Read The Forum Rules: We have a clear set of rules to keep the forum running smoothly. Click here to review them.

Post Reply 
RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
Author Message
Sonsowey Offline
Hummingbird
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 3,303
Joined: May 2010
Reputation: 52
Post: #1
RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
I hope to form an RVF book club, where we spend a month reading the same text together. I hope to get commentary from smart members who have something interesting to say about the text, and to have those who have never read these texts comment as they go along and have discussions with each other as they read through the books.

My idea is to have the books we read be truly timeless classics that touch on themes of masculinity. I'd like to avoid modern books, since I think getting a perspective that is far removed from our own is very useful.

Through this I hope we all get a better grasp on some of the best works available in the English language, and begin to develop some more common reference points in our discussions here. Hopefully the perspectives on masculinity from writers far removed from our times can help us gain perspective on how to best live our own lives today.

---

For September we'll read Thucydides' "The History of the Peloponnesian War".

This is often cited as the first proper work of History in the world. I read this book years ago, and have often gone back and read parts of it, but I look forward to working through this book and discussing it with you this September.

I have spoken with Quintus Curtius and he recommended this as a good version to purchase. I've just ordered this for $13:

http://www.amazon.com/Landmark-Thucydide...8&qid=&sr=

Quintus recommended this because of integrated maps and annotations which help make the book more accessible. The version I already own is not well annotated and I can confirm that it leads to a lot of confusion for the non-specialist, as Thucydides references many things that we, more than 2 millennia removed, do not have sufficient context to grasp without a bit of aid from a modern editor.

If you don't want to purchase this version, there are several free Ebook formats available via Gutenberg:

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/7142

If you prefer audiobooks, LibriVox has the entire book available for free as an audiobook:

https://librivox.org/the-history-of-the-...thucydides

I just ordered my copy and it should be here in a few days, so I look forward to beginning September reading this book with you.

RVF Book Club February: Julius Evola - Revolt Against the Modern World
(This post was last modified: 08-28-2015 07:32 PM by Sonsowey.)
08-28-2015 07:27 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 12 users Like Sonsowey's post:
The Man w/ the Golden Gun, Alpharius, Saga, Monty_Brogan, Thaitanium, Eusebius, Seth_Rose, LeeEnfield303, Quintus Curtius, samsamsam, Paracelsus, kaeru
Quintus Curtius Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 4,060
Joined: May 2013
Reputation: 247
Post: #2
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
Some of the famous parts of Thucydides that are worth noting:

1. His description of the plague that hit Athens.

2. The funeral oration of Pericles.

One of the few classics of Western historiography, written by a mature and subtle mind.

| qcurtius.com | Twitter
08-29-2015 01:24 AM
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 2 users Like Quintus Curtius's post:
Tigre, storm
Thaitanium Offline
Robin
*
Gold Member

Posts: 189
Joined: Oct 2014
Reputation: 14
Post: #3
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
I like your idea. I might dig it up and start reading it. Can I also recommend another classical book, the Histories by Herodotus (talking about another father of history writing). Book VII, VIII and IX provide some context leading up to the Peloponnesian War.

I am not sure I will have time in september to read the whole book, but I like your initiative and will bookmark this thread. Great idea!
08-29-2015 06:40 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Sourcecode Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 4,577
Joined: May 2009
Reputation: 111
Post: #4
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
What is the significant take from this book?

I am the cock carousel
08-29-2015 06:46 AM
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Eusebius Offline
Hummingbird
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 3,087
Joined: Jun 2012
Reputation: 35
Post: #5
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
(08-29-2015 06:46 AM)Sourcecode Wrote:  What is the significant take from this book?

In addition to the parts mentioned by Quintus, the Melian dialogue has been highly influential in political theory and as an example of the historian's art.

The book is significant as in it Thucydides basically single-handedly invented the discipline of history as we know it, ostensibly objective, devoid of mythology or moral. For the first time ever, it shows a story of nations at war as a thing of fallible human actions and luck, not as a matter of gods and destiny. Historians ever since have taken it as a model and starting point.

So, I would say that the take-away is that it doesn't have a take-away. It was attempting to be simply real life reporting (of course, there is actually considerable art and even bias in it, but that's inevitable).

