Thucydides on Athenians versus Melians about the Rules of War

Primary Source Project for Chapter Four


"The Melian Dialogue by Thucydides (ca. 400 BC)." In Brian A. Pavlac. A Concise History of Western Civilization: Supremacies and Diversities, 78-79. Second Edition. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2015. Originally published in Thucydides. Thucydides Translated into English. Translated by B. Jowett. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon, 1881, book 5, chaps. 85–113; vol. 2, pp. 398–406.

[Online versions here; and here].


Further Links and materials for study

Selection from "The War that Never Ends," directed by Jack Gold. BBC 1991 <>.

Alexander Kemos. The Influence of Thucydides in the Modern World: The Father of Political Realism Plays a Key Role in Current Balance of Power Theories. Point of Reference. <>.

Lauren Axelrod. "The Melian Dialogue: Its Place in Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War." Ancient Digger. <>.

Andreas Kluth. "The rape of Melos: Thucydides as great thinker. <>.

Anthony Grafton. Did Thucydides Really Tell the Truth? The hidden agenda of the pioneering historian. Slate. 19 October 2009 <>.

Daniel Mendelsohn. “Theatres of War: Why the battles over ancient Athens still rage.” The New Yorker, 12 January 2004. <>.


Last Updated: 12 January 2018