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The Great Courses: History


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  • The African Experience: From 'Lucy' to Mandela

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth P. Vickery
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (77)

    The story of Africa is the oldest and most event-filled chronicle of human activity on the planet. And in these 36 lectures, you'll explore this great historical drama, tracing the story of the sub-Saharan region of the continent from the earliest evidence of human habitation to the latest challenges facing African nations in the 21st century. By learning with these lectures, you'll finally be able to bust myths and correct potential misunderstandings about Africa.

    Logical Paradox says: "Africa Found!"
  • Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, John R. Hale
    • Narrated By Professor John R. Hale
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (56)

    Over the years, Classical archaeology has evolved from a pastime of collectors and antiquarians to a mature science. Today, the field is a multidisciplinary effort that involves not only traditional diggers, but also geologists, geographers, anthropologists, and linguists.These 36 lectures introduce you to this fascinating field of study. Professor Hale guides you through dozens of ancient sites with the skill of a born storyteller.

    Bookworm says: "Absolutely Fantastic!"
  • The Long Shadow of the Ancient Greek World

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Ian Worthington
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (29)

    Immerse yourself in this comprehensive survey of ancient Greece from 750 to 323 B.C.-from the emergence of Greece at the end of the Dark Ages to the final disintegration of Greek autonomy through the Macedonian kings Philip II and Alexander the Great.

    Reid Kotlas says: "Excellent. Compelling and informative."
  • Late Antiquity: Crisis and Transformation

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Thomas F. X. Noble
    Overall
    (78)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (66)

    Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire painted a portrait of the Roman Empire in a long, debilitating slide to oblivion, but now historians have reevaluated this picture to create a radically different understanding of the period now known as "late antiquity." Far from being a period of decline and fall, late antiquity marked one of history's great turning points.

    AlexIndia says: "Drinking history from a fire hose!"
  • European History and European Lives: 1715 to 1914

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Jonathan Steinberg
    Overall
    (51)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (41)

    Meet 35 of the most influential people who lived during the 200 most difficult years in the history of the West. Between the years 1715 and 1914, the lives of these artists, writers, scientists, and leaders shaped our times and reflected their own.You'll meet such figures as Charles Darwin, Sir Robert Walpole, David Lloyd George, Mary Wollstonecraft, Captain Alfred Dreyfus, Napoleon Bonaparte, and others whose lives represent the crucial forces that shaped European history during two decisive centuries.

    Mark says: "Excellent, fast paced course"
  • Robert E. Lee and His High Command

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Gary W. Gallagher
    • Narrated By Professor Gary W. Gallagher
    Overall
    (83)
    Performance
    (74)
    Story
    (74)

    Few events have captivated students of American history like the Civil War. Its most striking personalities seem somehow outsized, magnified beyond the ability of books or even legend to contain them. And few among those personalities have ever held our attention like General Robert Edward Lee.With his Army of Northern Virginia, Lee came to embody the cause of the Confederacy itself

    Brad says: "Excellent Review of Lee's High Command"
  • Turning Points in Medieval History

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Dorsey Armstrong
    Overall
    (52)
    Performance
    (44)
    Story
    (43)

    For an accurate picture of how the political, social, and religious structure of present-day Europe came to be-and even why we're speaking English today-studying the key events between the years 500 and 1500 is of critical import. These 24 gripping lectures deliver an unparalleled look at these moments that profoundly changed the arc of history, and they weave the era's vast array of disparate events into an interconnected tapestry that illuminates why nothing exists in a vacuum.

    TFMethane says: "surprised me"
  • Greece and Rome: An Integrated History of the Ancient Mediterranean

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Robert Garland
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Garland
    Overall
    (249)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (217)

    Integrated approaches to teaching Greek and Roman history are a rarity in academia. Most scholars are historians of either Greek or Roman history and perform research solely in that specific field, an approach that author and award-winning Professor Robert Garland considers questionable.In these 36 passionate lectures, he provides and impressive and rare opportunity to understand the two dominant cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world in relation to one another-a relationship that has virtually no parallel in world history.

