Sep 272011

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.


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