Fingerprints of the Gods is the revolutionary rewrite of history that has persuaded millions of listeners throughout the world to change their preconceptions about the history behind modern society. An intellectual detective story, this unique history audiobook directs probing questions at orthodox history, presenting disturbing new evidence that historians have tried - but failed - to explain.
"Excellent information well delivered."
Here in a single volume is the entire, unabridged recording of Gibbon's masterpiece. Beginning in the second century A.D. at the apex of the Pax Romana, Gibbon traces the arc of decline and complete destruction through the centuries across Europe and the Mediterranean. It is a thrilling and cautionary tale of splendor and ruin, of faith and hubris, and of civilization and barbarism. Follow along as Christianity overcomes paganism... before itself coming under intense pressure from Islam.
"The European Civilization"
Look beyond the abstract dates and figures, kings and queens, and battles and wars that make up so many historical accounts. Over the course of 48 richly detailed lectures, Professor Garland covers the breadth and depth of human history from the perspective of the so-called ordinary people, from its earliest beginnings through the Middle Ages.
"Tantalizing time trip"
This is the first volume in a bold new series that tells the stories of all peoples, connecting historical events from Europe to the Middle East to the far coast of China, while still giving weight to the characteristics of each country. Susan Wise Bauer provides both sweeping scope and vivid attention to the individual lives that give flesh to abstract assertions about human history. This narrative history employs the methods of "history from beneath" - literature, epic traditions, private letters, and accounts - to connect kings and leaders with the lives of those they ruled.
"Entertaining history lesson with dry telling."
Language defines us as a species, placing humans head and shoulders above even the most proficient animal communicators. But it also beguiles us with its endless mysteries, allowing us to ponder why different languages emerged, why there isn't simply a single language, how languages change over time and whether that's good or bad, and how languages die out and become extinct.
"You'll Never Look at Languages the Same Way Again"
From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.
"Palastinian Politics 4 B.C.E. - 70 C.E."
Here, anthropologist David Graeber presents a stunning reversal of conventional wisdom: He shows that before there was money, there was debt. For more than 5,000 years, since the beginnings of the first agrarian empires, humans have used elaborate credit systems to buy and sell goods - that is, long before the invention of coins or cash. It is in this era, Graeber argues, that we also first encounter a society divided into debtors and creditors.
"Transformative to the point of being revolutionary"
Ancient Egyptian civilization is so grand our minds sometimes have difficulty adjusting to it. It lasted 3,000 years, longer than any other on the planet. Its Great Pyramid of Cheops was the tallest building in the world until well into the 19th century and remains the only Ancient Wonder still standing. And it was the most technologically advanced of the ancient civilizations, with the medical knowledge that made Egyptian physicians the most famous in the world.
At the dawn of the last millennium in the year 1000, Europe was one of the world's more stagnant regions-an economically undeveloped, intellectually derivative, and geopolitically passive backwater, with illiteracy, starvation, and disease the norm for almost everyone. Yet only three centuries later, all of this had changed.
Even today, the influence of Ancient Rome is indelible, with Europe and the world owing this extraordinary empire a huge cultural debt in almost every important category of human endeavor, including art, architecture, engineering, language, literature, law, and religion. At the peak of its power, Rome's span was vast. In the regional, restless, and shifting history of continental Europe, the Roman Empire stands as a towering monument to scale and stability, unified in politics and law, stretching from the sands of Syria to the moors of Scotland. And it stood for almost 700 years.In this series of 48 spirited lectures, you'll see how a small village of shepherds and farmers rose to tower over the civilized world of its day and left a permanent mark on history. In telling Rome's riveting story, Professor Fagan draws on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, including recent historical and archaeological scholarship, to introduce the fascinating tale of Rome's rise and decline, including the famous events and personalities that have become so familiar: . Horatius at the bridge . Hannibal crossing the Alps during Rome's life-or-death war with Carthage . Caesar assassinated before a statue of his archrival Pompey . The doomed lovers Antony and Cleopatra . The mad and venal emperors Nero and Caligula . The conversion of Constantine The course also addresses one of history's greatest questions: Why did the Roman Empire fall? And you'll learn why most modern scholars believe that the empire did not "fall" at all, but, rather, changed into something very different-the less urbanized, more rural, early medieval world.
