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The Peloponnesian War Lecture

The Peloponnesian War

The Peloponnesian War pitted Athens and its allies against a league of city-states headed by Sparta. The ancient Greek historian Thucydides captured this drama with matchless insight in his classic eyewitness account of what was arguably the greatest war in the history of the world up to that time. These 36 half-hour lectures draw on Thucydides' classic account as well as other ancient sources to give you a full picture of the Greek world in uneasy peace and then all-out war in the late 5th century B.C.
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Publisher's Summary

The Peloponnesian War pitted Athens and its allies against a league of city-states headed by Sparta. The ancient Greek historian Thucydides captured this drama with matchless insight in his classic eyewitness account of what was arguably the greatest war in the history of the world up to that time.

These 36 half-hour lectures draw on Thucydides' classic account as well as other ancient sources to give you a full picture of the Greek world in uneasy peace and then all-out war in the late 5th century B.C. Professor Harl plunges you into the thick of politics, military strategy, economics, and technology.

You will feel the ancient Greek world come alive as you explore the war debates at Athens and Sparta, the devastating plagues that swept through Athens, the Revolt of Mytilene, the Battle of Pylos, the disastrous Athenian and Spartan expedition to Sicily against Spartan allies. You'll experience the thick of action and consider lively scholarly debates that continue to this day.

Unlike earlier great wars, the Peloponnesian War was not a conflict between kings, but between citizens from different city-states who shared the same language, gods, and festivals. Citizen assemblies decided questions of war - voting on their own fates, since they were the ones who had to do the fighting.

One of the most remarkable aspects of this era is that culture flourished side-by-side with the politics of war - that, even as Athenian citizens were honoring Aristophanes' mocking antiwar play, The Acharnians, by giving it first prize in a drama competition, they were debating with equal ardor whether to continue the war, and deciding overwhelmingly to do so.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2007 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2007 The Great Courses

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  •  
    RayVon 09-20-14
    RayVon 09-20-14 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I cannot suggest this lecture series enough!"
    If you could sum up The Peloponnesian War in three words, what would they be?

    Harl is great


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Peloponnesian War?

    All of it.


    What does Professor Kenneth W. Harl bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Harl relays the informative in a comprehendible and digestible manor that makes listening a joy. Nothing kills a lecture like a Prof who is clearly disinterested of bored with the subject but Harl is clearly electrified and excited by the topics at had which in turn only makes the lectures far more engaging.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Knowing little about the greek world, aside from myth and the Iliad, learning about the Greek political climate as well as actual warfare strategies was intensely interesting


    Any additional comments?

    If you're interested in Greek ancient history then this is a must.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas F. Stewart USA 11-11-15
    Thomas F. Stewart USA 11-11-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    9
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    "Great series from Great Courses"

    This series sums up exactly why I love The Great Courses. I can't recommend it enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lars 09-11-15
    Lars 09-11-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Great first read/listen on the subject"
    If you could sum up The Peloponnesian War in three words, what would they be?

    Fair balanced and nuanced introduction to the subject, that also takes opposing views into consideration.
    For example when sparta is discussed, Harl discusses the views of several scolars that have conflicting views, and then disusses the central points said scolars make.
    Even though this course is very much moddeled on thucydides, Harl remains both critical and sceptical to this source.
    Lastly although Harl gives us his views on certain matters, at no point does he put them forth as absolute truths.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Pericles and Brasidus.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Kenneth W. Harl’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Not yet, but i Would.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes but i know better.
    It is a series of lectures, and not reading the course outlines between each lecture, makes remembering the content impossible.
    This is not the fault of Harl, thats just how human learning Works.


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth every penny.

    Learning about this part of history, has given a lot of added meaning to a lot of litterature, of which I have an interest.

    Sadly the maps provided is not always that usefull and i find myself using Google maps instead. The only map i found myself using is the strategic conciderations map.

    This issue about the maps, is however a minor issue.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    khaledalyami001 Danabuckmir001 08-28-15
    khaledalyami001 Danabuckmir001 08-28-15 Member Since 2015
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    "great professor and great audio lectures"

    That is really a great overview conducted by an amazing and passionate professor who really really really enjoys what lectures about.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Imre Balazs 08-06-15
    Imre Balazs 08-06-15 Member Since 2015
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    "An excellent choice"

    Kenneth W. Harl is truly exceptional. Probably the best performance in my experience with the great lectures series, and I own a dozen. Buy it, listen to it, enjoy it, you can't go wrong with this guy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas 05-16-15
    Thomas 05-16-15
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    4
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    "A very well delivered, and engaging series."

    One of the top five lecture series from TTC I have enjoyed to date. The professor does an excellent job of keeping the story interesting. His delivery of this course is what elevates it from merely good to fantastic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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