Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War is generally acknowledged as the first great work in the fields of both history and political theory. It uses a combination of narrative, debate, and analysis to document the war between Athens and Sparta (431-404 BC). But the importance of the work lies less in the story than in the way Thucydides tells it. History was the first major work of political inquiry that did not relate events to divine influences. It introduced instead a critical method of looking to the facts of human actions as the basis of our understanding - a method that continues to be used today, more than two millennia later. Many of the most important political thinkers in the Western tradition cite Thucydides as an influence, and major figures including Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, and Friedrich Nietzsche have praised his writing.
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