Thucydides’ Realistic and cyclical view of history

Note 12. To the Subsection “Cyclical View of History (Fatalist View of History)

Herodotus was a fatalist who described history in the epic manner as manipulated by the thread of fate. On the other hand, Thucydides described historical facts realistically and scientifically. Yet, Thucydides also considered, according to the ordinary Greek way of thinking, that history repeats itself. He wrote, “The absence of romance in my history will, I fear, detract somewhat from its interest; but if it be judged useful by those inquirers who desire an exact knowledge of the past as an aid to the interpretation of the future, which in the course of human things must resemble if it does not reflect it, I shall be content. In fine, I have written my work, not as an essay which is to win the applause of the moment, but as apossession for all time.” The History of the Peloponnesian War (London: J. M. Dent and Sons, Ltd., 1948), 11.