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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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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By The World's Greatest on 04-26-16

Enjoyable, not for Greek newbies...

If you already have a grasp of Ancient Greek history, this will be a good listen about the Peloponnesian war. If you know very little or nothing, it will be harder to follow as the Professor throws out names, places, events rather rapidly and assumes you know what he's talking about. Before listening to the Peloponnesian war, I listened to The long Shadow of the Ancient Greek World by Ian Worthington, so I had the necessary background knowledge to follow along. This series of lectures focuses more on the war as the title suggest and I learned a good deal more about the war and its players and events than I had known before. Even so I wish the lectures were longer and even more details could be provided about the many events as I feel some were glossed over too quickly but in the interest of keeping things moving along, I suppose it's better for most listeners.

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9 of 10 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By RayVon on 09-20-14

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.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Mr on 06-03-18

outstanding series of lectures by a brilliant prof

outstanding series of lectures by a brilliant professor who both knows and is passionate about his subject.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Manish on 05-18-18

Peloponnesian Wars

This is a.great set of lectures. However it is more of a political and economic history rather than a military history. I found there was too much on the introduction and less on military tactics for each battle. For this Donald Kagan's book is probably better.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Tim Dubber on 06-11-16

excellent

An amazing overview of an incredibly interesting and important episode of Greek history. highly recommended

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