History and Character of the Leaders in the Peloponnesian War

Seven 90-minute weekly sessions. [Next offered beginning September 25, 2007].
A democracy lost because of imperialistic expansionism and an unnecessary foreign war. The golden age of Athens, that flowering of democracy, art, literature, and philosophy, came to a premature end with the ruinous 30 year war with neighboring Sparta. In this seven week course we'll read and discuss the history of the Peloponnesian War as recorded by contemporary and combatant Thucydides. We'll also attempt to understand the character and motivation of the Athenian leaders Pericles and Nicias, of the Spartan general Lysander, and of the brilliant but unprincipled Alcibiades as reported in the writings of later Greek historian Plutarch.. Seven weeks

Introduction to Plutarch's Lives

Seven 90-minute weekly sessions. [Last offered spring 2006.]
The current dearth of leaders is directly due to the severing of our cultural and intellectual ties to the great classical tradition of morally-centered leadership that for millennia passed on to generation after generation the collected and distilled knowledge gained painfully over the centuries. To study that tradition we shall read selected from Plutarch's Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans.

Seven weekly sessions of 90 minutes each to cover six of Plutarch's Lives: Themistocles (the savior of Greece), Pericles (the visionary) Alexander (the empire builder), Caesar (the innovator), Cicero (the role of rhetoric in leadership), Anthony (the brilliant but flawed commander). The final selection of Lives to cover will take into consideration the interests of the students as expressed in the first class meeting.

Plutarch's Rome

Seven 90-minute weekly sessions. [Last offered fall 2006].
The great men who created the Roman republic, strive for mastery during the decline of the republic, and ruled over the first decades of the Roman Empire have never ceased to fascinate and inspire.

Seven weekly sessions of 90 minues each will cover the background to what was happening in Rome before the the fate show-downs between Cicero and Brutus, Brutus and Antony, and Antony and Octavian.