[Mark Safranski / “zen“]
Our list of esteemed roundtable participants has been finalized and while some administrative details need to be taken care of in the coming weeks and some promotional announcements are to come, we will formally begin October 17.
Readers who wish to follow along with us or engage in the comment section, we will be using The Landmark Thucydides as our official text.
When tweeting about the Thucydides Roundtable we will use the hashtag #FearHonorInterest. Participants may be cross-posting as well to their own blogs or social media accounts and are strongly encouraged to do so, but for ease of discussion, every participant’s post will appear here at zenpundit.com
The format will be similar to blogging roundtable events in past years, notably the Clausewitz and Xenophon roundtables. Participants will post on one “book” (chapter) a week in sequential order – i.e. in week one, everyone posts about some aspect of Book I. The following schedule will be maintained throughout the roundtable:
Book I. week of October 17
Book II. week of October 24
Book III. week of October 31
Book IV. week of November 7
Book V. week of November 14
Book VI. week of November 21
Book VII. week of November 28
Book VIII. week of December 5
Concluding Analysis week of December 12
For returning participants from prior roundtables, these are essentially the same as the ones enacted at Chicago Boyz blog for the Clausewitz Roundtable by Lexington Green.
Purpose of the roundtable: The overall goal is for each participant to read The Landmark Thucydides and to learn something from it, and to convey what they have learned in an interesting and engaging and informative way to the other participants and to our readers. Everything else is to flow from that goal and to be consistent with that goal.
1. Each participant shall read the book.
2. Each participant shall post his thoughts, comments, analysis, and impressions of the book, including its relevance and application today and in the future. The general thrust is to engage the text of the book, to “meet Thucydides” and then for each participant to communicate what he has learned in that meeting. Beyond the Peloponnesian War itself, the application of Thucydides’s views, as conveyed in The Landmark Thucydides, to current and future issues of strategy, warfare, politics or any other pertinent subject, is encouraged.
3. There is no absolute prohibition on discussing context, other writers’ views, the history of Thucydides’ influence, etc. However, the focus should be the text. Each participant shall use their discretion in this regard. There is no limit on length of posts or number of posts by any participant.
4. The schedule for the roundtable is as stated above. There is no ironclad requirement that each person post each and every week. Nor is there a requirement that each participant only post once per week. However, one post, per week, on the Book which is scheduled for that week, is the guideline. Again, each participant shall exercise discretion in this regard. This is supposed to be fun and enlightening, not a chore.
There will be a “first” post to begin the roundtable by our co-host, Tanner Greer of Scholar’s Stage. After that, any and all participants may fire away, keeping the schedule in mind.
If other personal or professional commitments come up, that is understood and excused in advance.
If a participant wants to put up some short post pertaining to the roundtable on their own blog or social media account, prior to the formal beginning date, I leave that to each person’s discretion, but request that no one “jump the gun” with any substantive post prior to the first week.
5. Each participant should feel free to respond to issues raised by other participants in their posts, leave comments on posts, cross-post on their own blogs, or otherwise engage in “lateral” dialogue about the book. Such lateral engagement is encouraged. Disagreement and argument of a civil and productive nature is also encouraged.
6. Mechanics. Each post shall have a title “Thucydides, Book __:” then the title the participant is using for the specific post, after the colon. This will help everyone keep track of where each participant is in the book. Each post shall be labeled with the category “Thucydides Roundtable”. Posts will have a “read more” break after a few paragraphs in order to maximize attention on all of the posts and to make things visually manageable for our readers.
Participants in coming weeks will be given access to ZP to post directly. If the participant is unfamiliar with WordPress and blogging generally, they may email their posts to me and I will put them up as quickly as I can. Participants with technical questions about formatting (ex. an image or map) in their posts can address their questions to co-host Lynn C. Rees.
7. Comment section: this point is more for newer readers who might be joining us rather than the participants. As a rule, the comment section here is a genteel place regarding discussions with others and problems are very few. The managing editor here is Charles Cameron and he keeps an eye on the comments section – comments with two or more links are automatically held for moderation, which he or I will approve as soon as time permits.
Participants, we will be contacting you with further information this week.
We look forward to seeing you at the roundtable!