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Ancient Greek History - Audio

By Donald Kagan

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(CLCV 205) This is an introductory course in Greek history tracing the development of Greek civilization as manifested in political, intellectual, and creative achievements from the Bronze Age to the end of the classical period. Students read original sources in translation as well as the works of modern scholars. This course was recorded in Fall 2007.

Customer Reviews

Excellent survey by a leading scholar

Donald Kagan has spent a lifetime researching and writing on Ancient Greece. There’s simply no better source for Greek history and analysis of the (sparse and nuanced) available evidence.

I’m surprised to see so many reviewers claiming that Kagan’s neoconservative political views seep into these lectures and make him unreliable. I identify as a Democratic Socialist and oppose almost everything neoconservatives stand for, but until I read these reviews, at no point did it occur to me that I was listening to any political propaganda. Like every scholar and every human, of course he has his own worldview with which he’ll approach history, but at no point did I get the impression that his neoconservatism was biasing what I was hearing.

With respect to the throat clearing, yes, it’s distracting. But you get used to it after a while, and it gets better as the lectures go on anyway (maybe he got over his cold?).

These are stereotypical class lectures—sometimes very detailed, dry facts, sometimes tedious. But all interesting. I’d recommend reading the materials as well, particularly Thucydides’ treatise prior to starting the lectures on the Peloponnesian War.

Great so far…episodes unavailable

My husband and I have really enjoyed the first two lectures, but now the Apple podcast app says all remaining episodes are unavailable. We are so disappointed!

Brilliant scholar marred by conservative rhetoric

Kagan is without peer in Greek studies, but his constant need to bring up Western Christian exceptionalism is distracting and unnecessary. I want to hear about ancient Greece, but Kagan constantly needs to assert modern political thought which really brings down the course.