It's wonderfully written and shows the foundations of Western civilisation as they were well over 2000 years ago.
(This post was last modified: 08-29-2015 07:29 AM by Eusebius.)
08-29-2015 07:25 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 3 users Like Eusebius's post:
Tigre, storm, samsamsam
Sonsowey Offline
Hummingbird
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 3,303
Joined: May 2010
Reputation: 52
Post: #6
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
(08-29-2015 06:46 AM)Sourcecode Wrote:  What is the significant take from this book?

I just started re-reading my current copy last night, and I'll give you my significant take away from just the first bit I re-read:

Thucydides starts with the settling of Greece in ancient times.

The Greeks that we know were not the original inhabitants of Greece, and from their own traditions came from the North into Greece. In early times villages were small and never amounted to much. The land was hardly cultivated, great structures were never built.

Partially this was because piracy was so common. At any time a village might be raided and have to pack up and go, and this happened more than frequently enough. At this early time in Greece there was as of yet no shame attached to piracy, it was seen as a fine way to make a living. One thinks of the Vikings and others whose raids brought great status and power to those who did it.

Thucydides states that because of Athens' poor soil, it was not a target for pirates. The areas with fertile soil changed hands most frequently, and as such Athens enjoyed more stability than many other localities of Greece, something that helped allow Athens to flourish.

From my own previous readings, this jives with what I know of Indo European culture. Greeks, Romans, Celts, Germans, Slavs are all Indo European peoples who (likely) spread out from around the Pontic-Caspian Steppe around 5,000 years ago:

[Image: p039_0_00_1.jpg]

Early Indo European culture is often thought of being divided into 3 roles, the Preists, the Warriors, and the Farmers. They had no purely "political" leaders, leadership developed out of the Priests and Warriors. The role of warriors was not what we think of as a military today, but really just a raiding party. Many Indo-European cultures had myths that follow the basic premise of "Some neighboring people have stolen our cattle, and so we must seek revenge and steal theirs." These myths are found in the Rig Vedas, for instance, and serve to justify and motivate raids on neighboring groups. So this culture of cattle-raiding, and then general raiding, is something that has a long pedigree in the Indo-European tradition. Of course it's not like these were the only raiders known to man, but it is an interesting connection.

Thucydides talks about the first King to develop a great navy, Minos, was able to put down piracy to a large degree throughout Greece and allow for peace and development throughout Greece. Only after this had been achieved could the Greeks begin to do anything together and indeed develop the word Hellenes for themselves collectively and Hellas for the Greek world. He notes that in Homer, nowhere are all the Greeks called by one name, rather they were all called by the names of their different tribes.

You see early on the salubrious effects of any sort of region-wide peace installed by any power. The Pax Romana and Pax Americana have had much the same effect. As long as some military out there can impose order and peace on a region, everyone benefits and is then free to worry a bit less about immediate dangers and able to focus their efforts more on building their society.

RVF Book Club February: Julius Evola - Revolt Against the Modern World
08-29-2015 07:53 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 3 users Like Sonsowey's post:
Tigre, storm, Quintus Curtius
didaskalos Offline
Pigeon

Posts: 10
Joined: May 2015
Reputation: 0
Post: #7
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
I'm in. This is definitely a good idea. Should we aim to read the book before September, or is an ongoing read throughout the month?
08-29-2015 08:26 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Sonsowey Offline
Hummingbird
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 3,303
Joined: May 2010
Reputation: 52
Post: #8
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
The idea is to read it during September, with running commentary, questions, and discussion amongst those who are reading it throughout the month.

RVF Book Club February: Julius Evola - Revolt Against the Modern World
(This post was last modified: 08-29-2015 09:21 AM by Sonsowey.)
08-29-2015 09:20 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes Sonsowey's post:
didaskalos
Seth_Rose Offline
Pelican
****
Gold Member

Posts: 1,146
Joined: May 2013
Reputation: 29
Post: #9
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
Is the translation a big deal?

I found two other versions on Amazon. The first is around 648 pages (not sure the exact contents) at $3.49 on Kindle and $13 in paperback:

http://www.amazon.com/History-Peloponnes...0140440399

The other version is free on Kindle, at about half the length of the previous:

http://www.amazon.com/The-History-Pelopo...B0082Z8X2C

I'd prefer to read it on Kindle, and not have to pay $20 like the version in the OP.

