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Ancient Greek History - Video

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

All hoplites, all the time

This course is best described as a political or military history of Greece. Poets, philosophers, and artists are mentioned only when they are commenting on politics or history. Aristotle's "Constitution of Athens" is the only time he shows up; Plato's "Republic" --- but no mention of Plato's involvement with the tyranny that briefly took over Athens during his time --- Aristophanes plays enter in solely through a scene involving a disgruntled bumpkin waiting for a meeting of the Athenian Assembly, Euripides is mentioned only for taking refuge in Macedonia.

Mind you, the political history is great. You'll want to supplement the lectures with readings from Thucydides and Herodotus since Kagan doesn't cover things they cover well, but Kagan will also inspire you to do so.

Great lecture style!

I picked this series up casually when I got my iPad, but became so engrossed in Kagan's lucid lecture style that I finished all 24 lectures and purchased the textbook and did the assigned readings! It's been 35 years since I was in college, and the experience was unexpected, to say the least!

I can't evaluate Kagan's presentation compared to other scholars, but found his knowledge and command of the topic very compelling. My only (minor) criticisms are that it would be beneficial to have graphics, maps, etc. in the lectures (I found myself holding a map of the Greek world in one hand and my iPad in the other) and, second, that Kagan's conservative views on present day politics (yes, he's THAT Kagan) to be a little heavy-handed.

Great Stuff!

Yes this is more of a Political and Military history of Ancient Greek History. This information is completely invaluable in understanding where and how Western Politics was established, i.e. Democracy.