The Odyssey of Western Civilization Lecture #2: The Individual vs. the State (Streaming Video)


Greece's two most powerful city-states offered competing models. Sparta limited its democracy to an oligarchic elite supported by serfs. Athens extended citizenship to a wider group, but often fell prey to the tyranny of the majority. It was Rome that finally managed to square the circle, by combining the best elements of both approaches.


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Welcome to “The Odyssey of Western Civilization!” This visually rich and intellectually deep lecture series takes you on a tour of Western civilization — from the Greek and Roman empires to the British and American centuries, across time to the present.

This product is Lecture #2 in an eight-part video lecture series, available via streaming video and sold on


About The Odyssey of Western Civilization

In this eight-part series, Victor Davis Hanson locates its origins in classical Greece, then traces its progress from Greece to Rome; from the Mediterranean to Northern Europe; across the English Channel to Britain; and across the Atlantic to America. Eventually, in the 20th century, Western civilization seemed to lose faith in itself, and so currently we find ourselves stuck in the nihilistic dead end of postmodernism. But Hanson concludes the series with a hopeful prediction about the rebirth of the West.