Applied Historiography: Questions and Methods in the Study of Ancient Greece - Essay Example

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Thucydides, just like other political theorists viewed politics as concerning philosophical issues in terms of moral questions. One of the philosophical issues discussed here is the issue of power. Most significantly he questions whether the relation between states to which power is important can also be directed by the customs of justice. …
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Applied Historiography: Questions and Methods in the Study of Ancient Greece
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"Applied Historiography: Questions and Methods in the Study of Ancient Greece"

The human nature is seen as the opening point of realism in as far as international relations are concerned. Realists view human beings as naturally self-interested and self-centered to a point where that self-interest conquers moral principles. Hence it is in such a case that the self-interest is driven by the greedy for power. The realists consider a state of anarchy as a principal determinant of global political results. To them, the lack of power and universal rule making leads to the international arena being fundamentally a self-help system. This is because where realism and power do collide among states, then the possible outcome is that there is no stable relation. In as far as realists visualize the world of states as anarchic; they similarly view security as a fundamental issue. According to realists, for states to gain security, they try to raise their power and involve themselves in power-balancing for the aim of discouraging potential invaders. Thucydides traces the real cause of the Peloponnesian war in the changing power distribution between the Delian league (Athens) and the Peloponnesian league (Sparta) as suggested by Proctor (1980).Thucydides argued that the increase of power in among the Athenians led to Spartans becoming afraid of their security hence leading to the war. The issue of morality comes in here whereby, the Realists are skeptical on the significance of morality to world politics. This leads them to argue that there is morality in international relations or there is anxiety between requirement of morality and successful political accomplishment in safeguarding the states power. In order to maintain international relations, the states need to have own morality different from routine morality which justifies state’s conduct towards other states. Rhetorical Features In his work, Thucydides employs several rhetoric features. For instance he employs personification when he argues that” I shall be content”. In this case Thucydides personifies his story and this shows it is written by him. He also uses repletion whereby several important words are repeated for the purpose of emphasize. For instance, the word history has been severally repeated and his emphasizes he fact that he book was written in ancient times. He also uses the esoteric writing style of conflict and contrast common with rhetoric writing. Stylistic Devices Analytic Mode Thucydides wrote his work in prose even before the Attic Prose was adopted by many individuals. In his work, despite employing rhetoric features, he also employed analytic features. He used analysis in criticizing other people’s work and presenting the contrasting values of the events of the war among the two countries. His works were considered critically analyzed as the works accepted tradition without authorizing their reality. His analysis of work is also seen where he criticizes Mitylene harshly due to his failure to provide a chronological account of the era between the Peloponnesian and Persian wars. He also uses analysis in showing how human nature is used in explaining phenomena in the cases of cold political power. Thucydides also analyses inhumanity and political power as the actual factors Read More
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