At the Annual General Meeting of the Classical Association in 1936, the young classical scholar and future politician John Enoch Powell (1912–1998) read a paper titled ‘The War and its Aftermath in their Influence upon Thucydidean Studies’. A typewritten version of the paper is preserved at the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge. It is now published for the first time in the appendix to this chapter, which discusses Powell’s paper and sets it within the wider intellectual and historical context of the 1930s. Powell makes some insightful analogies between the present political situation and the composition of Thucydides’ History, inspired by Schwartz’ Das Geschichtswerk des Thukydides (1919), but also by his awareness of the situation in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. He also considers the moral interpretations of some important Thucydidean passages (esp. the Melian Dialogue: Thuc. 5.84–114) and shows a ‘realist’ approach to Thucydides. Powell’s paper displays his interest in contemporary politics, a strong historical diachronic perspective, and an analysis of scholarly works on Thucydides through the lenses of twentieth-century ideologies.

John Enoch Powell, Thucydides, and Historical Analogy

MATIJASIC, IVAN
2022-01-01

Abstract

At the Annual General Meeting of the Classical Association in 1936, the young classical scholar and future politician John Enoch Powell (1912–1998) read a paper titled ‘The War and its Aftermath in their Influence upon Thucydidean Studies’. A typewritten version of the paper is preserved at the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge. It is now published for the first time in the appendix to this chapter, which discusses Powell’s paper and sets it within the wider intellectual and historical context of the 1930s. Powell makes some insightful analogies between the present political situation and the composition of Thucydides’ History, inspired by Schwartz’ Das Geschichtswerk des Thukydides (1919), but also by his awareness of the situation in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. He also considers the moral interpretations of some important Thucydidean passages (esp. the Melian Dialogue: Thuc. 5.84–114) and shows a ‘realist’ approach to Thucydides. Powell’s paper displays his interest in contemporary politics, a strong historical diachronic perspective, and an analysis of scholarly works on Thucydides through the lenses of twentieth-century ideologies.
Thucydides in the 'Age of Extremes' and Beyond. Academia and Politics
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/5011620
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