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Ancient Greece Declassified

History Podcasts

The podcast that transports you to the ancient world and back, with some good conversation along the way. It's not just about ancient Greece. It's about a huge chunk of human history that the Greek texts give us access to: from Egypt and Babylon, to Persia, to Carthage and Rome, we'll sail the wine-dark sea of history with some expert guides at the helm. Topics will include archaeology, literature, and philosophy. New episode every month.

The podcast that transports you to the ancient world and back, with some good conversation along the way. It's not just about ancient Greece. It's about a huge chunk of human history that the Greek texts give us access to: from Egypt and Babylon, to Persia, to Carthage and Rome, we'll sail the wine-dark sea of history with some expert guides at the helm. Topics will include archaeology, literature, and philosophy. New episode every month.

Location:

United States

Description:

The podcast that transports you to the ancient world and back, with some good conversation along the way. It's not just about ancient Greece. It's about a huge chunk of human history that the Greek texts give us access to: from Egypt and Babylon, to Persia, to Carthage and Rome, we'll sail the wine-dark sea of history with some expert guides at the helm. Topics will include archaeology, literature, and philosophy. New episode every month.

Language:

English


Episodes

38 Alexander the Great: Inherited Glory w/ Adrian Goldsworthy

6/18/2021
Was Alexander the Great really that *great* on his own? Or did he owe much of his success to the work of his father Philip II of Macedonia? Joining us to discuss the matter is Adrian Goldsworthy, military historian and author of the new book Philip and Alexander: Kings and Conquerors. A video version of this episode is available on YouTube at: https://youtu.be/zZwyvimmX3k ------------------ Support Ancient Greece Declassified on Patreon: patreon.com/greecepodcast Or make a one-time...

Duration:01:01:44

R3.5 Food for the Soul | Plato's Republic, book 3 w/ Angie Hobbs (pt. 2)

5/15/2021
In the second half of book 3 of the Republic, Plato lays out the controversial theory of mimesis, which states that all art, man-made objects, and cultural products in our environment have profound effects on the health of our souls. With us to help us unpack, analyze, and evaluate Plato’s arguments is, once again, Angie Hobbs, professor of the public understanding of philosophy at the University of Sheffield, England. ------------------ Support Ancient Greece Declassified on Patreon:...

Duration:00:41:07

R3 Who Guards the Guardians? | Plato's Republic, book 3 w/ Angie Hobbs

4/30/2021
Following Socrates' claim that the ideal republic should be ruled by a class of "guardians," the question naturally arises: Who or what will keep these guardians in check? How do you prevent the government from becoming an unaccountable and oppressive regime? Our exploration of Plato's Republic continues, this time with Angie Hobbs, professor of the public understanding of philosophy at the University of Sheffield in England. She has written several books including Plato and the Hero,...

Duration:00:44:41

35 Stoic Duty: The Formula for Living Well

4/15/2021
This episode is a crosscast in collaboration with the Classical Wisdom Speaks podcast. Anya Leonard, host of that pod and founder of classicalwisdom.com, interviews me about my new book The Invention of Duty: Stoicism as Deontology.

Duration:00:42:28

R2.5 The Justice Loophole | Plato's Republic, book 2 w/ Rachel Barney

4/4/2021
Our exploration of Plato's Republic continues with this discussion of book 2 with philosopher Rachel Barney. Is the fear of God necessary for morality? How can you educate people so that they value and practice justice? Rachel Barney is professor of classics and ancient philosophy at the University of Toronto. She specializes in the work Plato and has spent many years analyzing and unraveling some of the key issues in the Republic. ------------------ Support the project Via Patreon:...

Duration:00:53:58

R2 All Men Would Be Tyrants | Plato's Republic, book 2

3/19/2021
The third installment in our ongoing series on Plato's Republic. Use the following timestamps for easier navigation: 2:40 Introduction to book 2 11:35 Glaucon's speech in favor of injustice 20:00 Adeimantus' speech on the weakness of pro-justice arguments 26:30 Socrates reply; the city-soul analogy 38:20 The education of the Guardians 44:40 Analysis and conclusion ------------------ Support Ancient Greece Declassified on Patreon: patreon.com/greecepodcast Or make a one-time...

Duration:00:53:03

R1 The Hunt for Justice | Plato's Republic, book 1

2/21/2021
The second installment in our 11-part series on Plato's Republic. Use the following timestamps for easier navigation: 0:22 Introduction: virtues vs values 7:10 The beginning of the Republic 13:50 Cephalus’ “definition” of justice 15:10 Polemarchus tries to define justice 29:30 Thrasymachus challenges Socrates 34:20 Thrasymachus tries to define justice 42:25 Thrasymachus praises injustice 54:45 Epilogue I: Is this good philosophy? 1:08:10 Epilogue II: Is this good...

Duration:01:14:18

R0 Plato's Republic, or: How to Stop a Civil War

11/16/2020
A foundational text in both ethics and political thought, the Republic was shaped by Plato's traumatic experiences as a young man witnessing civil war and the collapse of Athenian democracy. This is the first installment in an 11-part series on this classic work. The episode has four parts, beginning at the following time-stamps: 0:22 Introduction to the work and to the series 8:50 Historical Background 25:25 Contents and Structure of the Republic 49:45 Conclusion: Irony and...

Duration:00:59:01

30 Rome's Most Lethal Weapon w/ Steele Brand

3/16/2020
Rome conquered the Mediterranean world without a professional army, relying instead on its citizens to take up arms when necessary. How did these part-time soldiers defeat all the great powers of the ancient Mediterranean? Our guest Steele Brand offers an original answer to this question in his new book Killing for the Republic: Citizen Soldiers and the Roman Way of War. Brand is professor of history at The King's College in New York City. His understanding of military matters is informed...

