Prof. Fagan was able to rekindle my love of ancient history. Having been out of undergrad for many years now, I had forgotten how much fun "otium cum dignitate" can be. We all find ourselves drawn into our respective specialities (for me, medicine), only reading those books or papers directly relevant to our jobs. We forget what it is like to learn for the sake of learning.
This course took me back to the Western Civ, Latin and Philosophy courses in my undergrad years, which were wonderful for their own sakes. Not because I _need_ to know this stuff, but because I _want_ to.
The courses are laid out very well with a clear outline, concise topics and a logical progression. Each lecture can stand on its own, yet it builds on those before it. The storytelling employed is exemplary and draws you in. It made my daily commute much more productive and entertaining. The hour per day I sit in my car becomes my "otium cum dignitate" again.
Next step: relearn Latin!
I highly recommend this course for anyone interested in renewing their own curiosity. It you have a trip to Rome planned, it certainly can have practical uses as well.
Many people will see the obvious similarities between the adventures told by Mr. McKiernan and those of Tolkien. The books were originally written to take place in Tolkien's world, but for licensing reasons had to be placed into a world of his own. I am quite happy that this story was told. McKiernan is a masterful storyteller; his use of the English language superb and effortless.
The narration is also excellent. As always, the voice of the narrator takes some getting used to, but Mr. Beierle is great. I strongly recommend this series and I hope more of McKiernan's books from my childhood make their way to audiobook. Revisiting them on the long drive to work as a grown-up takes me back.
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