Thucydides and the theory of historical development



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Many of the ideas which Thucydides conveys in his History have universal applications. They may be understood by anyone from any period of time and from any place on the earth, regardless of cultural biases. The prevailing theme of the work is war: the forces that create wars, the events that repeatedly occur during war, and finally, the factors which result in war's completion. The study of war requires the study of all of history since, as the text makes apparent, war is a continuous occurrence. This essay is a series of reflections over Thucydides's History. I do not intend to "prove" my claims beyond a shadow of a doubt; instead, I desire to raise issues, instill thoughtful ruminations, and provoke questions. The elucidation of these ideas, mere parts of the sum total of Thucydides's thought, is the goal of this essay.