Blog - Twitter
08-29-2015 10:09 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Sourcecode Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 4,577
Joined: May 2009
Reputation: 111
Post: #10
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
(08-29-2015 07:53 AM)Sonsowey Wrote:  
(08-29-2015 06:46 AM)Sourcecode Wrote:  What is the significant take from this book?
You see early on the salubrious effects of any sort of region-wide peace installed by any power. The Pax Romana and Pax Americana have had much the same effect. As long as some military out there can impose order and peace on a region, everyone benefits and is then free to worry a bit less about immediate dangers and able to focus their efforts more on building their society.

But don't most people already know and realize that proper government and military that provides stability, will allow society to flourish?

At the same time, by now..most people feel like there are a lot more factors involved.
The world isn't as simply now.
These books are classics, baselines, entry level.

How does this book apply now?

I am the cock carousel
08-29-2015 10:16 AM
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Eusebius Offline
Hummingbird
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 3,087
Joined: Jun 2012
Reputation: 35
Post: #11
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
(08-29-2015 10:16 AM)Sourcecode Wrote:  How does this book apply now?

What do you mean by "apply"?
08-29-2015 10:49 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
LeeEnfield303 Offline
Pelican
****

Posts: 1,464
Joined: Feb 2015
Reputation: 8
Post: #12
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
I'm in. Great idea.


You can get the "public domain" version for free (Kindle) if you wish to.

Лучше поздно, чем никогда

Those that see...will prepare.
(This post was last modified: 08-29-2015 12:44 PM by LeeEnfield303.)
08-29-2015 12:41 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Seth_Rose Offline
Pelican
****
Gold Member

Posts: 1,146
Joined: May 2013
Reputation: 29
Post: #13
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
(08-29-2015 10:16 AM)Sourcecode Wrote:  
(08-29-2015 07:53 AM)Sonsowey Wrote:  
(08-29-2015 06:46 AM)Sourcecode Wrote:  What is the significant take from this book?
You see early on the salubrious effects of any sort of region-wide peace installed by any power. The Pax Romana and Pax Americana have had much the same effect. As long as some military out there can impose order and peace on a region, everyone benefits and is then free to worry a bit less about immediate dangers and able to focus their efforts more on building their society.

But don't most people already know and realize that proper government and military that provides stability, will allow society to flourish?

At the same time, by now..most people feel like there are a lot more factors involved.
The world isn't as simply now.
These books are classics, baselines, entry level.

How does this book apply now?

How about you read it and then you can tell us the answer.

Blog - Twitter
08-29-2015 02:35 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 2 users Like Seth_Rose's post:
Alpharius, Quintus Curtius
Sourcecode Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 4,577
Joined: May 2009
Reputation: 111
Post: #14
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
I'm asking the questions for the conversation.

Why would I read such a long book that doesn't possibly has no modern application that I can't find elsewhere?

Why don't you read the book also?

This is the "deep" forum. I shouldn't have to explain the word "apply".

I am the cock carousel
08-29-2015 08:39 PM
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes Sourcecode's post:
storm
Eusebius Offline
Hummingbird
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 3,087
Joined: Jun 2012
Reputation: 35
Post: #15
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
(08-29-2015 08:39 PM)Sourcecode Wrote:  I'm asking the questions for the conversation.

Why would I read such a long book that doesn't possibly has no modern application that I can't find elsewhere?

Why don't you read the book also?

This is the "deep" forum. I shouldn't have to explain the word "apply".

I think we're talking past each other here. If you read my previous post upthread, you'd realise I have read the book. More than 20 years ago the first time.

I was challenging your idea that "apply" is an important concept.

"I've been drinking this great stuff. It's called wine."
"How does that apply to my life?"

That's how you sound to me.

I know it's challenging to read a book of this nature if you haven't before, but I hope you read it and get something out of it.
08-29-2015 09:15 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes Eusebius's post:
PolymathGuru
PolymathGuru Offline
Kingfisher
***

Posts: 758
Joined: Jul 2015
Reputation: 15
Post: #16
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
(08-29-2015 10:16 AM)Sourcecode Wrote:  But don't most people already know and realize that proper government and military that provides stability, will allow society to flourish?

You take for granted that what people know and realize for what is truth. Truth isn't what people know and realize. At what point is proper government and military in place? If people always knew this, then why do civilizations fall? And how do we know when government and military is properly operating?

