This thesis expands upon the notion that Thucydides’ plague narrative in his History of the Peloponnesian War punctuates his argument for the unique greatness of the Peloponnesian War. Through the plague, Thucydides displays the collapse of Greek society’s standards and practices. He does this by describing a plague which does not conform to 5th century BCE Greek medical ideas. Balance, human art, and divine intervention all fail in their attempts to restore the health of the individual and society. Thucydides portrays the plague as a narrative aggressor whose intent is to topple Athens and its ideals. Lucretius’ plague narrative, because it narrates the same historical moment but from a different perspective, is then discussed in order to demonstrate how other authors have used Thucydides’ technique.
College and Department
Comparative Arts and Letters
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Williamson, Masen J., "Thucydides' Plague, a Narrative Aggressor" (2021). Theses and Dissertations. 8884.
plague, Thucydides, balance, domain, sanctuary, Peloponnesian War, Lucretius, historiography, Greek medicine