The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides is a historical account of the Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC), which was fought between the Spartan-led Peloponnesian League and the Athenian-led Delian League. Thucydides was an Athenian historian who also happened to serve as an Athenian general during the war. His account of the conflict is widely considered to be a classic and regarded as one of the earliest scholarly works of history. The History is divided into eight books. Considered by many to be the first 'true' historian, or the originator of the scientific study of international relations, Thucydides--according to distinguished historian JB Bury--was "severe in [his] detachment [and wrote] from a purely intellectual point of view, unencumbered with platitudes and moral judgments, cold and critical." Nonetheless, the work is as entertaining as it is instructive: along with philosophic platitudes and political analysis comes a stirring narrative of the heroic deeds of some of history's famous men: the daring Spartan Brasidas, the dashing Athenian Alcibiades; the work is full of memorable characters. Recommended for all libraries.