If it was so clearly and obviously true, why would others challenge the idea of having a government at all? There is a subset school of thought is the Austrian School of Economics known as Anarcho-capitalism. If you want a summary, I'll provide a video.





Whether you agree with them or not, consider that they don't see the world most people would understand as being the truth. Yet have reasons to challenge

(08-29-2015 10:16 AM)Sourcecode Wrote:  At the same time, by now..most people feel like there are a lot more factors involved.
The world isn't as simply now.
What people feel and what people know is two different issues. The greatest problem is the scale of knowledge people have. Most people are extremely specialized in their knowledge and tend to lack knowledge to a broader areas. It isn't that there are more factors involved or the world isn't simple at the moment. The scope of their knowledge does not have that capacity handle certain factors of analysis.

(08-29-2015 10:16 AM)Sourcecode Wrote:  These books are classics, baselines, entry level.
Yet all knowledge is built from somewhere. The basics are important to understanding more complex issues.

(08-29-2015 10:16 AM)Sourcecode Wrote:  How does this book apply now?

Do wars not continue to this day? Have nations and people stopped in their pursuit of power and possessions? What are the consequences? We preserve knowledge of the past so we can make better decisions into the future. Lessons forgotten are lessons not learned. The only way to reclaim that knowledge is follow the path others have before us.

A Guide to Exploring and Relocating within the United States.

A Guide for Creating a Burner Laptop and installing TAILS OS for RVF and ROK security and anonymity

The four Multipliers of wealth and Income
08-29-2015 09:40 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes PolymathGuru's post:
Guitarman
Sourcecode Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 4,577
Joined: May 2009
Reputation: 111
Post: #17
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
So then this book was written in 431 B.C.
Politicians, military leaders ect have read this book and books like it.

But we continue to have the same problems.
The same wars, the same declines ect.
That's ground enough to think that maybe this book/knowledge is outdated and no longer has the same application.
Following the same path as everyone before is the reason why we continue to make the same mistakes.

I am the cock carousel
08-29-2015 09:57 PM
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes Sourcecode's post:
Cattle Rustler
Quintus Curtius Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 4,060
Joined: May 2013
Reputation: 247
Post: #18
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
(08-29-2015 09:57 PM)Sourcecode Wrote:  So then this book was written in 431 B.C.
Politicians, military leaders ect have read this book and books like it.

But we continue to have the same problems.
The same wars, the same declines ect.
That's ground enough to think that maybe this book/knowledge is outdated and no longer has the same application.
Following the same path as everyone before is the reason why we continue to make the same mistakes.


Sourcecode, what's your point? What's with the negativity?

If you don't want to read the book, don't read it. This thread is about Thucydides. We're not here to debate whether this is a good book or not. History has already decided that question. His history is considered to be one of the greatest works of history ever written. That's not open for discussion.

Why is it great? Because of the depth of insight, the quality of the writing, the psychological profiles, the attention to detail, and the window that it gives us on the era.

That's why.

If you consider that liking these books makes us "elitist" then I'm an elitist. Deal with it. You're right. Not every person is up to the task of reading this book. Not everyone can handle it. This is not a book for wimps and wusses.

It makes some people feel very insecure. If so, then it's not for you. Don't read it.

People read great literature to become better people. People read great works because they inspire you, educate you, take your brain off in new directions.

It imbues your soul with a great spirit, and helps you in ways you can never anticipate.

Why don't you give it a try?

| qcurtius.com | Twitter
(This post was last modified: 08-29-2015 11:32 PM by Quintus Curtius.)
08-29-2015 11:30 PM
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 6 users Like Quintus Curtius's post:
Seth_Rose, storm, robreke, Benoit, Lothario, TigerMandingo
thebassist Offline
Kingfisher
***
Gold Member

Posts: 584
Joined: Oct 2012
Reputation: 29
Post: #19
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
(08-29-2015 09:57 PM)Sourcecode Wrote:  So then this book was written in 431 B.C.
Politicians, military leaders ect have read this book and books like it.

But we continue to have the same problems.
The same wars, the same declines ect.
That's ground enough to think that maybe this book/knowledge is outdated and no longer has the same application.
Following the same path as everyone before is the reason why we continue to make the same mistakes.

That's a pretty terrible argument man.

The entire point is that the fundamentals of human nature do not change over 1000's of years! Why do you think that the best of the classics have survived the test of time, if not for the fact that the lessons contained within them are timeless?

