Edit Thucydides has long been hailed as the father of the realist political model of international relations, due to the numerous messages implicit in the History of the Peloponnesian War that seem to favor the idea that that morality and justice do not have a place in political decisions; they are governed more by the basic needs of security and wealth inherent in human nature. Although Thucydides clearly believes that realism is the true motivator of political decisions, he acknowledges that considerations of justice cannot be ignored if a political entity wishes to maintain its power in the long run. Since Thucydides strives to report the war with the utmost accuracy and neutrality, it can be hard to find strong examples of his opinions one way or the other.
Most consider Thucydides to be a relatively objective writer, detaching himself from bias and abandoning the supernatural.
Podoksik focuses on the fact that Thucydides follows the progress or rather, the demise of the city of Athens throughout the war. At first, it appears as though Thucydides seems to be very pro-Athens. The first thing that comes to mind about the Funeral Oration is how the style of the episode is so different from the typical style of Thucydides.
This could be considered to be the first clue that Thucydides was trying to show something deeper than just a basic account of events.
Podoksik points out that many people believe that Thucydides only uses this speech as a justification for the Athenian policy of imperialism. As Thucydides continues to discuss the various events of the war, there is still a focus on the city of Athens. More specifically, he focuses on their moral code and the decisions that they make throughout the rest of the war.
According the Thucydides, the Athenians continued to make more and more decisions that deviated from their original set of morals. They began asserting their power unjustly. A good example of this is how the Athenians dealt with the Melians.
Having ruthlessly beaten the neutral territory of Melos, the Athenians also deemed it fit to further punish the Melians by putting all of the Melian males to death.
Podoksik goes on to explain how this act was not an act of expediency, but rather, a blatant personal attack on the Melians. There is nothing for the Athenians to gain. This is one of the lowest points in the deterioration of Athenian values. Podoksik does a very good job of reading Thucydides without being blinded by the bias that Thucydides is too objective to have underlying themes in his work.
It quickly becomes apparent that Thucydides was quite successful at writing about the dangers of abandoning morals while remaining relatively objective.
His accounts of the events that occurred during the war are still reliable. His work just requires a more open minded reading to fully understand what he is trying to say.
There are several other instances in his work that can be used as further evidence of his underlying message.
Other examples of his message include his account of the Mytilenean Debate and the Corcyrean Civil War. When taken at face value, the Mytilenean Debate seems like a success for the Athenian moral values, however, when examined a little closer, it is apparent that Thucydides is attempting to convey a much darker message.
It is true that in the end, the Athenians were convinced that slaughtering the Mytileneans was unnecessary and an overreaction.The Melian Dialogue is a prime example of the idealism vs. realism debate, in which each side represents one extreme of the spectrum; Korab-Karpowicz intends to show that Thucydides’ views are somewhere in the middle.
the only differences are the actual definition of justice and the consequences of the decision. Kleon’s idea of negative. The Melian concept of justice is, therefore, superseded by the justice of the stronger.
Thrasymachus, a sophist in Plato‟s Republic, makes three main claims about justice. Justice is the advantage of the stronger (Plato, a), the obedience to laws (Plato, b) and someone else‟s good (Plato, b). In the Melian dialogue Justice is sought by the Melians and the Athenians, and various arguments of justice are prominent throughout.
Justice, argue the Athenians, is only assessable to the stronger party. noun. the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness: to uphold the justice of a cause.
rightfulness or lawfulness, as of a claim or title; justness of ground or reason: to complain with justice.
the moral principle determining just conduct.
The logic of the Melian dialogue itself vindicates Athenian justice. The Athenians have the right understanding of justice, but we know, for instance, that in foreign affairs, unlike the Melians, the Spartans act according to Athenian justice (if less generous to inferior powers) while making a show of Melian justice.
Definitions of Justice in the Melian Dialogue Essays Words Nov 15th, 5 Pages Amidst an interlude in the fierce struggle for power between the two dominant Greek poleis, Athens and Sparta, the Peloponnesian war, there was unrest.