Introduction to Ancient Greek History: A Free Online Course by Yale Historian Donald Kagan (RIP)

Ear­li­er this month, Yale his­to­ri­an Don­ald Kagan passed away at age 89 in Wash­ing­ton D.C. In their obit­u­ary, The New York Times writes:

Pro­fes­sor Kagan was con­sid­ered among the country’s lead­ing his­to­ri­ans. His four-vol­ume account of the Pelo­pon­nesian War, from 431 B.C. to 404 B.C., was hailed by the crit­ic George Stein­er as “the fore­most work of his­to­ry pro­duced in North Amer­i­ca in the 20th cen­tu­ry.”

He was equal­ly renowned for his class­room style, in which he pep­pered nuanced read­ings of ancient texts with ref­er­ences to his beloved New York Yan­kees and inven­tive, some­times com­ic exer­cis­es in class par­tic­i­pa­tion, like hav­ing stu­dents form a hoplite pha­lanx to demon­strate how Greek sol­diers marched into com­bat.

If you nev­er sat in Kagan’s class­room, you can still expe­ri­ence his teach­ing style online. Record­ed in 2007, Kagan’s course Intro­duc­tion to Ancient Greek His­to­ry traces “the devel­op­ment of Greek civ­i­liza­tion as man­i­fest­ed in polit­i­cal, intel­lec­tu­al, and cre­ative achieve­ments from the Bronze Age to the end of the clas­si­cal peri­od.” You can watch the 24 video lec­tures above, or find them on YouTube. The lec­tures also appear on iTunes in audio and video. Find the texts used in the course below. More infor­ma­tion about the course, includ­ing the syl­labus, can be found on this Yale web­site.

Intro­duc­tion to Ancient Greek His­to­ry will be added to our col­lec­tion of Free Online His­to­ry cours­es, a sub­set of our col­lec­tion, 1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

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Relat­ed Con­tent

Learn Ancient Greek in 64 Free Lessons: A Free Online Course from Bran­deis & Har­vard

Roman Archi­tec­ture: A Free Online Course from Yale Uni­ver­si­ty

The Ancient Greeks: A Free Online Course from Wes­leyan Uni­ver­si­ty 

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