Thucydides 1

The documents found in Fornara when compared to Thucydides’ Archeology and Pentecontaetia give weight to Thucydides’ accounts of the events before the Pelopennesian War, while also to a certain extent giving credence to Thucydides analysis of the underlying cause of the Pelopennesian War. While the documents found in Fornara can be difficult to read at times, two particular documents are especially important in giving credence to what Thucydides writes.
Thucydides’ Archeology and Pentecontaetia both cover a huge swath of Ancient Greek history, much of which was left undocumented by those who were there and what was documented are few and far between. However there are two incidents in the Archeology and the Pentecontaetia which can be backed up by first hand accounts. The first incident is that of the revolt of the Messenian helots which, in both Thucydides and the documents in Fornara, seems to have been prompted by an earthquake in the region. Document 67 gives multiple accounts of both the earthquake and the helot revolt. The documents also include accounts of the help given my the Athenians to the Spartans to help put down the revolt. These documents, while giving credence to the account given by Thucydides, also give more detail than Thucydides does. In the Pentecontaetia Thucydides quickly goes over the revolt before going onto the more important, at least in his opinion, outcome of Sparta’s rebuff to Athenian help and the larger implications for the Pelopennesian War. With the help of the documents found Fornara, the reader can acquire a better understanding of the events surrounding the helot revolt and not merely what its implications meant in the eventual lead up to the Pelopennesian War.
Another important to document, which does much of the same things that the previous document did, is document 72 which deals with the Egyptian revolt against the Persians. Much like document 67 did for the helot revolt, document 72 provides valuable insight to what exactly Athens role in helping the Egyptians was while also confirming many of the details found in Thucydides. While document 72 is much shorter when compared to document 67, it does much to support the account found in Thucydides.
As for the other documents while they are helpful in understanding the inner workings of Athens relations with Erythrae (something which is not dealt with directly until at least book 3) and Phaselis, the large chunks of text that are missing make it difficult to assess the value of the documents especially in relation to the parts of history covered by Thucydides in the Archeology and the Pentecontaetia.

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