As raiders and explorers, the Vikings played a decisive role in the formation of Latin Christendom, and particularly of western Europe. Now, in a series of 36 vivid lectures by an honored teacher and classical scholar, you have the opportunity to understand this remarkable race as never before, studying the Vikings not only as warriors, but in all of the other roles in which they were equally extraordinary - merchants, artists, kings, raiders, seafarers, shipbuilders, and creators of a remarkable literature of myths and sagas.
"Enthralling Presentation of a Fascinating Subject"
The Roman Republic was the most remarkable state in history. What began as a small community of peasants camped among marshes and hills ended up ruling the known world. Rubicon paints a vivid portrait of the Republic at the climax of its greatness - the same greatness which would herald the catastrophe of its fall. It is a story of incomparable drama.
"Connects the Dots and Fills In the Gaps"
For most of its 5,000-year existence, China has been the largest, most populous, wealthiest, and mightiest nation on Earth. And for us as Westerners, it is essential to understand where China has been in order to anticipate its future. These 36 eye-opening lectures deliver a comprehensive political and historical overview of one of the most fascinating and complex countries in world history.
"Offers excellent objective perspective!"
In the fifth century BC, a global superpower was determined to bring truth and order to what it regarded as two terrorist states. The superpower was Persia, incomparably rich in ambition, gold, and men. The terrorist states were Athens and Sparta, eccentric cities in a poor and mountainous backwater: Greece. The story of how their citizens took on the Great King of Persia, and thereby saved not only themselves, but Western civilization as well, is as heart-stopping and fateful as any episode in history.
"East Mets West"
Since its original publication by Little, Brown and Company, in 1942, Edith Hamilton's Mythology has sold millions of copies throughout the world and established itself as a perennial best-seller in its various available formats. Mythology succeeds like no other audiobook in bringing to life for the modern listener the Greek, Roman, and Norse myths and legends that are the keystone of Western culture - the stories of gods and heroes that have inspired human creativity from antiquity to the present.
"Good reading of classical myths"
In 490 BCE Pheidippides ran for 36 hours straight from Athens to Sparta to seek help in defending Athens from a Persian invasion in the Battle of Marathon. In doing so he saved the development of Western civilization and inspired the birth of the marathon as we know it. Even now, some 2,500 years later, that run stands enduringly as one of greatest physical accomplishments in the history of mankind.
Tracing the extraordinary trajectory of Julius Caesar's life, Adrian Goldsworthy covers not only the great Roman emperor's accomplishments as charismatic orator, conquering general, and powerful dictator but also lesser-known chapters. Ultimately, Goldsworthy realizes the full complexity of Caesar's character and shows why his political and military leadership continues to resonate some 2,000 years later.
"I Bought, I Listened, I Finished"
For most of its 5,000-year existence, China has been the largest, most populous, wealthiest, and mightiest nation on Earth. And for us as Westerners, it is essential to understand where China has been in order to anticipate its future. These 36 eye-opening lectures deliver a comprehensive political and historical overview of one of the most fascinating and complex countries in world history.You'll learn about the powerful dynasties that ruled China for centuries; the philosophical and religious foundations-particularly Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism-that have influenced every iteration of Chinese thought, and the larger-than-life personalities, from both inside and outside its borders, of those who have shaped China's history. As you listen to these lectures, you'll see how China's politics, economics, and art reflect the forces of its past.From the "Mandate of Heaven," a theory of social contract in place by 1500 B.C.E., 3,000 years before Western philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, to the development of agriculture and writing independent of outside influence to the technologically-advanced Han Dynasty during the time of the Roman Empire, this course takes you on a journey across ground that has been largely unexplored in the history courses most of us in the West have taken.In guiding you through the five millennia of China's history, Professor Hammond tells a fascinating story with an immense scope, a welcome reminder that China is no stranger to that stage and, indeed, has more often than not been the most extraordinary player on it.
"A good listen"
The authors devoted five decades to the study of world history and philosophy, culminating in the masterful 11-volume Story of Civilization. In this compact summation of their work, Will and Ariel Durant share the vital and profound lessons of our collective past. Their perspective, gained after a lifetime of thinking and writing about the history of humankind, is an invaluable resource for us today.
"This is a must for every Educated Person"
Far from being a time of darkness, the Middle Ages was an essential period in the grand narrative of Western history. But what was it like to actually live in those extraordinary times? Now you can find out.These 36 lectures provide a different perspective on the society and culture of the Middle Ages: one that entrenches you in the daily human experience of living during this underappreciated era.
