One of my deep satisfactions during the past decade has been reading Donald Kagan’s The Peloponnesian War. I realize that not everyone shares my obsession for Greek history, and it probably makes more sense anyway to start with Thucydides. But Yale has clearly done a great service in making available the lecture videos for Donald Kagan’s: Introduction to Ancient Greek History. There are 24 lectures, ranging from the Dark Ages to the Twilight of the Polis — a breathtaking journey with a great historian.
Donald Kagen is Sterling Professor of Classics and History at Yale University. George Steiner called his four volumes on the Peloponnesian War “the foremost works of history produced in North America in this century.” Here is a nice site which celebrates Kagan’s Jefferson Lecture in 2005. It has a biography, an interview, an appreciation by Barry Strauss of Cornell, and the text of Kagan’s lecture: In Defense of History.