Introduction to Ancient Greek History (CLCV 205)
In this lecture, Professor Donald Kagan explores the rise, fall, and significance of tyrannies in the Greek polis. He argues that the various tyrannies in the Greek world had both negative and positive aspects, which need to be appreciated. For instance, on the one hand, tyrannies promoted economic, commercial and artistic advances. On the other hand, tyrannies ruled absolutely and curbed the freedom of the polis. Finally, Professor Kagan intimates that tyrannies in many ways were a necessary step in the development of the classical polis. In short, through tyrannies, the power and influence of the aristocracy was broken and the hoplite farmer grew greater in significance.
- Chapter 1. Theorizing Why the Hoplite Phalanx Was Not Adopted by Others
- Chapter 2. How Greeks Understood Tyranny
- Chapter 3. The Rise of Greek Tyranny
- Chapter 4. Herodotus's Story of Orthagoras at Sicyon
- Chapter 5. The Story of Gyges and Unconventional Power
- Chapter 6. Features of Tyrannies
- Chapter 7. Consequences of Tyranny to Greek Life
Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website:
This course was recorded in Fall 2007.
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