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Thucydides's View on Kinship and International Relations

Please explain why Thucydides believed kinship had a limited place in international relations.

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The concept of "kinship" here is particularly important because the different city states involved in politics in the eastern Aegean were all Greek. There was a sense of a broader ethnic identification. The real question is whether the different sub-ethnic groups within the Greek realm were ever a motivating force for war, more specifically, the fact that Spartans were Dorians and Athenians were Ionians. According to Thucydides, it was not. It was manipulated for cynical purposes only. Self interest alone matters, not racial or ethnic connections.

One example might be when Thucydides speaks of the Ionians request for Athenian help against the Spartans (who are Dorians). While it is true that they were all Greek, the Ionians and Athenians have a special bond because they are all Ionians (that is, the Athenians are descended from the Ionians). The real issue of course, was that ...

Solution Summary

Thucydides's view on kinship and international relations are examined.