Following up from the FTR on the lesson of the failure of democracy in Athens, I have found a powerful 26-lecture series by Rufus Fears . . . a man imbued with the spirit of history; one that will well and long repay the time invested to view it and to ponder and discuss it.
Perhaps the most subtly powerful is this, No. 20, on the Trial of Socrates 399 BC (an indictment of Athens’ democracy — with sobering implications for our own):
Going back to the Peloponnesian war, 16, 17, 18 and 19 are collectively devastating and point sobering fingers to Alcibiades (nor does Nicias come off well) while showing up the Spartan Lysander as a stunning contrast of decency — never mind how the Spartans treated him in the end. When we see the son of the Persian king handing over his own finances to Lysander as he had never before encountered an honest man, that speaks.
In such a target-rich environment it is hard to pick a sample to highlight, but I choose 17, on Nicias and the failure at Syracuse:
Food for sobering, sobering thought. END