Thucydides

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Athenian historian (about 460-400 BC). He wrote a History of the Peloponnesian War (431-404 BC) between Athens and Sparta, in which he took part as a general, though he was for a while exiled for failure. He set new standards in the recording of recent history and for general impartiality, trying to explain events as well as record them, an aim helped by his creation of speeches put in the mouths of leaders at crucial moments - before battle, and notably Perikles' Funeral Oration which explained Athens' role and ambitions.