Book VII, The Peloponnesian War

Just as self predicted after reading about Athenian victories in Book I and Book II, the Athenians are now losing. The war is in its seventeenth year. Have to hand it to those Peloponnesians for sheer tenacity.

She fell to skimming Book VIII because, when a book turns out exactly as self predicted, she tends to lose interest. And she sort of liked the Athenians, for no particular reason other than the fact that they were Masters of the Universe! At least they were in the beginning. Later, they are complete boobs, losing to minor states.

Demosthenes, who was an Athenian general, is still directing battles in Book VII (Wow! After 17 years), but there is no mention of Sophocles (the philosopher?) who, in Book II was placed in charge of an army. He was either defeated in battle and killed, or died of natural causes. It seems natural to assume a philosopher would not make a good battle leader. Hmm, she should google Socrates.

There was a Pericles, but he must have died earlier in the war, because he does not linger in her memory (It’s got to be that Pericles, right? There is only one)

There are more massacres of innocents (every time a town was taken, all the inhabitants, whether children or adults, were slain without mercy), more great naval battles, more speeches.

She has to hand it to the Greeks: despite the ongoing war, they still kept holding their games, with the same ceremony. At least, Thucydides makes it appear that they did.

Stay tuned.


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