Thucydides (c. 460/455 - 399/398 BCE) was an Athenian general who wrote the contemporary History of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, which lasted from 431 BCE to 404 BCE. However, Thucydides' History was never finished, and as such, ends mid-sentence in the winter of 411 BCE. The History was divided into 13 separate books by later scholars, but is now, in its modern form, divided into eight books. Thucydides is quite often seen as the first historian to use 'modern' ideals with regards to his methodologies and ideologies, including the way that he uses eye witnesses as sources and cross-examines them, and the way that he uses speeches (a much-debated issue because of the problem of interpreting what Thucydides means when he describes how he goes about writing them, such as in (1.21) where it is not clear whether the speeches he quotes can be trusted as accurate accounts of what was said, or if they have been slightly fabricated by Thucydides to help with his themes). His work is meant as a “possession for all time” (1.22), rather than a piece designed to please the public (one of Thucydides' many possible jabs at Herodotus and the other prose chroniclers of the day).

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