Thucydides, Pericles and the Idea of Athens in the Peloponnesian War.
Cambridge University Press, New York, 2014. XII,311p. Paperback.'This ambitious volume reviews the text of Thucydides in order to argue that Thucydides considered Pericles’ view of the city of Athens problematic. For Taylor, Thucydides’ story of the Peloponnesian War shows that Athens was not only the naval power Pericles and his followers wanted it to be, but was also a product of historical, physical, and social conditions that could not be eliminated through rhetorical redefinition. Moreover, Pericles’ intransigent devotion to his own view of Athens was foundational for the divisions that later appeared at Athens. Taylor’s analysis makes many substantial points, both in general and in detail, and although this reviewer was unable to agree with some of the concluding arguments, her views are challenging enough to the communis opinio on book eight in particular that they will be productive fodder for all scholars of Thucydides’ text. (...) These inevitable quibbles notwithstanding, this book makes a solid contribution to Thucydidean scholarship, and bravely attempts an analysis of Thucydides as a whole. It will be important for any scholar embarking on a study of Athens or Pericles in Thucydides.' (EDITH FOSTER on the hardback edition in Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2010.10.12).