly disgusted with them in the Peloponnesian War. Their refusal to surrender and the lack of focus on the ideals in which they battled the Persians had dissipated by the end of the war. The Athenians had become just as loathsome as the Persians in their refusal to surrender to the Melians, illustrates this turning away from the goal of liberation for democratic Greece without the Persians. Thus Thucydides illustrates the following facts:

  1. The foolishness of the Athenians
  2. Their boastfulness that is their downfall
  3. It was not military or strategically endeavors that led to their demise

Democracy, according to Thucydides, is a delicate balance of playing one power against the other without crossing lines of moral reproach. The Athenians crossed the line and could no longer return to the being a people without moral reproach. Their ultimate lack of hope for return is illustrated by Thucydides. Thus, even the Athenians knew that their pride and boastfulness was at the heart of their downfall. Morally, the Spartans, though they may have practiced deceit and hypocrisy, they did not engage in the reprehensible folly of pride.  

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