The Peloponnesian War. Book II. Edited by J.S. Rusten.
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge (...), 1993. Reprint 1st ed. X,262p. Paperback. Nice copy. Series: Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics. ‘Professor Rusten has adopted an approach to the ‘History’ which is to-day unusual. In his preface he declares that his main aim is to interpret the text but that he intends to devote attention to ‘its philosophical and literary connections’ and to ‘its linguistic texture’. He indicates that, while by no means indifferent towards historical context’, he will not regard it as paramount. From his statement of intentions his commentary might be expected to reflect those produced by German and English scholars of the nineteenth century. This affinity is superficial: his methods are essentially modern. R. has been largely successful in implementing the aims defined in his preface. He is generous in his assistance to the reader by explaining and translating the text. (…) On three substantial sections to which he has devoted special attention, namely the funeral speech, the plague and the so-called obituary of Pericles, his commentary with its explanatory paragraphs provides sound guidance. (…) A section of the introduction on language and style is valuable in listing the many abnormal features of Thucydides in this field. The introduction also contains a lengthy discussion on the authenticity of the speeches (…). While this work has many virtues, it is arguable that R. would have performed a more valuable service if he had chosen to adhere more closely to the approach to the ‘History’ now widely accepted. (…) R. has been most meticulous in consulting modern works, including many recently published, and he makes good use of them.’ (H.D. WESTLAKE in The Classical Review (New Series), 1990, pp.225-226).