Monday, January 04, 2010

Is Thucydides a Spin Doctor?

I stumbled upon this article on Thucydides while searching for archeological news on Ancient Greece and thought it might be of interest to my readers:

Was Ancient Historian One Of The First Spin Doctors?

Normally it's Herodotus who takes a brutal beating for spinning tales and composing stories (Thucydides himself once lead the charge), but Yale professor Dr. Donald Kagan dares to suggest that the pragmatic historian may have done some spinning of his own. His book Thucydides: The Reinvention of History tries to prove this point.

I haven't read the book (though I plan to), but it made me think: is history really always written by the winners? Is there any such thing as an un-biased historian? Can history really be re-invented? Or is it simply erased, glossed over by those who don't want the truth to come out?

9 comments:

Daphne Of Argos said...

I think History is written by the winners, however, there are those who will go to great lengths to deny written proof. the dictators in the Middle East for example are denying the fact that the holocaust happened, yet we have records and actual grave sites/ concentration camps sites and those who survived those horrific death camps to prove other wise.

History is how we interupet the facts (and misinformation)

sorry for my spelling errors.

Gary Corby said...

Thucydides is a rare but vastly important case of history being written by the loser. A loser twice over because not only did Athens lose, but Thucydides was less than pleased with his own city's politics.

There's long been debate about Thucydides' reported speeches. Especially the Melos dialogues. But overall I can't, off-hand, think of a reason why he should be considered less trustworthy than modern historians.

Rick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rick said...

Kagan may have a contemporary agenda. He has quite hawkish views on US foreign policy, and from that perspective would want to buff up the reputation of the Athenian hardliners and push back against Thucydides and his 'imperial overstretch' interpretation.

(Proviso that I haven't read Kagan's book, and am going by reviews that themselves have a contemporary agenda. Meta, meta.)

That said, it is hardly news that Thucydides' set piece speeches are not transcriptions, and are more his own perspective than what people actually said in those debates.

I don't think history can be unbiased, but the more thorough the account, the more we can evaluate it on our own. This was the great genius of Herodotus in the first place, which Thucydides followed. (Herodotus is way underrated, IMHO.)

Gary Corby said...

Hi Rick, I'm sure their views are similar, but you might be confusing Kagan pere, who's a professional historian, with Kagan fils, who's a conservative advisor?

Rick said...

Oops. Yes, I thought it was one guy doing a double gig, just like Victor Davis Hanson.

文章 said...

走光,色遊戲,情色自拍,kk俱樂部,好玩遊戲,免費遊戲,貼圖區,好玩遊戲區,中部人聊天室,情色視訊聊天室,聊天室ut,成人遊戲,免費成人影片,成人光碟,情色遊戲,情色a片,情色網,性愛自拍,美女寫真,亂倫,戀愛ING,免費視訊聊天,視訊聊天,成人短片,美女交友,美女遊戲,18禁,三級片,自拍,後宮電影院,85cc,85cc免費影片,免費影片,線上遊戲,色情遊戲,日本a片,美女,avdvd,色情遊戲,情色貼圖,女優,偷拍,情色視訊,愛情小說,85cc成人片,成人貼圖站,成人論壇,080聊天室,080苗栗人聊天室,免費a片,視訊美女,視訊做愛,免費視訊,伊莉討論區,sogo論壇,台灣論壇,plus論壇,維克斯論壇,自拍

Miss jane said...

成人論壇,080聊天室,080苗栗人,免費a片,視訊美女,視訊做愛,免費視訊,伊莉討論區,sogo論壇,台灣論壇,plus論壇,維克斯論壇,情色論壇,性感影片,正妹,走光,色遊戲,情色自拍,kk俱樂部,好玩遊戲,免費遊戲,貼圖區,好玩遊戲區,中部人聊天室,情色視訊聊天室,聊天室ut,成人電影,成人遊戲,成人文學,免費成人影片,成人光碟,情色遊戲,情色a片,情色網,性愛自拍,美女寫真,亂倫,戀愛ING,免費視訊聊天,視訊聊天,成人短片,美女交友,美女遊戲,18禁,三級片,自拍,後宮電影院,85cc,免費影片,線上遊戲,色情遊戲,日本a片,美女,成人圖片區,avdvd,色情遊戲,情色貼圖,女優,偷拍,正妹牆

日月神教-向左使 said...

AV,無碼,a片免費看,自拍貼圖,伊莉,微風論壇,成人聊天室,成人電影,成人文學,成人貼圖區,成人網站,一葉情貼圖片區,色情漫畫,言情小說,情色論壇,臺灣情色網,色情影片,色情,成人影城,080視訊聊天室,a片,A漫,h漫,麗的色遊戲,同志色教館,AV女優,SEX,咆哮小老鼠,85cc免費影片,正妹牆,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,聊天室,情色小說,aio,成人,微風成人,做愛,成人貼圖,18成人,嘟嘟成人網,aio交友愛情館,情色文學,色情小說,色情網站,情色,A片下載,嘟嘟情人色網,成人影片,成人圖片,成人文章,成人小說,成人漫畫,視訊聊天室,a片,線上遊戲,色情遊戲,日本a片,性愛