From the eighteenth century onwards, the ancient Greek writer Thucydides (c 460 - c 395 BCE) was viewed as the most important classical historian. He was acclaimed not only as a vital source for reconstructing antiquity but as a purveyor of timeless political wisdom. His name is almost inescapable in nineteenth-century discussions of history's nature and purpose. And his spirit, or the image of him constructed by German historicists, remains a significant presence in more recent debates about historical method. It is remarkable, then, that the trajectory of Thucydides' modern reception has never been properly studied. Neville Morley here sets right that neglect. He examines different aspects of the reception of Thucydides within modern western historiography, casting fresh light on ideas about history and the historian in the contemporary world. His nuanced readings illuminate changing notions of the nature and purpose of history and of the historian's proper task. This latest volume in the I.B.Tauris New Directions in Classics series makes a bold and significant contribution to understandings of how to reclaim the past.
Neville Morley is Professor of Ancient History at the University of Bristol. He is the author of Trade in Classical Antiquity (2010), Theories, Models and Concepts in Ancient History (2004) and Metropolis and Hinterland: The City of Rome and the Italian Economy, 200 BC - AD 200 (1996).