When did Thucydides write his History?

We didn’t get to one of Dan Gabree’s questions on the last call.  I wouldn’t mind addressing it on our next call next month.  Here is the essence of Dan’s inquiry:

But the one other thing that came up for me was a question of when T wrote this history.  Throughout it has appeared (at least to me) as if he were perhaps recording the many years of war as a news reporter might today…  live, as it happens.  But seeing the outcome in Sicily and thinking back to his idea that this was to be the war of wars that future generations would learn from, I wonder when he actually realized that it was indeed such a war and that the history of it were worth writing down for posterity.

And if there is a chance that he did decide at the end to write this record, how old was the information for the early years some decades before?

Truly a remarkable story.  His vantage point must have been incredible.  Or did he interview soldiers (both sides?) like a reporter after the fact?  As was pointed out earlier, how did he know what Nicias’ letter said?

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