The work ‘Greeks and Persians: West against East’ by Simon Hornblower shows how the ancient Greeks and Romans used propaganda of various kinds to justify their wars. The work shows that idealism, sentiment and anti-barbarian attitudes played their role in deciding the international atmosphere2. The article ‘Thucydides and Neorealism’ by Daniel Garst opposes the neorealist view that Thucydides’ history provides timeless insight into the role of tensions among countries in shaping international relations3. In the article ‘Imag(in)ing the Other: Amazons and Ethnicity in Fifth-Century Athens’, Andrew Stewart shows how the image of Amazons appears in the Athenian literature and art to symbolize various threats from time to time4. Ruth Stepper analyzes in her article ‘Roman-Carthaginian Relations’ how Romans justified their wars on various grounds and identifies how they found legitimacy for their actions5. This position paper looks into these five scholarly works in order to understand how the ancient Athena and Rome developed and retained their political power through the effective use of words, deeds and art.
In the opinion of Richard N. Lebow, Thucydides should be considered as a constructivist, because his work reveals the claim that individuals and societies are controlled by convention, and convention is propounded by speech and reason. Thus, the feedback loop between words and deeds played a serious role in shaping the international atmosphere surrounding the Peloponnesian War6. In other words, Lebow claims that Thucydides wrote history in such a way to understand how convention and nature interacted to create international order. In order to achieve this purpose, he modified the information he wrote. Athenians accepted the theory of limitless expansion and they were able to give justifiable explanation for this. What they claim for