"Prof. Armstrong is an rockstar. Loved her class."
Believed to have been penned around the eighth century BCE or seventh century BCE, the Iliad and the Odyssey served as both entertainment and a moral guidebook of sorts for the ancient Greeks, as well as the foundation for Western literature. Although there is some scholarly debate regarding the epic's authorship, it is generally attributed to Homer. Given that he lived nearly 2800 years ago, not much is actually known about Homer; even his birthplace is debated.
Throughout history, Syria has been dominated not by one great city but by two. Aside from Aleppo to the north, the religious and commercial metropolis of Damascus has been a place desired by the powerful. For thousands of years the Phoenicians, Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, Christians, and Muslims all vied for control of the city.
The modern world has the ancient Romans to thank for the origins of many modern technologies, conveniences, and ideas such as running water, baths, and republican style of government, but roads are another influence the Romans have had on the modern world that are often taken for granted. Although Roman roads may not have attained the glamorous status of other inventions, their influence is just as profound.
The life story of Jesus of Nazareth, considered by billions of Christians to be the messiah prophesized in the Old Testament of the Bible, is perhaps the most famous in history. Described in detail in the New Testament, Jesus comes from both divine yet humble roots, born in a manger to a young woman, but in time he leads a fervent following as tales of his miracles spread across the Holy Land.
There are few battles in history in which the vanquished are better remembered and celebrated than the victors, and even fewer where a defeat is considered a victory. But that has become the enduring legacy of the Battle of Thermopylae, a battle as unique as it is famous. The story of the battle and the willing sacrifice of the Greek defenders to buy the rest of the retreating Greeks time is well known across the world and still resonates with audiences to this day.
The Ancient Greeks have long been considered the forefathers of modern Western civilization, but the Golden Age of Athens and the spread of Greek influence across much of the known world only occurred due to one of the most crucial battles of antiquity: the Battle of Marathon.
When the Spartans' famous stand at the Battle of Thermopylae ended during the Second Persian War, the Athenian fleet was forced to fall back, and Xerxes' massive Persian army marched into Greece before advancing on Athens. The Greek armies were scattered and unable to face the might of Persia, so Athens was forced to evacuate the entire population of the city to Salamis, from where the Athenians watched in horror as Xerxes' troops plundered the defenseless city, set it aflame, and razed the Acropolis.
Countless civilizations have come and gone over the course of time, but interest in mythology is one of the great constants. People have approached myths from countless angles, some denigrating and self-righteous, others earnest and open-minded, but there is something mystical and universal in all myths that speaks to the reader across the years, regardless of what they know of historiography or "schools of thought".
Ancient history is a vast subject. Every corner of the world seemed to have civilization and a flourishing one. Ancient languages, trade, culture, religion, crops, and even ancient technology have surprised historians. The study of ancient sources reveals civilizations no less advanced than our modern one.
Herodotus wrote the first history book in the world. That is why he is sometimes called the "Father of History". He lived about 2500 years ago in the fifth century BC. He was born at a place called Halicarnassus in Asia Minor. The modern names for these places are Bodrum in Turkey. Herodotus was a keen traveler who went all over the ancient world and was interested in everything he saw and heard.
Emerging from the desert flats of southern Iraq can be seen the remains of a large mound, approximately 1750 feet x 1750 feet in size, surrounded by several smaller mounds. Known today as Tell Abu Shahrain, or in the ancient world as Eridu, this site contains some of best examples of the Ubaid culture, and it was one of the first urban centers of civilization in southern Mesopotamia, if not the first itself.
Pompey, Caesar, Cicero, Brutus, Antony: the names resonate across thousands of years. Major figures in the civil wars that brutally ended the Roman republic, their lives still haunt us as examples of how the hunger for personal power can overwhelm collective politics, how the exaltation of the military can corrode civilian authority, and how the best intentions can lead to disastrous consequences. Plutarch renders these history-making lives as flesh-and-blood characters.
Explore the rich mythology of ancient Greece! Have you always wondered why so many people are fascinated with the Greek gods? Would you like to know more about these remarkable stories? Do you want to be able to share these tales with your friends - and understand others' references to them? If so, then this is the book for you! You will learn about the primordial deities that created the universe, and the famous Titans of old.