I'm often starting to think that despite our amazing technological advances, our current society is far behind many of the ancient civilizations in our understanding of basic human nature, which is exactly why it is worthwhile to read the classics.

RVF Fearless Coindogger Crew
08-30-2015 03:54 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 3 users Like thebassist's post:
Quintus Curtius, storm, NASA Test Pilot
Paracelsus Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 6,296
Joined: Sep 2014
Reputation: 150
Post: #20
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
(08-29-2015 08:39 PM)Sourcecode Wrote:  I'm asking the questions for the conversation.

Why would I read such a long book that doesn't possibly has no modern application that I can't find elsewhere?

Leaving aside all that's been said thus far: when it comes to the classics, especially philosophy but also history to some extent, what you will find elsewhere is invariably someone's plagiarism or commentary upon original source texts that come from this era or around it. Some commentary is excellent, but commentary is just that: a comment, made by someone with their own biases, their own ideas about what a particular text meant or means. Only your own reading of the original text allows you to form your own ideas about it.

(What about translation, one might ask: and fair call, too. I'm not going to get all "You have not experienced Shakespeare until you have read him in the original Klingon", but translations can do violence to fictional texts, let alone non-fiction. I didn't realise the massive influence a translator has on a text until I chanced across competing versions of The Odyssey: one was written in high-falutin' classical style, while the other was rendered as a sort of bawdy tale, the rationale being the translators belief that the text was meant to be performed and therefore had to keep people interested.)

There's a somewhat wider point to be made about looking into Thucydides and indeed a decent body of the classical authors: because it's part of your Western intellectual heritage. This much I've learned about looking into the small number of classics I've delved into: once you have started to read them, not much of current Western literature comes across as terribly original in hindsight. Much of our literature, our thinking, originates from a certain body of text which was widely taught and knowledge expected of it by anyone who was graduating high school with a serious shot at university: that called the Western canon. Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, a little Herodotus, and yes, Thucydides were all elements in that canon. Even the King James Bible forms part of that canon, partially for the beauty and force of its translation, but also because it influences, in both style and content, the entirety of Western literature that follows it.

This is valuable knowledge to have. In intellectual terms, the Western canon -- of which Thucydides is a part -- is getting you in touch with your ancestors. Not your genetic ancestors, but your intellectual ones. If the Red Pill tells us anything, it's that we need to listen more to what our ancestors said. Thucydides is the first proto-historian who tries to be objective about his subject. His work is (dare I say it?) the source code for much of the subject of history itself.

I'll be in for Thucydides month. Big Grin

As for his applicability, I give you a favourite quote from the text, first drawn to my attention in a Dan Simmons article. It's the unheeded warning of Nicias, the Athenian general, ahead of Greece's departure for Syracuse:

Quote:We must not disguise from ourselves that we go to found a city among strangers and enemies, and that he who undertakes such an enterprise should be prepared to become master of the country the first day he lands, or failing in this to find everything hostile to him.

If someone had perhaps told Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Bush, and Obama these words, perhaps there would have been different outcomes in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

That aside, I don't know the original Greek text, but whoever translated this passage had a gorgeous sense for rhyme and meter, or at least appreciated the words enough to retain their force.

Onward to the Peloppenisan War, then.
(This post was last modified: 08-30-2015 07:38 AM by Paracelsus.)
08-30-2015 07:37 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 5 users Like Paracelsus's post:
Quintus Curtius, Tigre, LeeEnfield303, samsamsam, Horus
PolymathGuru Offline
Kingfisher
***

Posts: 758
Joined: Jul 2015
Reputation: 15
Post: #21
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
(08-29-2015 09:57 PM)Sourcecode Wrote:  So then this book was written in 431 B.C.
Politicians, military leaders ect have read this book and books like it.

But we continue to have the same problems.
The same wars, the same declines ect.
That's ground enough to think that maybe this book/knowledge is outdated and no longer has the same application.
Following the same path as everyone before is the reason why we continue to make the same mistakes.

From your previous post on the other thread, you have displayed your interest in more contemporary books.

