The opening sentence of Thucydides’ work announces that he ξυνέγραψε the war between the Athenians and the Peloponnesians. His use of ξυγγράφειν, applied in the classical period to the composition of historical narratives, arguments, speeches, technical manuals, memoranda, draft proposals, architectural schedules, and the like, but not to drama, poetry, or fiction, reminds us that the study of Thucydides has one dimension which the study of (e.g.) Homer or Euripides lacks. In respect of any author we have to begin with the questions, ‘What did he say?’ and ‘What did he mean?’ The procedures designed to answer the first question are subsumed under ‘textual criticism’, those concerned with the second under ‘translation’ and ‘interpretation’. The division of labour is necessarily inexact, since difficulties in translation often make us ask, ‘Did he really write that?’, and, conversely, suspicion of the text or choice between variants can seldom claim to be rational unless the meaning is treated as the vital consideration. ‘Interpretation’, taking ‘What did he mean?’ beyond the point to which the translator has taken it, investigates the associations which words and ideas had for the writer and his audience, and it merges into the question, ‘Why did he write that, in that connection, at that time?’ In the case of a historian we can ask—indeed, we cannot help asking, unless we are sadly lacking in curiosity—the further, and separate question, ‘Is it true?’ If we ask, ‘Did Heracles really bring Alcestis back from the tomb?’ we are posing a question which does not extend beyond the intentions of Euripides; but as soon as our reading of Thuc. i. 139. I prompts us to ask, ‘Did the Spartans really say that if the Megarian Decree were annulled there would be no war?’, we realize the magnitude of the extra dimension which (whatever else it may lack) the study of a historian possesses.