The Odyssey of Western Civilization Lecture #1: The Origins of Western Civilization: What Is It, and Where Did It Come From? (Streaming Video)


The West arose in a particular time and place, Greece in the eighth century B.C., during the dark age that followed the collapse of Mycenaean civilization. An agricultural revolution gave rise to the autonomous yeoman farmer, backbone of the democratic city-state. Their innovations included constitutional government, free-market economics, private property and individual liberty – concepts unknown in Mycenae, not to mention Egypt and Mesopotamia. Here the West begins.


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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 #1 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.