*Abbreviations under the "Available" column: A = Available // NA = Not Available // R = Previously Registered // WL = Currently on the Wait List

Thucydides: The First Historian

The History of the Peloponnesian War is still the greatest study of war and power politics in world literature.  The class will examine six excerpts–Pericles’ description of democratic Athens, Thucydides’ eyewitness account of the plague, his analysis of the bloody Corcyrean Revolution, the public debate in Athens over the rebellious colony of Mytilene, the negotiations between Athens and the neutral island of Melos, and the narrative devoted to the Athenian invasion of Sicily. Relevance to today’s world begins with the similarity of Sparta to the USSR and Athens to America. Thucydides offers cogent lessons on the limits of Realpolitik and the kind of tunnel vision that can produce a Vietnam War or the occupation of Iraq.

Instructor Bio:

Stephen Kennamer is a lifelong educator in the humanities who has taught OLLI courses on the anthropology of evil, the existence of moral truth, Freudianism as a gnostic religion, the poetry of Emily Dickinson and John Keats, the novels of Jane Austen, and the meaning of music.

Recommended Reading:

Thucydides. The History of the Peloponnesian War, preferably in the Richard Crawley translation, 2006.

Course Number Instructor Dates Day Time Location Available
B61 Stephen Kennamer Apr 18, 25, May 2, 9, 16, 23 Tu 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Hampton Inn Staunton A

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