Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Reasoning: Donald Kagan's Defense of Studying the Classics

I am approaching the history of Rome in the Berkeley Mediterranean history class, so I decided to look for another Greek history class to which to listen. I obviously need to revisit the history of Rome at some point (I have another Berkeley history course in the cue), but I want to do the enjoyable history (Greece) first. Today, since I am sick and not capable of doing much of anything, I decided to listening to Donald Kagan's Greek history course. Serendipitously, Kagan uses the Pomeroy et al Greek History textbook that my grandfather gave me many years ago and that I decided to use as a basis for my Greek history review. I have decided to start reading the textbook in conjunction with the class as I listen to it. You can find the introduction here, along with the assigned reading, if you want to follow along. You can also subscribe to it on iTunes U.

In the introductory lecture, Kagan provides a defense of studying classical history by demonstrating the influence that the classical Greeks had on the history of the modern era. It's a fun 33 minute lecture, although not nearly as enjoyable as Oliver Taplin's defense which I spoke about previously.


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