Close Read for "History of the Peloponnesian War"

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This is a fantastic higher-level thinking assignment for students.

The students read and re-read the same excerpt many times, with different tasks given to them after each read. The tasks increase in difficulty as the students work through the assignment.

There are also pre-reading activities for students.

Below is the passage that students will be working with for this activity:

from “History of the Peloponnesian War” by Thucydides

Our love of what is beautiful does not lead to extravagance; our love of the things of the mind does not make us soft. We regard wealth as something to be properly used, rather than as something to boast about. As for poverty, no one need be ashamed to admit it: the real shame is in not taking practical measures to escape from it. Here each individual is interested not only in his own affairs but in the affairs of the state as well: even those who are mostly occupied with their own business' are extremely well-informed on general politics-this is a peculiarity of ours: we do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business; we say that he has no business here all. We Athenians, in our own persons, take our decisions on policy or submit them to proper discussions: for we do not think that there is an incompatibility between words and deeds; the worst thing is to rush into action before the consequences have been properly debated. And this is another point where we differ from other people. We are capable at the same time of taking risks and of estimating them beforehand. Others are brave out of ignorance; and, when they stop to think, they begin to fear. But the man who can most truly be accounted brave is he who best knows the meaning of what is sweet in life and of what is terrible, and then goes out undeterred to meet what is to come.


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Close Read for "History of the Peloponnesian War"