This course addresses three wars fought in antiquity, each of which hadΓÇöeven two thousand years and more laterΓÇöa decisive effect in shaping our communal sense of who we are, not only in Europe, but throughout the European cultural diaspora, in the Americas, in Oceania, and to some degree, at least, in Asia and Africa as wellΓÇöwherever, in short, Western values hold. The three wars to be investigated here are (1) the Persian Wars, between a coalition of Greek city-states or ΓÇ£poleis,ΓÇ¥ most notably Athens and Sparta, and the Achaemenid Persian empire, the central and decisive portion of which took place between 490 and 479 B.C.E.; (2) the later Peloponnesian War between Athens and her allies and Sparta and hers, 431-404 B.C.E.; and finally (3) the three Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage, which stretched, on and off, for well more than a century, from 264 to 146 B.C.E.
Each of these wars helped, in profound and perhaps surprising ways, to shape, even still, our ideals, our identity, and our values.
Lecture 1 The Persian Wars: Greece and Persia, the Opening Rounds
Lecture 2 The Persian Wars: Darius, Miltiades, and the Battle of Marathon
Lecture 3 The Persian Wars: Xerxes, Leonidas and the 300 Spartans, the Battle of Thermopylae
Lecture 4 The Persian Wars: Xerxes, Themistocles, and the Battle of Salamis
Lecture 5 The Persian Wars: Mardonius and the Final Victory of Greece: The Battles of Plataea and Mycale
Lecture 6 The Peloponnesian War: The Outbreak, Pericles, and the Plague
Lecture 7 The Peloponnesian War: Melos and Mytilene, Athens Overreaches
Lecture 8 The Peloponnesian War: Alcibiades, Nicias, and Syracuse; Sparta Sends a General
Lecture 9 The Peloponnesian War: Arginousai, Aegospotomoi, Lysander and the Bitter End
Lecture 10 The Punic Wars: Rome and Carthage, the First Punic War
Lecture 11 The Punic Wars: The Second Punic War, Hannibal Crosses the Alps, Lake Trasimene
Lecture 12 The Punic Wars: Carthage Triumphant, the Battle of Cannae, Fabius MaximusΓÇöCunctator
Lecture 13 The Punic Wars: Rome Wins at Last, Scipio Africanus and Zama
Lecture 14 The Punic Wars: ΓÇ£Cartago Delinda Est,ΓÇ¥ the Third Punic War