I write to invite you to join me in studying the beginnings of Western civilization by taking a new free online course we launched this spring. The course is called "Athens and Sparta."
When America's founders established the first nation in human history to be based on the principles of civil and religious liberty, they were drawing on a long tradition of thinking about politics and freedom. Back at the beginning of this tradition-at the beginning of what we know as western civilization-is classical Greece, with Athens and Sparta its two dominant cities.
Athens was the birthplace of democracy and the home of the philosophers Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. In Sparta, the martial virtues, including the virtue of courage, were mastered. A careful study of these two cities-including the great Peloponnesian War, in which they came into conflict-reveals timeless lessons about politics and human nature.
I introduce and conclude the course. Hillsdale College history professors Victor Davis Hanson and Paul Rahe teach the bulk of it. They know the classical world as deeply as anyone alive today, and they are riveting teachers.
I hope you enjoy the course. You can start your course here >>