4. The Rise of the Polis

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Introduction to Ancient Greek History (CLCV 205)

In this lecture, Professor Donald Kagan offers a sketch of the Greek heroic code of ethics. He shows that in this community, arête (manly virtue) and honor are extremely important and even worth dying for, as the case of Achilles makes clear. In addition, Professor Kagan shows how this society eventually produced a new phenomenon, the rise of the polis. The discussion ends with a strong emphasis on the importance of the polis in Greek history.

00:00 – Chapter 1. Defining Arête
10:48 – Chapter 2. Impacts on Western Civilization
36:02 – Chapter 3. The Rise of the Polis
45:41 – Chapter 4. The Features and Importance of the Polis

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Fall 2007.