Introducing an augmented translation of Thucydides: Book 1

We are pleased to share in the Text Library a revised translation of the first part of Book 1 of Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War that tracks key terms.

The selection, chapters 1-23, includes Thucydides’ opening statement, the ‘Archaeology’, and a Preface in which he outlines his methods.

Photo: headshots from Zoom recording
Jeffrey Rusten, Keith DeStone, Janet M Ozsolak, Sarah Scott, Hélène Emeriaud

This edition was the result of a community-driven collaborative “augmented translation” project. The group revised a translation to indicate each and every occurrence of Key vocabulary term and to make the translation of these terms as consistent as possible with the glosses provided, or for the specific meaning to fit the context in which Thucydides uses the word. The base text in this project was the public domain translation of Richard Crawley (originally published in 1874) as updated in 1910 by his nephew, Richard Feetham.

As with previous augmented translation projects, the group prepared in advance, using Lexeis ‘A Thucydidean Lexicon’ and Perseus, to create an index that indicated every section where each of the Key terms occurred. Then the Augmented Translation team, Keith DeStone, Hélène Emeriaud, Janet M. Ozsolak, and Sarah Scott came together for three days via Zoom to work collaboratively through the text. Guided by the Key terms index and checking the Greek text at all times, the team worked through the English translation, adding tags and adjusting the translation. This work was highly collaborative. Each day the team consulted with Jeffrey Rusten of Cornell University, Department of Classics to refine the translation further and to resolve any issues.

This post includes a PDF of the augmented translation, and a handout of those Key terms, with glosses based on those at the Thucydidean Lexicon at Lexeis.

Introducing Thucydides Book 1, chapters 1–23

Jeffrey Rusten also recorded videos with us, in which he introduces the key Greek terms and discusses the selected text in more detail.

  • Video 1. Book 1, Chapter 1
  • Video 2. Book 1, ‘Archaeology’ part 1: chapters 2–11
  • Video 3: Book 1, ‘Archaeology’ part 2: chapters 12–20
  • Video 4: Book 1, chapters 21–23, part 1
  • Video 5: Book 1, chapters 21–23, part 2

Text and key terms

You can find the text here in html format, or to download:
PDF Augmented translation Thucydides Book 1.1-23

PDF Handout of key terms for Thucydides Book 1

PDF Handout of key Greek terms by theme for Thucydides Book 1 1-23

Image credits

Featured image: Bust of Thucydides. Hellenistic copy of early 4th century BCE work. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons