Thousands of years ago, myths were used to help frame the world of the ancients and dictate the guidelines of their societies. Today, they are often the first stories we learn as children, iconic tales where good and evil clash and humanity and fantasy collide. But what is the reality behind these stories? From the epic tragedy of Medusa, to Greek mythology's greatest action hero, Hercules, explore the myths and the legendary figures who inspired them.
This book is the perfect choice if you want a simple and detailed guide on the ancient Greeks' myths and legends that have survived the ages for so long that no one knows what truths are intertwined with the legends.
When the Colosseum was built in the late first century AD, the Romans, a people known for their architectural acumen, managed to amaze themselves. Martial, a Roman poet writing during the inauguration of the Colosseum, clearly believed the Colosseum was so grand a monument that it was even greater than the other Wonders of the Ancient World, which had been written about and visited endlessly by the Romans and Greeks in antiquity.
This is a paper that I wrote very early during my undergraduate work, and I cannot promise that it is very good, but it does give a fair overview of what the Aztecs faced in their final days, at the hands of Cortes and his men. The Aztecs stood up against immeasurable odds, fighting whom they believed, at first, were their gods, finally returned to Earth. When they realized their error, it was too late.
Includes descriptions of 20 important artifacts, including the Sphinx, the Rosetta Stone, King Tut's funerary mask, and many more Africa may have given rise to the first human beings. And Egypt probably gave rise to the first great civilizations, which continue to fascinate modern societies across the globe nearly 5,000 years later.
The brilliant sagas come to life with snippets of modern translations, told like tales of old should be told, with dread, heroics and excitement. The author combines his own expertise with the latest archeological findings and information given to us from ancient text to present a first-rate portrayal of the Vikings.
The Colossus of Rhodes, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia, the Pharos of Alexandria, the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Temple of Artemis and the Great Pyramids at Giza; of the seven wonders of the ancient world, only the last one is still in existence. Yet, through this recording, it is possible to step back in time and experience the extravagant glory of these incredible feats of human construction.
Whether it was the Mongols rampaging from the east, the Vandals and Huns laying waste to the Roman Empire or the Saxons and Vikings sweeping down from the north, the idea of the barbarian is one of savagery, destruction and otherness. From Attila the Hun to Genghis Khan, this incredible publication recalls the many legends that surround these fearsome warriors and asks whether today's common perception of barbarian tribes is historically accurate.
The first century BC was a watershed for the development of the Roman state. It was a century characterized by near-incessant warfare and political strife in Rome, evidence that a new form of government was necessary to rule over its new extensive conquests. It was becoming apparent to the traditional ruling elite that the ancient military superpower was beginning to undergo an uneasy transition from republic to imperial power.
From its mythical origins, stunning architecture, innovative engineering, and mighty army that led Rome's meteoric rise to become the world's most powerful empire, to the debauchery, excess and self-obsessed emperors that caused its eventual decline and self-destruction, this publication is a wonderfully illustrative and informative history of a once magnificent ancient civilization.
How much do you know about the Etruscans? Many people, even those who are fascinated by ancient history, are less familiar with this intriguing culture than with the history of Greece and Rome - but the story of the Etruscans is equally captivating and far more important than you may have known. This ancient civilization prospered in the region of modern-day Tuscany, maintaining extensive trade networks, building impressive fortified cities, making exquisite art, and creating a culture that, while deeply connected to the Greeks and Romans, had striking contrasts.
What is often referred to as Egyptian mythology is actually a collection of all myths that existed in ancient Egypt. Call them myths or beliefs - these were an important part of ancient Egyptian religion and described the actions of the many gods and goddesses.
Hidden from us by misunderstanding and mistranslation and clouded in mythology, the birth of religion on this planet was no mere accident. It was the result of a vast alien invasion that sparked the worship of the original ancient gods. Those gods are the oldest recorded figures of worship in any world history and extend much further back in antiquity. They are the root of all the major world religions. They gave rise to the great powers of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and more.
When we look at the incredible feats of engineering that our ancestors were able to achieve, it leaves us in awe. Not just because these structures are beautiful and shrouded in mystery, but because they were constructed on a scale we can't comprehend, thousands of years ago.
Genghis Khan was a leader that was ruthless in his aims and ambitions, a man who thought nothing of destroying everything in his path. His reputation of extreme brutality sent villagers running from their homes when they got even a hint that Genghis Khan was coming their way. But is that the entire story? Was he as bad as history has made him out to be?
Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are three of philosophy's greatest contributors. You already knew that. But what you might not know is that they all lived in classical Athens at around the same time. You might not know that Socrates was executed for practicing free speech. You might not know that Plato was sold into slavery for making the Tyrant of Syracuse angry. And you might not know that Aristotle tutored the famous Alexander the Great. The philosophers were part of some crazy world events as well. The Peloponnesian War, the Macedonian takeover, and more...it's all there.
A few years ago, Mark Adams made a strange discovery: Everything we know about the lost city of Atlantis comes from the work of one man, the Greek philosopher Plato. Then he made a second, stranger discovery: Amateur explorers are still actively searching for this sunken city all around the world, based entirely on the clues Plato left behind.
