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The History of the Peloponnesian War

Athens v. Sparta Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Price: $15.67 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 15 Songs, 2009 $8.99  
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 1, 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Absence of Romance
  • ASIN: B001FW88YC
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #356,986 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Archaelogy - Epidamnus - Thebans Attack Platea
2. Athenian Strategy - Sparta Invades Attica - Funeral Oration
3. Archidamian War - The Plague in Athens
4. Conspiracy on Lesbos - The Mytilene Debate
5. Civil War in Corcyra - Stasis
6. The Peace of Nicias - Spartans Surrender at Sphacteria
7. Athens Attacks Melos - The Melian Dialogue
8. Nicias Warns the Athenians Against the Sicilian Expedition
9. Athenian Retreat to the River Assinarus
10. The Sicilian Disaster - The Quarry Outside Syracuse
11. Tissaphernes - The Persian Satrap
12. Oligarchic Coup in Athens - The Council of Four Hundred
13. The Ionian War - Arginusae - The Trial of the Generals
14. Aegospotomi - Goat Rivers - Athenian Fleet Destroyed in the Hellespont
15. The Defeat of Athens - The Long Walls AreTorn Down

Editorial Reviews


In a little less than an hour, this new CD offers an engaging and historically sound account of the major events of the Peloponnesian War and introduces Pericles, Lysander, and other figures in Greek history. In the style of a Greek drama, the narrator presents the story, drawing on the written words of Thucydides and Xenophon, while a singer takes the role of the chorus, highlighting the action with contemporary music and language. I commend the script as a substitute for any textbook narrative, in part because it relates events of the Peloponnesian War to issues in present-day politics and war familiar to students. The original music composed for this production provides an effective background for the spoken word and heightens the tragedy of the war. I regret that this CD was not available years ago when I first began teaching Western Civilization courses! I would have made use of it every semester. --Terry L. Smart, Ph.D., Professor of History, Trinity University

A combination pop-opera, Greek drama, modern allegory, and historical CliffsNotes created by Trinity University history grad and musician Charlie Roadman, the album resonates on several levels and is likely unlike anything you ve ever heard. It details how Athens cultural hubris, faltering democracy, self-serving oligarchs, indifference to its allies, and ill-considered military adventurism resulted in a war doomed by poor prosecution and overextended forces. --Chris Parker, San Antonio Current

I am very impressed. The CD is both historically accurate and musically very interesting. I enjoyed it immensely. Charlie's talk about the making of the album and the live performance by Athens v. Sparta made an outstanding contribution to the 2009 annual meeting of the Texas Classical Association. --Timothy J. Moore, Department of Classics, The University of Texas at Austin

Product Description

A great war, more worthy of relation than any that had preceded it. So begins Thucydides great history and the story of the Peloponnesian War, the conflict that took place in the latter part of the 5th century BCE and enveloped the entire Greek world for more than thirty years. Although the major grievances were between Athens and Sparta the two most powerful Greek states throughout the period the horror, scope, and complexity of the struggle eventually spread across the Mediterranean Sea, from Sicily in the West to modern Turkey in the East. The war brought violence and catastrophe to disparate people throughout and forever changed the course of history. An Athenian general and aristocrat, exiled for much of the war, Thucydides was well placed to observe the ensuing conflict from all points of view, and his timeless and sometimes unsettling tale remains as fresh today as it was two-and-a-half thousand years ago. As the historian concluded, he was not writing merely for his own contemporaries, but to give the world a possession, for all time. So it is not without due cause that historians and scholars have attempted to understand and retell Thucydides story, without pause, since it was first written. Athens v. Sparta now joins that tradition, infusing the classic narrative of the Peloponnesian War with a take that is vibrant, modern, and above all, musical. Led by a veteran of the San Antonio and Austin indie music scene, Charlie Roadman, Athens v. Sparta was inspired by Thucydides and his successor Xenophon (who took up the history upon Thucydides death) to create a new version, capturing the gravity of the ancient narrative within the approachable framework of well-crafted latter-day musical sensibilities. The result is a vivid, fascinating, occasionally humorous, and often surprising fusion, which achieves its aim well: to present the fullness of the war, its circumstances and consequences, to ears not yet attuned to the niceties and nuances of ancient history. The CD educates and entertains. It is ideal for garnering the interest of students new to Greece and the classical world. This kind of challenge was not easy. Adapting the war to a music album has taken three years to put together, with 20 musicians involved in creating the final product. Thucydides and Xenophon s narratives present two substantial volumes, intimidating to even the well-seasoned historian. Using the celebrated edition of Thucydides by Robert B. Strassler, the principal and most dramatic events of the war are divided into fifteen tracks, chronologically ordered, covering the full extent of the conflict. Each track develops the story in two ways. First come the words of Thucydides and Xenophon themselves, poignantly narrated alongside musical backing by renowned Austin actor and director, Ken Webster. Second, cutting through the narrative, is Charlie Roadman's own interpretation of the events, put to lyrics, and often telling the stories of those who do not find a voice in Thucydides text: onlookers, combatants, hapless victims of the battles. Like the primary sources, the musical version of the Peloponnesian War covers not only those moments of confrontation between the two sides, but also reflects the rich detail of the period: life in Athens, relationships between allies, the open sea, diplomatic encounters, and the historical reputation of the principal characters in Thucydides work, from Pericles to Alcibiades. All in all, each song, with great pathos, relates the essence of this deep and drawn-out conflict and the ancient texts that told it, attracting newcomers, history enthusiasts, and music fans alike.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful audio collection June 6, 2012
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
I've always loved anything "audio" and this collection of spoken words over electronic music is fascinating to me. The words of Thucydides are read by a pleasant, masculine voice and a steady soundtrack of thumping beats and songs add much to the listening experience. If you've ever read "The Peloponnesian War" by Thucydides, you will enjoy this "audio collection."
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Form and function January 25, 2009
Format:MP3 Music
This is not a review of the CD, to which I've not yet listened, but rather of last night's performance of the music at the CD release show. It's pretty good. Dramatizations are a great way to get in touch with history, if they're any good (I wouldn't have the faintest idea who was who in the Cold War if not for William F. Buckley's spy novels), and this presentation was pretty good. The underlying music is attractive, evoking a deep sense of mood but still groovy, and very well performed. The narration fits in very well and does a good job storytelling. The sung part is not very extensive but I'm looking forward to listening to it again more carefully.
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5.0 out of 5 stars History + Music done right = Buy this. November 21, 2013
Format:Audio CD
I happened upon this album a few years ago at Waterloo Records in Austin. I am so thankful I stumbled across this gem. It is both hypnotically soothing and entertainingly educational. Do yourself a favor and purchase.
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