Sunday, February 25, 2024


Thucydides' Style

Peter Green, From Ikaria to the Stars: Classical Mythification, Ancient and Modern (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2004), p. 71
Thucydides, on the other hand, has a dense, thorny, and infinitely complex prose style, loaded with difficult abstractions, offering whole Chinese boxes of subordination in enormously protracted, often page-long sentences that are made to balance on subtly rhetorical nuances involving clause and counter-clause, and straining at the same time to avoid any hint of repetition, whether verbal or constructional, in either his narrative or, more particularly, those elaborately wrought speeches on matters of political debate that he puts at intervals into the mouths of his leading public figures, and that have always proved so mind-numbing a hazard to students hacking their way through his text, for the first time, in the original Greek.

Rather like that sentence, in fact.

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