The After Dinner Scholar

Thucydides and the Peloponnesian War with Dr. Pavlos Papadopoulos

March 15, 2022

The ancient Greek historian, Thucydides tells us that as the Peloponnesian War broke out, “The Athenians thus long lived scattered over Attica in independent townships. Even after the centralization of Theseus, old habit still prevailed; and from the early times down to the present war most Athenians still lived in the country with their families and households, and were consequently not at all inclined to move now, especially as they had only just restored their establishments after the Median invasion. Deep was their trouble and discontent at abandoning their houses and the hereditary temples of the ancient constitution, and at having to change their habits of life and to bid farewell to what each regarded as his native city.”

The Peloponnesian War, in fact, changed life not only in Athens, but in Sparta and the rest of Greece forever. Strong and vibrant after defeating the Medes in the early fifth century BC, their conflict with one another—431-405 BC—brought weakness and eventually conquest by Philip of Macedonia and later the Romans.

It's not just a fascinating story, but one that may well speak to us today. Dr. Pavlos Papadopoulos has been teaching Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War.

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