200 euro - Greek Culture - Historians - Thucydides
Series: Greece - Gold euro coins
With Thucydides the Athenian (ca 460 - ca 400 BC), history came of age and became more scientific in method. Thucydides chronicled the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC), which ended in victory for Sparta and in the downfall of Athens. He himself served as a general during the war, but was exiled for his alleged responsibility for the loss of Amphipolis. During his 20 years in exile, he devoted himself to writing and to documenting the facts through on-site research and rigorous crosschecking. Influenced by the ideas of the sophists, he rejected the metaphysical interpretation of events for a more rational approach, seeking their underlying causes and the constants in human nature that generate similar behaviours and situations over time («γιγνόμενα καὶ ἀεὶ ἐσόμενα», “events which happened and are bound to recur”). His writing style is dense and concise, with vivid descriptions and dramatic effect. As was Thucydides’s ambition, his work remains to this day “a possession for all time” («κτῆμα ἐς ἀεὶ») and an influential subject of study.