History of the Peleponnesian War

    Syracuse is one of the oldest cities from one of the oldest civilizations in the world, the Greeks, who are known for their great wisdom and high culture. Naturally, Syracuse figures in some of the Greeks' literature. One of the best accounts of what life was like in Ancient Greece is Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War. The book seems a bit daunting at first, as it appears to be rather long and dry. However, once you get used to the pacing and language, it really gets going. Syracuse plays a prominent role in the novel, as one of the pivotal battles of the war is decided in Syracuse. Syracuse fought with Athens, who came to aid a fellow city that had been attacked by Syracuse. Syracuse was also allied with Sparta, Athens' main rival in the war. The two sides fought a series of battles, which came to a head during a dramatic sea battle in the Syracuse harbor, resulting in an Athenian defeat.

    Thucydides' book is regarded as having an enormous influence on Western literature. It is one of the first works of its kind, and is renowned for its use of a neutral, unbiased narrator. Also impressive are the speeches that Thucydides highlights that are given by the various leaders in the book. Especially well known is a speech by Pericles known as the "funeral oration."

    Since the book was written in Ancient Greek, there are many different translations available. Finding the right translator is important, as some are more liberal in their translation than others. Do a little research before deciding on a translation.