Thucydides, Human Nature, and International Politics

Glimpse into our Basic Program by joining our First Friday Lecture with Richard Hoskins

Pericles Gives the Funeral Speech (Perikles hält die Leichenrede), by painter Philipp von Foltz (1852)
Dec 03

About the Event

Why do nations go to war? Or cooperate to avoid it? The Greek historian Thucydides is often called the father of international relations studies. His History of the Peloponnesian War written 2500 years ago remains the starting point for a realist understanding of the behavior of nations and their leaders. Thomas Hobbes translated him, Machiavelli and David Hume were influenced by him, the founders and leading thinkers in the modern discipline of IR studies were and remain his students. Part of the enduring strength of Thucydides' thought is his perceptive understanding of unchanging human nature -- especially of those exercising great political or military power.  This lecture will explore the heritage of Thucydides for the study of international relations, and in particular his wise observations about the role of human nature.

Who's Speaking

Richard Hoskins

Richard Hoskins

Basic Program Instructor

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