Ancient Greece and its mythology has fascinated people for thousands of years, and few elements have intrigued people quite like the Eleusinian Mysteries, which the Greeks believed transformed the initiates and gave them knowledge that eased both the living of life on earth and allayed fears of death, allowing an acceptance of their ultimate fate. The influence of the Eleusinian Mysteries was also far-reaching.
Although the Romans gained the upper hand over Carthage in the wake of the First Punic War, the legendary Carthaginian general Hannibal brought the Romans to their knees for over a decade during the Second Punic War. While military historians are still amazed that he was able to maintain his army in Italy near Rome for nearly 15 years, scholars are still puzzled over some of his decisions, including why he never attempted to march on Rome in the first place.
The Siege of Jerusalem in 70 CE is arguably the most important event in Jewish history. First, it was the central battle in the First Jewish-Roman war. Second, the failure of the siege on the Jewish side resulted in the destruction of the Second Temple of Jerusalem, a disaster that would eventually prove both permanent and catastrophic, since it was never rebuilt. Third, it permanently altered the diaspora of Judaism in the ancient world.
Many westerners have never even heard of the Siege of Masada, and those who have may simply know it as an obscure reference to a minor battle fought in a remote location of the Roman world. By contrast, virtually all Israeli school children know the story of Masada as a premier example of nationalistic pride. The heroic story of a small band of fighters facing incalculable odds has many elements that are reminiscent of both the Battle of Thermopylae and the Battle of the Alamo.
By the seventh century BCE, Thrace was experiencing the migration of Cimmerians and Scythians. The result was that the northern Black Sea Scythians developed first on the territory of Byzantium, and trade and industrial colonization stretched from the Golden Horn to the Sea of Azov and the lower Don region. In addition, the Sarmatians and Getae on the lower Don were also involved in a profitable trade with this area.
In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh’s army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians.
"Wanted to Like... And Did!"
Jesus taught his followers that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter heaven. Yet by the fall of Rome, the church was becoming rich beyond measure. Through the Eye of a Needle is a sweeping intellectual and social history of the vexing problem of wealth in Christianity in the waning days of the Roman Empire, written by the world's foremost scholar of late antiquity.
"A learned, well-balanced postmodern history"
Long sources of mystery, imagination, and inspiration, the myths and history of the ancient Mediterranean have given rise to artistic, religious, cultural, and intellectual traditions that span the centuries. In this unique and comprehensive introduction to the region's three major civilizations, Egypt, Greece, and Rome draws a fascinating picture of the deep links between the cultures across the Mediterranean and explores the ways in which these civilizations continue to be influential to this day.
"A well done academic intro done in audio"
Empires and Barbarians presents a fresh, provocative look at how a recognizable Europe came into being in the first millennium AD. With sharp analytic insight, Peter Heather explores the dynamics of migration and social and economic interaction that changed two vastly different worlds--the undeveloped barbarian world and the sophisticated Roman Empire--into remarkably similar societies and states.
"Enjoying the book, but the performance...."
In just over a hundred years - from the death of Muhammad in 632 to the beginning of the Abbasid Caliphate in 750 - the followers of the Prophet swept across the whole of the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain. Their armies threatened states as far flung as the Franks in Western Europe and the Tang Empire in China. The conquered territory was larger than the Roman Empire at its greatest expansion, and it was claimed for the Arabs in roughly half the time.
"Islamic conquest history from the outside"
Learn the unbelievable true history of the great warrior tribes of Mexico. More than 13 centuries of incredible spellbinding history are detailed in this intriguing study of the rulers and warriors of Mexico. Dozens of these charismatic leaders of nations and armies are brought to life by the deep research and entertaining storytelling of Peter Tsouras. Tsouras introduces the reader to the colossal personalities of the period.
"Game of thrones meets the Americas"
This Very Short Introduction examines how they "romanised" the cultures they conquered, imposing their own culture in order to subsume them completely. The book also looks at how the Roman Empire has been considered and depicted in more recent times, from the writings of Edward Gibbon to the Hollywood blockbuster Gladiator . It will prove a valuable introduction for readers interested in classical history.
"Very Short Introductions is the best collection!!"
