Overview of Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War Book 1

We are pleased to share this video in which Jeffrey Rusten, Cornell University, introduces the structure and themes of Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War, Book 1.

Mentioned in this video:
Low, Polly (editor) 2023. The Cambridge Companion to Thucydides. Cambridge, UK.
Diamond, Jared. 1998. Guns, Germs, and Steel. New York.

Jeffrey Rusten

photo of Jeff RustenJeffrey Rusten has taught at Cornell since 1988, in the Classics Dept, of which he has twice been chair, as well as the director of graduate studies in the graduate program in Theater. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard, taught there and at the University of Cologne in Germany, as well as at the University of Pennsylvania, and Washington University in St Louis. He also spent a year as Whitehead visiting professor at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens. His teaching and research and translations center on the literature of Ancient Athens, during the age which saw the beginnings of tragedy, comedy, history, philosophy, and rhetoric. His research specialties are Thucydides, the historian of the War between Athens and Sparta, Athenian comedy, in particular the fragments of comic authors other than the best-known one, Aristophanes; and tragedy and the Athenian tragic theater. Among his other books are translations of Theophrastus’ Characters and Philostratus’ Heroicus (Loeb Classical Library), commentaries on Thucydides Books II (Cambridge University Press), on Sophocles’ Oedipus the King (Bryn Mawr commentaries), and The Birth of Comedy, translations of the most important fragments of two centuries of ancient Greek comedy (Johns Hopkins Press). He also edited studies of Thucydides by the renowned scholars Mabel Lang (Narrative and Discourse in Thucydides) and Jacqueline de Romilly (The Mind of Thucydides, with Elizabeth and Hunter Rawlings).