Thucydides: The Peloponnesian War, Part 1 (Remote)

John Sarkissian
Professor Emeritus, Classics, Youngstown State University
Mondays, October 10 - November 14
11 - 12:30 p.m. ET

The historian Thucydides is remarkable for his penetrating presentation of events and personalities in an unemotional, unsentimental manner, without lapsing into simple moralizing. In this discussion-based course we will explore the first half of Thucydides’ history of the Peloponnesian War (431-421 BCE, the first ten years of a war which ended in 404). Our focus will be on his narration and analysis of the causes of the war, of the strategies and policies followed by Athens and Sparta, and of the psychological and moral toll the extended war took on the inhabitants of Greece (e.g., the reaction of Athenians to the plague; Sparta’s utter destruction of Plataea, an Athenian ally; fierce civil strife on Corcyra (Corfu) ending in horrific violence). “The three most powerful motives – prestige [honor], fear, and self-interest.” (Thuc. 1.76)

Read: Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War, Martin Hammond

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