(08-29-2015 10:58 AM)Sourcecode Wrote:  I'd be more interested in books that are a little bit more update.
Yes, there are some classic books.
But I feel like there is a hype to read this old idea. From those old idea, people get a good base line for information...It also brings a slightly elitist attitude, where I feel like many people are reading the books just to say they read the books and are thereafter, "cultured"

How about some books that are more up to date.
New takes and improvisations on old ideas. The world is much more complicated now.
Instead of reading long draw out entry level books...we could find some books at are more complex in the current issues.
I feel like they are much more beneficial.

A couple examples.
Some of these are books I have bought a long time ago and read, and some of them are books I've bough and haven't gotten around too.


The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big On


The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Civilization in the Aftermath of a Cataclysm


Why We Lost: A General's Inside Account of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars


Bending History: Barack Obama's Foreign Policy


Long Gray Lines: The Southern Military School Tradition

However Sonsowey had made an expressed interest in reading the classics.

(08-28-2015 03:01 PM)Sonsowey Wrote:  There are many men who love to read here and have posted great reviews of classic books that have generated a lot of discussion.

I had the idea to get together an RVF book club. I am open to suggestions but my idea is basically this:

Have a RVF Book Club Thread. We focus on a different book each month. Via PMs we decide on very high-quality classic literature that deals with masculinity in some way that we think is enlightening. Those who have already read the book will begin the month posting their takes on the book, and those who have not can contribute by writing and discussing their impressions as they read through the book.

I would hope to focus on timeless classics that have already showed staying power, things like Greek and Roman texts, Sun Tzu, Nietzsche, Carlyle, real classics. Doing this would help us all build a stronger basis in our history and develop a stronger set of common references in our discussions here about masculinity.

After a year we will have read through 12 books and hopefully everyone will have benefitted from it.

Would anyone be interested in this? Get in touch via PM or comment here and we'll try to see who would like to help lead some discussions on some classic books and we can hopefully get started in a few days for September if there's interest.

Obviously your interests for reading classical literature isn't desired.

(08-29-2015 10:16 AM)Sourcecode Wrote:  The world isn't as simply now.
These books are classics, baselines, entry level.

How does this book apply now?

(08-29-2015 09:57 PM)Sourcecode Wrote:  So then this book was written in 431 B.C.

But we continue to have the same problems.
The same wars, the same declines ect.
That's ground enough to think that maybe this book/knowledge is outdated and no longer has the same application.
Following the same path as everyone before is the reason why we continue to make the same mistakes.

One of the advantages of reading classic books is they are cheap. They are open domain for the most part. Even if you couldn't download it or buy a book for some reason, they are almost definitely in a public library.

Another advantage is more emphasis on masculine themes. A lot of books today run a greater risk of being politically correct.

While I am not against contemporary written literature, a lot of it just doesn't appeal to me. I remember being in High School and College and hating works given to us which were for the most part contemporary.

If you feel that the classic aren't for you, why don't you just create a separate book club for contemporary literature? If the books you list are worth people's attention, then people will join.

A Guide to Exploring and Relocating within the United States.

A Guide for Creating a Burner Laptop and installing TAILS OS for RVF and ROK security and anonymity

The four Multipliers of wealth and Income
08-30-2015 07:10 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Sonsowey Offline
Hummingbird
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 3,303
Joined: May 2010
Reputation: 52
Post: #22
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
I've read a bit more, really listening to the librivox audiobook. I think the entire work is 20 hours via librivox, I'm 1:40 in.

This part of the book I do not remember well.

Thucydides outlines the Battle of Sybota:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Sybota

The parties here are Corinth, Athens, and Corcyra, the three largest naval powers in Greece at the time.

Corcyra had maintained a policy of isolation, not seeking to entangle itself with foreign affairs, but also in this way failing to make enough friends to successfully rebel against Corinth.

They came to Athens and asked for friendship and help in defeating Corinth. They proposed that the two of them allied together, Athens and Corcyra, two of the three largest naval powers, would be of an immense benefit to Athens, as many sensed that war was growing near and Athens would do much better to have a powerful naval ally rather than allow the possibility of Corinth re-conquering her rebellious colony and using the combined naval power against Athens at some future date. Athens, however, already had signed a peace treaty with Corinth after initial conflicts in Greece that preceded the full outbreak of the Peloponnesian war.

Athens decided to ally themselves with Corcyra but not offensively attack Corinth, but only aid Corcyra in defending itself in case of an attack. Corinth did indeed attack and after the largest sea battle in Greek history at that time, there was a draw. Corinth inflicted more damage, destroyed more boats, and took more prisoners of war, yet was unable to subdue Corcyra.

