Ancient Greek History สาธารณะ
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In this lecture, Professor Kagan tells the story of the rise of Philip and describes his early actions: unifying Macedon, defeating barbarian armies, and creating a new, professional, national army. According to Professor Kagan, through these actions, Philip was able to make inroads into the Greek world. What made these inroads more effective was P…
 
In this lecture, Professor Kagan describes the growth of a new power: Thebes. Under the leadership of Epaminondas and Pelopidas, Thebes grows into a major power among the Greek cities. In fact, the Thebans even rout the Spartans in a standard hoplite battle in the battle of Leuctra. Finally, Professor Kagan points out that by the time of Theban heg…
 
In this lecture, Professor Kagan examines the continuation of Spartan tyranny over the Greek poleis and the response of the Greek world. According to Professor Kagan, it became clear that the Greek poleis needed to do something to check the power of Sparta. So, Thebes, Argos, Corinth, and Athens along with some of the smaller poleis joined together…
 
In this lecture, Professor Kagan describes the aftermath of the Peloponnesian War and how the Spartans began to dominate other Greek poleis, instead of liberating them. The Spartan general Lysander at this point not only grows in influence and power, but also follows an aggressive plan to establish pro-Spartan, oligarchical governments. However, ac…
 
In this lecture, Professor Kagan examines Pericles as a general. First, he describes Pericles' strategy of war and then he evaluates this strategy. According to Professor Kagan, Pericles' strategy was characterized by being both defensive and rational. It was defensive, because the Athenians did not engage the Spartans in a traditional hoplite batt…
 
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 deterren…
 
In this lecture, Professor Kagan describes the aftermath of the Thirty Years Peace. He argues that the Peace had the potential to keep peace between Athens and Sparta due to the arbitration clause. In addition, he argues that during this time, Athens sends various diplomatic messages to the wider Greek world stating their intentions for peace, such…
 
In this lecture, Professor Kagan describes the events that lead up the Peloponnesian War. He argues that the rise of Athenian power and the concomitant challenge to Spartan dominance pointed to potential conflict. However, Professor Kagan also points out that there were many people who did not want war and that therefore war was not inevitable. The…
 
In this lecture, Professor Kagan continues to discuss the constitution of Athens. In particular, he explores the judicial workings of Athens. He describes in detail the effort of the Athenians to create a system of justice that would not only minimize tampering, in order to insure justice, but also maximize citizen participation. After this discuss…
 
In this lecture, Professor Donald Kagan examines the developments that took place after the Greek victory over the Persians in 479 BC. He argues that even after the Greek victories, there was great fear amongst the Greeks that the Persians would return to seek revenge. For this reason, many of the Greek poleis, especially the islands, looked to Ath…
 
In this lecture, Professor Kagan describes the mechanics of the Delian League and its transformation into the Athenian empire. This transformation caused Athens to rival Sparta as an equal in power and prestige. He also argues that this process took place rather smoothly due to the good relations between Sparta and Athens. Professor Kagan argues th…
 
In this lecture, Professor Kagan traces the development and the power of the Persian empire. He also shows how the Persian empire and the Greek world eventually came into conflict through a few incidents concerning Ionian Greeks in Asia Minor, which eventually turned into the Persian Wars. Professor Kagan ends this lecture with a description of the…
 
In this lecture, Professor Kagan examines in detail the development, growing pains, and emergence of Athenian democracy. He argues that the tyranny under the Peisistratids led to the development of the idea of self-government among the Athenians, which Cleisthenes used to develop Athens in a more democratic direction. One of the ways Cleisthenes wa…
 
In this lecture, Professor Kagan traces the development of Athens. He argues that Athens, like other poleis, undergoes political and social turmoil due to the rise of the hoplite farmer. This unrest is first seen in the attempted coup d'état of Cylon and the Law of Draco. Professor Kagan also points out that in response to these developments, Solon…
 
In this lecture, Professor Kagan finishes up his description of the Spartan constitution. He argues that Sparta had a mixed constitution and gained great power due to alliances that the Spartans made with their neighbors. After the discussion of Sparta, Professor Kagan examines Athens and the development of the Athenian constitution. In addition, h…
 
In this lecture, Professor Donald Kagan explores the development and character of Sparta. He points out that in Sparta, the ethos of the polis was present to an extraordinary degree. Then he describes how this came about. In short, Professor Kagan argues that the Spartans were able to create a distinct military culture on account of their subjugati…
 
In this lecture, Professor Donald Kagan explores the rise, fall, and significance of tyrannies in the Greek polis. He argues that the various tyrannies in the Greek world had both negative and positive aspects, which need to be appreciated. For instance, on the one hand, tyrannies promoted economic, commercial and artistic advances. On the other ha…
 
In this lecture, Professor Donald Kagan explores the rise of Greek colonies. He argues that the rise of new colonies was primarily due to the need for new farmland, although he acknowledges several other important reasons. He also shows where the Greeks colonized and explains that the process of founding a new colony probably took place within the …
 
In this lecture, Professor Donald Kagan discusses the emergence of a new style of warfare among the Greeks, the hoplite phalanx. After discussing the panoply of the hoplite solider and the method of fighting, he argues that this style of fighting came about early in the life of the polis. In addition, he shows that the phalanx was almost invincible…
 
In this lecture, Professor Donald Kagan tells the story of the emergence of the polis from the Dark Ages. He shows that by the time of the poet Hesiod, there is already a polis in place. He describes the importance of the polis in the Greek world and explains that it was much more than a mere place of habitation; it was a place where there was just…
 
In this lecture, Professor Donald Kagan offers a sketch of the Greek heroic code of ethics. He shows that in this community, arête (manly virtue) and honor are extremely important and even worth dying for, as the case of Achilles makes clear. In addition, Professor Kagan shows how this society eventually produced a new phenomenon, the rise of the p…
 
In this lecture, Professor Kagan addresses what scholars call the Homeric question. He asks: what society do Homer's poems describe? He argues that in view of the long oral transmission of the poems, the poems of Homer probably reflect various ages from the Mycenaean world to the Dark Ages. More importantly, close scrutiny of the poems will yield h…
 
In this lecture, Professor Donald Kagan explores the earliest history of Greek civilization. He demonstrates how small agricultural enclaves eventually turned into great cities of power and wealth in the Bronze Age, taking as his examples first Minoan Crete and then Mycenaean Greece. He also argues that these civilizations were closely related to t…
 
Professor Donald Kagan explains why people should study the ancient Greeks. He argues that the Greeks are worthy of our study not only because of their vast achievements and contributions to Western civilization (such as in the fields of science, law, and politics) but also because they offer a unique perspective on humanity. To the Greeks, man was…
 
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