Duration:00:55:02

29 Penelope: Weaver of Fate w/ Olga Levaniouk

2/1/2020
Penelope is one of the most compelling characters from ancient Greek mythology. And yet her intelligence and agency in Homer's Odyssey is seldom appreciated. Towards the end of the epic, Penelope comes face-to-face with Odysseus, who has finally returned home disguised as a beggar. After they exchange a few stories (with Odysseus still maintaining his disguise), Penelope sets in motion a chain of events that seals the fate of all the major characters in the story. Since antiquity people...

Duration:01:02:13

28 Thucydides: A Historian for Our Time? w/ Emily Greenwood

11/23/2019
The Athenian historian Thucydides observed and chronicled the greatest military conflict of his day: the epic contest between Athens and Sparta known as the Peloponnesian War (431-404BC). Much more than just a straightforward history, his work is a study of the struggle between democracy and oligarchy, as well as a meditation on the dangers of populism and political polarization. Perhaps for this reason, Thucydides' work has experienced a surge in popularity over recent years as polarization...

Duration:00:58:16

27 Oligarchy, Part 2: Nemesis w/ Matt Simonton

10/1/2019
What methods and institutions do oligarchic regimes use to maintain their power? How do they fend off the threat of democratic revolution? What happened to the many oligarchies of the ancient Mediterranean? All of these questions and more are explored in this second part of our conversation with historian Matt Simonton, author of Classical Greek Oligarchy. ------------------ Support us on Patreon: patreon.com/greecepodcast Or make a one-time...

Duration:00:40:40

26 Oligarchy, Part 1: Genesis w/ Matt Simonton

9/1/2019
How do ancient oligarchies compare with modern authoritarian regimes? How did civil war in oligarchies differ from civil war in democracies? What does the age-old ideological struggle between democracy and oligarchy imply about our future? These are just a few of the questions we discuss on this and the next episode. This episode covers: what oligarchy actually is, and how this political form arose in the first place. The next episode – Oligarchy, Part 2: Nemesis – is going to be about the...

Duration:00:41:01

25 The Origins of Philosophy w/ André Laks (Presocratics, Parmenides, Heraclitus)

8/1/2019
According to the historical evidence, the first stirrings of philosophical inquiry began 2600 years ago in ancient Greece with a group of thinkers known as the Presocratics (or pre-Socratics). In this episode we try to shed light on these early pioneers of philosophy. Our guest is André Laks, professor of ancient philosophy at Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City. Laks is the co-editor of the recent 9-volume Harvard Loeb edition of the early Greek philosophical fragments – the first...

Duration:00:55:43

24 A History of Inequality w/ Walter Scheidel

5/31/2019
We live at a time of increasing economic inequality worldwide. What is driving this trend? And what are the factors that can stabilize or even reduce levels of inequality? Answering this question empirically would require a deep dive into the archives of history. One would have to sift through millennia of economic data across continents and civilizations. Our guest today took on this gargantuan task of writing a “global survey that covers the broad sweep of observable history” regarding...

Duration:00:52:01

23 Greek Religion and Its Discontents w/ Barbara Graziosi

5/1/2019
How did the ancient Greek religion evolve? What was the meaning of sacrifice and other rituals? Did atheism exist back then? How about alternative religions? We explore all these topics and more in conversation with Barbara Graziosi, professor of classics at Princeton University and author of the book The Gods of Olympus. Stay tuned at the end of the episode to learn how you can win an autographed hard copy of The Gods of Olympus. ------------------ The intro to this episode was provided...

Duration:00:44:20

22 Rome's Lost Epics w/ Rhiannon Evans (Ennius, Gnaeus Naevius)

4/12/2019
The oldest Roman epics we have were produced during the Roman Empire. But before becoming an empire, Rome was a powerful republic for hundreds of years. What happened to the Roman epics from the republican period? In this episode, we examine the evidence from this fascinating yet elusive early period, when Rome was a powerful Republic, but there were still other powerful states around, all competing for cultural prestige. Our guest on the show is someone who has spent years studying the...

Duration:00:54:14

21 How to Succeed in the Iron Age w/ Alicia Stallings

3/22/2019
Hesiod's didactic epic Works and Days is probably most famous for containing the stories of Prometheus and Pandora. But these tales are part of a greater mission of explaining how one can live justly and succeed in a harsh world. Our guest today is widely recognized as having produced the best translation of the Works and Days into English. Alicia Stallings is an acclaimed poet, author, McArthur fellow, and translator of Hesiod and of Lucretius. If you would like to read the Works and Days,...

Duration:00:46:42

20 How Democracies Fall Apart w/ Melissa Lane (stasis, Thucydides, Plato)

2/22/2019
Hundreds of city-states in the ancient world experimented with democracy. Most of them experienced some kind of civil strife at some point. What caused these breakdowns of social order, and are we headed towards a similar fate? In this episode we explore the phenomenon of political polarization (stasis in Greek), its causes, and the solutions that ancient thinkers offered to prevent it from happing. Our guest is Melissa Lane, Professor of Politics and associated faculty of Philosophy and...

Duration:00:50:35

19 America's Greco-Roman Legacies w/ Caroline Winterer

1/3/2019
At a time when kings and emperors ruled the world, the Founding Fathers of the US were striving to resurrect a millennia-old dream: that of a free republic. Drawing inspiration from ancient Athens, the Roman Republic, and Carthage, they helped craft a society that was at once radically new and rooted in antiquity. Joining us to explore the influence of classical models on early American history is Caroline Winterer, professor of American History and of Classics at Stanford University and...

Duration:00:50:05