Thucydides offers two sustained accounts of cities torn by domestic strife, Corcyra and Athens. His analysis suggests that faction arises either from weakness or from strength. Corcyra was a dependent city, and its civil war was a function of foreign intervention; Athens was an imperial city, and its faction resulted from its own exorbitant desires and from the wear and tear of maintaining dominion. Thucydides has no easy solution to propose, but his ambivalence toward empire and his rejection of democracy point in the direction of moderation abroad and mixed government at home.
Coby, John Patrick, "Pawns, Potentates, and Parasites: Thucydides on Faction and Civil War" (1990). Government: Faculty Publications, Smith College, Northampton, MA.