"A Bryson-esque tour of people, myth, & archaeology"
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.
"A Fantastic Overview!"
These 24 dramatic lectures examine key events from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome to medieval Europe and Asia. Spanning thousands of years and three continents, this course illuminates fascinating historical dramas on the individual scale.
"Excellent material, engaging presentation."
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"
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"
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.
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.
"Good Informational Listen"
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."
From the schism between Rome and Constantinople to the rise of the T'ang Dynasty, from the birth of Muhammad to the crowning of Charlemagne, this erudite book tells the fascinating, often violent story of kings, generals, and the peoples they ruled.
"The First Half of the Medieval World"
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"
Centuries ago, Spanish conquistadors searching for gold and new lands encountered a group of independent city-states in Mesoamerica. Sophisticated beyond the Spaniards' wildest imaginings, these people were the Aztecs, the Maya, and related cultures that shared common traditions of religion, government, the arts, engineering, and trade. In many ways more advanced than European nations, these societies equaled the world's greatest civilizations of their time.
"Everything you would ever want and more"
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.
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!"
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"
No understanding of human life, individual or collective, could be complete without factoring in the role and contribution of these history-shaping teachers. Now, this 36-lecture series takes you deep into the life stories and legacies of these four iconic figures, revealing the core teachings, and thoughts of each, and shedding light on the historical processes that underlie their phenomenal, enduring impact.
"Brilliant introduction to those 4 great teachers"
These 36 lectures tell the remarkable story of a tumultuous thousand-year period in the history of England. Dominated by war, conquest, and the struggle to balance the stability brought by royal power with the rights of the governed, it was a period that put into place the foundation of much of the world we know today. As you journey through this largely chronological narrative you'll see key themes emerge, including the assimilation of successive waves of invaders, the tense relationship between kings and the nobility, and the constant battles over money and taxation.
"I was happily surprised!"
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.
"Excellent introduction to Medieval History!"
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.
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"
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.
"But it was all going so well....."
Ancient Rome matters. Its history of empire, conquest, cruelty and excess is something against which we still judge ourselves. Its myths and stories - from Romulus and Remus to the rape of Lucretia - still strike a chord with us. And its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual still influence our own debates on civil liberty today. SPQR is a new look at Roman history from one of the world's foremost classicists.
"In depth look at all things (ancient) Roman"
Galen of Pergamum (A.D. 129-ca. 216) began his remarkable career tending to wounded gladiators in provincial Asia Minor. Later in life he achieved great distinction as one of a small circle of court physicians to the family of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, at the very heart of Roman society. Susan Mattern's The Prince of Medicine offers the first authoritative biography in English of this brilliant, audacious, and profoundly influential figure.
"history of medicine"
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 very interesting listen"
"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."
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"
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"
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.
"First Audible book I have been unable to finish..."
Acclaimed classics scholar Edith Hall's Introducing the Ancient Greeks is the first book to offer a synthesis of the entire ancient Greek experience, from the rise of the Mycenaean kingdoms of the sixteenth century BC to the final victory of Christianity over paganism in AD 391. Each of the ten chapters visits a different Greek community at a different moment during the twenty centuries of ancient Greek 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"
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"
Mastering the West offers a thoroughly engrossing narrative of this century of battle in the western Mediterranean, while treating a full range of themes: the antagonists' military, naval, economic, and demographic resources; the political structures of both republics; and the postwar impact of the conflicts on the participants and victims.
"Great story -- coughing, breathy narrator."
The Druids have been known and discussed for at least 2,400 years, first by Greek writers and later by the Romans, who came in contact with them in Gaul and Britain. According to these sources, they were a learned caste who officiated in religious ceremonies, taught the ancient wisdoms, and were revered as philosophers. But few figures flit so elusively through history, and the Druids remain enigmatic and puzzling to this day.
A Brief Guide to the Greek Myths leads the listener through the vibrant stories of ancient Greece, from the origins of the gods through to the homecomings of the Trojan heroes. All the familiar narratives are here, along with some less familiar characters and motifs. In addition to the tales, the audiobook explains key issues arising from the narratives and discusses the myths and their wider relevance.
"A summary and insight into Greek Mythology"
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.
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.
"Not as good as I expected"
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...."
The War of the Three Gods is a military history of the Near and Middle East in the seventh century - with its chief focus on the reign of the Eastern Roman Emperor Heraclius (AD 610-641) - a pivotal and dramatic time in world history. The Eastern Roman Empire was brought to the very brink of extinction by the Sassanid Persians before Heraclius managed to inflict a crushing defeat on the Sassanids with a desperate, final gambit.
Public interest in biblical archaeology is at an all-time high, as television documentaries pull in millions of viewers to watch shows on the Exodus, the Ark of the Covenant, and the so-called Lost Tomb of Jesus. Important discoveries with relevance to the Bible are made virtually every year - during 2007 and 2008 alone researchers announced at least seven major discoveries in Israel, five of them in or near Jerusalem.
"There are far better introductory listens"