Introduction to Ancient Greek History

Yale,, Fall 2007 , Prof. Donald Kagan

Updated On 02 Feb, 19


Introduction - The Dark Ages - The Rise of the Polis - The Greek - Sparta - The Rise of Athens - The Persian Wars - The Athenian Empire - Athenian Democracy - The Peloponnesian War - The Struggle for Hegemony in Fourth-Century Greece - Twilight of the Polis - Twilight of the Polis (cont.) and Conclusion


Lecture 19: The Peloponnesian War, Part II

4.1 ( 11 )

Lecture Details

Introduction to Ancient Greek History (CLCV 205)

In this lecture, Professor Kagan focuses on the causes of the Peloponnesian War and the possible motivations for Thucydides book, The History of the Peloponnesian War. Concerning the first point, Professor Kagan parts ways with Thucydides and argues that the war was not inevitable and that the Athenians under Pericles followed a policy of deterrence, which was aimed at peace. Similarly, he points out that there were a number of Spartans who did not want war as well. Therefore, according to this line of reasoning, war broke out due to a number of factors that were avoidable. Concerning the second point, Professor Kagan argues that Thucydides was a revisionist historian. In other words, Thucydides was writing not as a disinterested historian, but as a historian with a point to make, namely, that the war was inevitable and that Athens was only a democracy in name under Pericles. Finally, Professor Kagan acknowledges that his two points are debatable.

0000 - Chapter 1. Lead Up to the War Corcyra and Potidaea
1217 - Chapter 2. Lead Up to the War The Megarian Decree
2008 - Chapter 3. The Spartan Assembly Votes and the Course of War Is Set
3633 - Chapter 4. The Start of the War
5002 - Chapter 5. Thucydides as Revisionist Historian

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website httpopen.yale.educourses

This course was recorded in Fall 2007.



0 Ratings
comment person image


Excellent course helped me understand topic that i couldn't while attendinfg my college.

comment person image


Great course. Thank you very much.