On Foundations

To follow up a bit on my recent post on Herodotus, I’m now halfway into book two of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. To say it is a masterpiece is an understatement. I might go as far as to say it’s the most important and best history and military strategy book I have ever encountered.

Although politicians today are toothless, and generally give speeches of hot air, if you look at politicians and social or military leaders in history that have been of significance, in almost every instance they have inherited something from this work. The speeches of Pericles alone clearly established centuries of discussion of how a polis and eventually a nation-state should be handled.

If you are interested, I highly recommend this (with Herodotus as a prerequisite), and I recommend the lectures of Leo Strauss at St. John’s College in 1972 as an ancillary guide.

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