Introducing an augmented translation of Thucydides: Book 2

We are pleased to share in the Text Library a revised translation of selections from Book 2 of Thucydides’ The Peloponnesian War that tracks Key terms.

The selected part of Book 2—chapters 34–65—includes some important and famous sections, and within these are particular focus passages indicated by highlighting:

  • Pericles’ Funeral Oration
  • The plague in Athens
  • Pericles’ last speech
  • Thucydides’ assessment of Pericles

This edition was the result of a community-driven collaborative “augmented translation” project. The group revised a translation to indicate each and every occurrence of Key vocabulary term and to make the translation of these terms as consistent as possible with the glosses provided, or for the specific meaning to fit the context in which Thucydides uses the word. The base text in this project was the public domain translation of Richard Crawley (originally published in 1874) as updated in 1910 by his nephew, Richard Feetham.

Screenshot from Zoom of participants
Janet M. Ozsolak, Sarah Scott, Hélène Emeriaud,
Keith DeStone, Jeffrey Rusten

As with previous augmented translation projects, the group prepared in advance, using Lexeis ‘A Thucydidean Lexicon’ and Perseus, to create an index that indicated every section where each of the Key terms occurred. Then the Augmented Translation team, Keith DeStone, Hélène Emeriaud, Janet M. Ozsolak, and Sarah Scott came together for three days via Zoom to work collaboratively through the text. Guided by the Key terms index and checking the Greek text at all times, the team worked through the English translation, adding tags and adjusting the translation. This work was highly collaborative. Each day the team consulted with Jeffrey Rusten of Cornell University, Department of Classics, to refine the translation further and to resolve any issues.

This post includes below a PDF of the augmented translation, and a handout of those Key terms, with glosses based on those at the Thucydidean Lexicon at Lexeis.

Introduction to Thucydides Book 2

Jeffrey Rusten provided a link to a screencast video, on the contents of Thucydides, his types of writing and some approaches to his work (opens in new window).


He also recorded videos with us on the following:

  • The styles of writing in Book 2 and an overview of the focus passages
  • An overview of the Key words
  • An assessment of Crawley’s translation

Text and key words

You can find the text here in html format
or to download:
PDF Thucydides Peloponnesian War: Selections from Book 2

PDF Handout of Key words for Thucydides Book 2

Image credit

Painting: Pericles giving Funeral Oration

Featured image: Philipp von Foltz: Pericles Gives the Funeral Speech. 1852.
Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons