Title

Finding the Truth: An Examination into the Use of Rhetoric in Thucydides

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Aaron Irvin

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

For centuries, scholars have looked to Thucydides as truth--a factual and accurate account of the Peloponnesian War--due to his thorough use of critical analysis and logical deduction. Unlike his predecessor, Herodotus, Thucydides dodged the critical and literary analysis that has plagued Herodotus for years. However, in the past few decades historians have began to realize that Thucydides is far more than facts on paper. This research project will show that Thucydides use of Athenian rhetoric transforms his work from that of historical accuracy into a "possession for all time," redefining the way other historians would construct their own narrative. (Thucydides, 1.22.1) Thucydides is clear throughout his entire history that he is planning to be remembered. In fact, the beginning of his book is filled with concern about his eternal resting place in the minds and hearts of those who will come after him. His work is not merely a collection of truths and date-to-date happenings during the Peloponnesian War, as once thought. This magnificent work was artfully crafted into something that would surpass fact and transcend truth; thanks to the rhetoricians who came before him. By examining his use of speeches, and the format of these orations as well as the book itself, we can see how influential Thucydides is to modern history. By treasuring the work of Thucydides for its rhetorical influence, his impact on historical writing can be better understood.

Location

South Lobby, Waterfield Library

Start Date

April 2016

End Date

April 2016

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Apr 21st, 4:30 PM Apr 21st, 6:00 PM

Finding the Truth: An Examination into the Use of Rhetoric in Thucydides

South Lobby, Waterfield Library

For centuries, scholars have looked to Thucydides as truth--a factual and accurate account of the Peloponnesian War--due to his thorough use of critical analysis and logical deduction. Unlike his predecessor, Herodotus, Thucydides dodged the critical and literary analysis that has plagued Herodotus for years. However, in the past few decades historians have began to realize that Thucydides is far more than facts on paper. This research project will show that Thucydides use of Athenian rhetoric transforms his work from that of historical accuracy into a "possession for all time," redefining the way other historians would construct their own narrative. (Thucydides, 1.22.1) Thucydides is clear throughout his entire history that he is planning to be remembered. In fact, the beginning of his book is filled with concern about his eternal resting place in the minds and hearts of those who will come after him. His work is not merely a collection of truths and date-to-date happenings during the Peloponnesian War, as once thought. This magnificent work was artfully crafted into something that would surpass fact and transcend truth; thanks to the rhetoricians who came before him. By examining his use of speeches, and the format of these orations as well as the book itself, we can see how influential Thucydides is to modern history. By treasuring the work of Thucydides for its rhetorical influence, his impact on historical writing can be better understood.