History Resources

For those interested in ancient Greek and Roman history, here is a selection of resources to get you started.

Videos  |  Selected primary texts  |  Guest posts by Kosmos Society community members  |  Publications at CHS

Online Open House and other video recordings

Videos on History: Please see the Videos… History section

Primary texts

There are many primary texts available in the original language and in translation at Perseus. Other editions and more recent translations are available in print, but these editions are free and convenient, whether you are reading in translation or for those also studying the original languages.

It might also be useful to refer to the Overview of Classical Greek History.

Overview of Classical Greek History, on Perseus

From the Introduction: “Users of Perseus should regard the Overview as a source intended to provide a series of jumping-off points for learning through discovery in the many other resources of Perseus.”

Here are just a few of the main primary sources on Perseus and at the Center for Hellenic Studies (links are to the English translations unless otherwise stated):

Herodotus: Histories

Xenophon

Xenophon wrote a number of texts of historical interest, including

Thucydides: History of the Peloponnesian War

Diodorus Siculus: Library of History

Strabo: Geography

C. Julius Caesar: Gallic War

Plutarch

For example, Parallel Lives compares Roman and Greek historical figures.

(Opens a page with links to the Greek texts, but once you open the document from there you can select to Focus on the English translation)

Description of Greece, a Pausanias Reader

Selected guest posts by Kosmos Society community members

The Theoretical Ship
The Essential Ship | Part 1: The Dipylon Vase
The Essential Ship | Part 2: The Kerameikos Vase

The Modeled Ship | Part 1: The gift of Kinryas, and the honeycomb boats
The Modeled Ship | Part 2: The spectator on the aft deck, and the histopedē (mast step)

The Classic Ship | Part 1: The Persian Wars and the maritime supremacy of Athens
The Classic Ship | Part 2: The Battle of Artemision
The Classic Ship | Part 3: The Battle of Salamis

The Idealized Ship | Part 1: Curved, crowned, and garlanded
The Idealized Ship | Part 2: Huge, hollow, and swallowing

The improvised craft

Fast and sacred ships

Hēraklēs and the Sea

The Battle of Mykale
Sestos and Byzantion
Kimon: the siege of Eion, Skyros, and Naxos

Phalanx Warfare Transformed: Innovation in Ancient Greek Warfare 431–331 BCE | Part 1: Mantinea
Phalanx Warfare Transformed: Innovation in Ancient Greek Warfare 431–331 BCE | Part 2: Leuctra and Gaugamela

Xennophon’s Anabasis: Historical Context

Aegina and its enmity with Athens

Founders of democracy unsung | Part 1: Cleisthenes’ democracy
Founders of democracy unsung | Part 2: Re-establishment of democracy by Thrasybulus
Founders of democracy unsung | Part 3: Lack of historical recognition

Scylax

Law and Courts in Ancient Athens: A Brief Overview

Publications at the Center for Hellenic Studies

There are many books and articles available to read online at the Center for Hellenic Studies. Here are a few relating to ancient Greek histories:

Connor, W. Robert: “Great Expectations: The Expected and the Unexpected in Thucydides and in Liberal Education”

Hollmann, Alexander: The Master of Signs: Signs and the Interpretation of Signs in Herodotus’ Histories

Luraghi, Nino and Susan E. Alcock, eds. Helots and Their Masters in Laconia and Messenia: Histories, Ideologies, Structures

Munson, Rosaria Vignolo Black Doves Speak: Herodotus and the Languages of Barbarians

Nagy, Gregory: “Different Ways of saying historia in the prose of Herodotus and Thucydides”

Wesselman, Katharina: Mythical Structures in Herodotus’ Histories