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Thucydides' War NarrativeA Structural Study$
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Carolyn Dewald

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520241275

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520241275.001.0001

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• Years Seventeen through Twenty-one (vi.8–viii.109)

• Years Seventeen through Twenty-one (vi.8–viii.109)

The Unit of Action Transformed

(p.144) Chapter Six • Years Seventeen through Twenty-one (vi.8–viii.109)
Thucydides' War Narrative

Carolyn J. Dewald

University of California Press

As the History breaks off in the summer of the twenty-first year of the war, the unit of action disappears in books vi.8–viii.109. It is obsolescent by the use of scenes that are not frequently confined to one setting, actor, or action and often lacks a formular first sentence. A series of such nonunitary scenes forms an ongoing narrative because the narrative moves fluidly among a limited number of topics that blend together in different combinations within successive scenes. The view of the book must persist one of a linked series of scenes that still lack the inner consistency of a completed narrative, despite their obvious connections to each other. The paratactic succession of discrete units of action found in year one through sixteen of the History has been superseded in both the Sicilian and Aegean.

Keywords:   nonunitary, consistency, paratactic, Aegean, Siciilian

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