Corinth was shocked and after the battle had ended, yet the combatants were still there, they sent emissaries to the Athenians asking if they truly wished to break their truce and declare war on each other. Athens said that they would not interfere with any other Corinthian action, but that with Corcyra as their ally, they would simply defend Corcyra. The Corinthians went back home, and Corinth and Athens would soon come to blows again and later truly set off the Peloponnesian war.

Listening to the speeches so far has been the most enjoyable thing, the reasoning used is quite unlike our own time.

RVF Book Club February: Julius Evola - Revolt Against the Modern World
08-31-2015 07:46 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Andreas Offline
Kingfisher
***

Posts: 627
Joined: Dec 2010
Reputation: 2
Post: #23
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
How can I get this book in Greek text?
09-01-2015 07:29 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Paracelsus Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 6,296
Joined: Sep 2014
Reputation: 150
Post: #24
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
Some random thoughts thus far:

Page 17 of Book One:

Quote:Consequently security was the chief political principle in these governments, and no great action ever came out of them - nothing, in fact, that went beyond their immediate local interests, except for the tyrants in Sicily, who rose to great power. So for a long time the state of affairs everywhere in Hellas was such that nothing very remarkable could be done by any combination of powers and that even the individual cities were lacking in enterprise.

This is talking about the state of the Greek peninsula (called Hellas by Thucydides) before Sparta rose to prominence in the far south and took up a leading role in the defence of the country against the first invasion of the Persians (the same war in which the Battle of Marathon was fought) and the rise of Athens as a naval power.

Economically, this conclusion would seem to make sense. When power is shared among a small covey of tyrants all with their own agendae and self-interest, it's very difficult for anything particularly strong or long-lasting to arise, because you can't achieve economies of scale. By contrast, when the cities did start to ally up and tyrants were put down, they formed much greater powers than before. This, indeed, was one of the great advantages of the original US Constitution to my mind: it rejected the single tyrant of a monarch in favour of a group of elected small tyrants Wink but because it had a number of small colonies all irrevocably contributing to the common defence, it became much stronger than if all the colonies had remained apart.

This would also, in a strange way, justify Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs on a societal basis as well as a personal psychological basis: if your society does not have sufficient power or stability to grant basic security of resources, it won't perforce have sufficient stability to support the pursuit of higher endeavours such as art, creativity, self-improvement and so forth -- not on an institutional basis. You can't build the Louvre while you're being shelled by artillery.

From page 20:

Quote:Most people, in fact, will not take trouble in finding out the truth, but are much more inclined to accept the first story they hear.

Thucydides got human nature, it seems.

It's also fascinating to see echoes of our own modern conflicts in the way the Peloponnesian War got started. As with World War One, smaller powers drew greater ones into confrontation -- or the disputes of a smaller power were convenient flags for the greater powers to wave in order to press their own interests.

From page 25, talking about Corinth and Corcyra:

Quote:Unlike [Corinth's] other colonies, the Corcyreans did not give to Corinthians the usual rights and honours at public festivals or allow them the correct facilities for making sacrifices. Instead they looked down upon their mother city, claiming that their financial power at the time made them equal with the richest states in Hellas and that their military resources were greater than those of Corinth.

As Dale Carnegie would note roughly two and a half thousand years later: everyone wants to feel important.
(This post was last modified: 09-01-2015 07:41 AM by Paracelsus.)
09-01-2015 07:38 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes Paracelsus's post:
storm
Volbeck Offline
Sparrow
Gold Member

Posts: 51
Joined: Jul 2015
Reputation: 5
Post: #25
RE: RVF Book Club September: Thucydides - The History of the Peloponnesian War
(09-01-2015 07:29 AM)Andreas Wrote:  How can I get this book in Greek text?

The Loeb volumes have an English translation on one page and the original Greek on the other. You can buy them, or you can probably find scans at archive.org if the volumes are old enough to have fallen out of copyright, which is highly likely.

You can also look at the Greek text online at the Perseus Project, here. If that link doesn't work, search for Thucydides at the Perseus Project and you should be able to find it.
09-01-2015 10:30 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Contact Us | RooshV.com | Return to Top | Return to Content | Mobile Version | RSS Syndication