The death of the Roman Empire is one of the perennial mysteries of world history. Now, in this groundbreaking book, Peter Heather proposes a stunning new solution: Centuries of imperialism turned the neighbors Rome called barbarians into an enemy capable of dismantling an Empire that had dominated their lives for so long. A leading authority on the late Roman Empire and on the barbarians, Heather relates the extraordinary story of how Europe's barbarians, transformed by centuries of contact with Rome on every possible level, eventually pulled the empire apart.
"A good book not ideally suited to audiobook format"
A very accessable guide that fills the gap between academic analysis and less-critical retellings of the myths and legends. Marytn Whittock provides an accessible overview while also assessing the current state of research regarding the origins and significance of the myths. Since all records of the myths first occur in the early medieval period, the focus is on the survival of pre-Christian mythology and the interactions of the early Christian writers with these myths.
"not for beginners"
The pope wanted it, Montesquieu used it, and the Nazis pilfered an Italian noble's villa to get it: the Germania, by the Roman historian Tacitus, took on a life of its own as both an object and an ideology. When Tacitus wrote a not-very-flattering little book about the ancient Germans in 98 CE, at the height of the Roman Empire, he could not have foreseen that the Nazis would extol it as "a bible", nor that Heinrich Himmler, the engineer of the Holocaust, would vow to resurrect Germany on its grounds. But the Germania inspired - and polarized - people long before the rise of the Third Reich.
"Dry recitation of history -- boring"
"Arguably the most distinctive feature of the early Christian literature," writes Bart Ehrman, "is the degree to which it was forged." The Homilies and Recognitions of Clement; Paul's letters to and from Seneca; Gospels by Peter, Thomas, and Philip; Jesus' correspondence with Abgar, letters by Peter and Paul in the New Testament - all forgeries. To cite just a few examples.
"Probably a better read than a listen."
A fresh account of some of history's greatest warriors. The Vikings had an extraordinary and far-reaching historical impact. From the eighth to the 11th centuries, they ranged across Europe - raiding, exploring, and colonizing - and their presence was felt as far away as Russia and Byzantium. They are most famous as warriors, yet perhaps their talent for warfare is too little understood.
"Not just another account of battles"
For the first time, By the Spear offers an exhilarating military narrative of the reigns of these two larger-than-life figures in one volume. Ian Worthington gives full breadth to the careers of father and son, showing how Philip was the architect of the Macedonian empire, which reached its zenith under Alexander, only to disintegrate upon his death.
"Pitting one against the other?"
Ranging from prehistory to the 21st century, The Great Sea is above all the history of human interaction across a region that has brought together many of the great civilizations of antiquity as well as the rival empires of medieval and modern times.
"Impressive and Accessible History"
Marcus Cicero, Rome's greatest statesman and orator, was elected to the Roman Republic's highest office at a time when his beloved country was threatened by power-hungry politicians, dire economic troubles, foreign turmoil, and political parties that refused to work together. Sound familiar? Cicero's letters, speeches, and other writings are filled with timeless wisdom and practical insight about how to solve these and other problems of leadership and politics. How to Run a Country collects the best of these writings to provide an entertaining, common-sense guide for modern leaders and citizens
In this revolutionary book, Joan Breton Connelly challenges our most basic assumptions about the Parthenon and the ancient Athenians. Beginning with the natural environment and its rich mythic associations, she re-creates the development of the Acropolis - the Sacred Rock at the heart of the city-state - from its prehistoric origins to its Periklean glory days as a constellation of temples among which the Parthenon stood supreme.
"dope book, lacked depth but overall worthwhile"
One of the world's leading historians provides a revolutionary tour of the Ancient World, dusting off the classics for the twenty-first century. Mary Beard, drawing on thirty years of teaching and writing about Greek and Roman history, provides a panoramic portrait of the classical world, a book in which we encounter not only Cleopatra and Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Hannibal, but also the common people - the millions of inhabitants of the Roman Empire, the slaves, soldiers, and women.
This Very Short Introduction employs the disciplines of history, religious studies, and anthropology as it illuminates the complexities of Aztec life. Readers meet a people highly skilled in sculpture, astronomy, city planning, poetry, and philosophy, who were also profoundly committed to cosmic regeneration through the thrust of the ceremonial knife and through warfare. Davíd Carrasco looks beyond Spanish accounts that have colored much of the Western narrative to let Aztec voices speak about their origin stories, the cosmic significance of their capital city, their methods of child rearing, and the contributions women made to daily life and the empire.