The Classical Quarterly (New Series)

Research Article

The influence of forensic oratory on Thucydides’ principles of method

Ian M. Planta1

a1 Macquarie University, i.plant@laurel.ocs.mq.edu.au

In recent years, there has been considerable debate about the reliability of Herodotus: the attack on his honesty led by Fehling, the defence by Pritchett. The debate, it seems, may have begun at least as far back as Thucydides, but now Thucydides himself may have joined the school of liars. Badian has produced a new reading of Thucydides’ description of the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, arguing that Thucydides deliberately set out to mislead the reader, misrepresenting the Spartans as the instigators of the War and carefully masking the Athenians’ own responsibility.