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"HERODOTUS" Summer Course

Greco-Persian Wars: Geopolitical & Strategic Approaches of International System in the 5th c.BC

26 June - 1 July 2017
Organised by : Academy for Strategic Analyses (ASA)

General Description

The Greco-Persian Wars were a series of wars fought in the first half of the 5th century BC (492-449 BC) between the Persian Empire and an alliance of Greek City-States. Although the Persians were at the peak of their strength, the collective defence mounted by the allied Greek City-States succeeded in defeating the much stronger Persian Empire against all odds.

The political geography of the period was vastly different from that of the present day. The Mediterranean Sea was the center of the world. The rugged geography of the Greek peninsula afforded city-states a terrain that favored defense and allowed them to defeat more powerful opponents.

What is known today of the Greco-Persian Wars is derived primarily from the Histories of Herodotus, the Greek historian who is widely referred to as “The Father of History”. He blends together history, ethnography, geography, anthropology and political critique in the course of explaining the cause of the Persian wars.


The ASA’s “HERODOTUS” Summer Course is aimed at undergraduate and postgraduate students with a special interest in the ancient history, strategy and geopolitics. Military officials and cadets, historians and research students could also benefit from this course.

Participants will benefit from grasping the geopolitical and strategic environment of the international system in the 5th century BC. They will be given the opportunity to understand the eternal principles of war and strategy, and through study visits and battle analysis put themselves in the shoes of the actual protagonists.

The ASA’s “HERODOTUS” Summer Course provides participants with the tools required to understand war, strategy and geopolitics as well as a great opportunity for networking and a week-long break that combines learning with pleasure.

Course content

“HERODOTUS” is an interdisciplinary course that combines history, strategy, geopolitics, warfare, international relations, leadership and cultural studies.

As such it provides a comprehensive examination of the 5th c. BC conflicts between the Greeks (Hellenes) and the Persian Empire, in relation to the modern geostrategic environment of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.

The course will cover:

  • The geopolitics of the ancient Mediterranean and the geopolitical importance of the Eastern Mediterranean - Middle East strategic environment in the course of History.
  • The grand strategies of the Greek city-states and the Persian Empire.
  • Spartan and Athenian Leadership as the catalyst during the Greco-Persian Wars - Α comparative analysis of the Leaders
  • The origins of the conflict and the main campaigns, the morphology of the battlefields, the conduct of the battles, the tactics etc.
  • The ancient weapon technology, the ancient Athenian triremes and their technology.
  • Visits to battlefields, archaeological sites and relevant museums.

Learning Methodology

A variety of learning methods will be used throughout the week-long course:

  • Presentations and battle analyses delivered by field experts;
  • Case-studies analyses;
  • Study visits;
  • Workshops, simulation with active participation of attendees.

Participants will have the opportunity to visit, during the course, some of the most famous battlefields of history - Marathon, Thermopylae, Salamis, and Plataea - and examine the conduct of the battles.

The analysis of the battles will take place in the exact battlefields they actually took place.

In addition, visits to the relevant museums are also included: the Athens War Museum, the Hellenic Maritime Museum, the Marathon Museum, the Thermopylae Museum and the famous Acropolis Museum.

A group of military historians and specialists in battle analysis, strategic studies and geopolitics are gathered together to re-enact the historic battles of the Greco-Persians Wars, exactly where they actually took place.