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The Shadow of the ParthenonStudies in Ancient History and Literature$
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Peter Green

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780520255074

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520255074.001.0001

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Thucydides and the Lure of Empire

Thucydides and the Lure of Empire

2 Thucydides and the Lure of Empire
The Shadow of the Parthenon

Peter Green

University of California Press

This chapter explores Mme Jacqueline de Romilly's Thucydides and Athenian Imperialism, which was conceived and written during the 1839–45 war. It observes that during the past two decades, a small but highly articulate minority group has been systematically attacking Athen's reputation for moral and cultural supremacy. The chapter notes that this group—which was armed with the records of the Athenian tribute-lists, and indifferent to the high flown phraseology of Pericles' Funeral Oration—has set out to show that, from start to finish, the Athenian Empire was promoted by pride, ambition, and self-aggrandizement, justified by a naked might-is-right ethic, and largely tied up with economic necessities and ambitions.

Keywords:   Jacqueline de Romilly, Athenian Imperialism, moral supremacy, cultural supremacy, Pericles' Funeral Oration, Athenian Empire

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