    Mountain K9iner says: "Excellent content with some caveats"
  • A Brief History of the World

    • ORIGINAL (19 hrs and 1 min)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Peter N. Stearns
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (95)
    Story
    (94)

    The construction of the great pyramids of Egypt, the development of democracy in ancient Greece, the glories of ancient Rome-these stories are familiar to students of history. But what about the rest of the world? How do the histories of China and Japan, or Russia, India, and the remote territories of Sub-Saharan Africa and South America fit in with commonly known accounts of Western traditions?Learn the rest of the story with these 36 riveting lectures that survey the expanse of human development and civilization across the globe.

    Tad Davis says: "Global"
  • Ancient Empires before Alexander

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert L. Dise Jr.
    Overall
    (65)
    Performance
    (61)
    Story
    (60)

    Complete your knowledge of the ancient world with this comprehensive look at the dozen empires that flourished in the 2,000 years before the conquests of Alexander the Great. Over the course of 36 insightful lectures, you'll follow the Egyptians, the Mycenaean Greeks, the Persians, the Carthaginians, and others as they rise to glory, create administrative and military structures, clash with one another, and eventually collapse.

    Travis says: "the Dream of Empire."
  • The Fall of the Pagans and the Origins of Medieval Christianity

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth W. Harl
    Overall
    (169)
    Performance
    (152)
    Story
    (150)

    Explore the dramatic interaction between Judaism, Christianity, and paganism in Rome from the 1st to the 6th centuries. Why did pagan Rome clash with the early Christians? What was it like to be a Jew or a Christian under Roman law? And how did Christianity ultimately achieve dominance in the Roman Empire?Over the course or 24 lectures, Professor Harl enables you to grasp the full historical sweep of this critically important era and its key figures.

    Wesley says: "Outstanding and worth every moment"
  • World War II: A Military and Social History

    • ORIGINAL (15 hrs and 6 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Thomas Childers
    Overall
    (496)
    Performance
    (433)
    Story
    (427)

    Between 1937 and 1945, approximately 55 million people perished in the series of interrelated conflicts known as the Second World War. No continent was left untouched, no ocean unaffected. The war led to the eclipse of Europe and the emergence of the United States and the Soviet Union as global superpowers; ushered in the atomic age; produced, in the Holocaust, the most horrific crime ever committed in the history of Western civilization, and led to the end of Europe's colonial empires around the world.

    John M says: "My favorite Great Courses lecture"
  • Between the Rivers: The History of Ancient Mesopotamia

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Alexis Q. Castor
    Overall
    (196)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (174)

    All cultures lie in the shadow of ancient Mesopotamia-the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that is now mostly encompassed by the borders of modern Iraq. In this fascinating series of 36 lectures, an award-winning teacher leads you on a vivid journey through Mesopotamian history-from Neolithic times to the age of Alexander the Great.

    tamim says: "Kinda Tells you what u need, but not really"
  • Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, Brian M. Fagan
    • Narrated By Professor Brian M. Fagan
    Overall
    (317)
    Performance
    (294)
    Story
    (287)

    Where do we come from? How did our ancestors settle this planet? How did the great historic civilizations of the world develop? How does a past so shadowy that it has to be painstakingly reconstructed from fragmentary, largely unwritten records nonetheless make us who and what we are?

    These 36 lectures bring you the answers that the latest scientific and archaeological research and theorizing suggest about human origins, how populations developed, and the ways in which civilizations spread throughout the globe.

    Amazon Customer says: "Great Conceptually But Becoming Dated"
  • Ancient Greek Civilization

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Jeremy McInerney
    Overall
    (150)
    Performance
    (136)
    Story
    (133)

    Clearly, the Greeks are a source of much that we esteem in our own culture: democracy, philosophy, tragedy, epic and lyric poetry, history-writing, our aesthetic sensibilities, ideals of athletic competition, and more. But what is it about Hellenic culture that has made generations of influential scholars and writers view it as the essential starting point for understanding the art and reflection that define the West?

    Mike says: "Interpretive History, Not a Comprehensive Overview"
  • The Rise and Fall of the British Empire

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Patrick N. Allitt
    Overall
    (735)
    Performance
    (659)
    Story
    (649)

    What were the forces that thrust the British Empire to its extraordinary position of greatness and then just as powerfully drove it into decline? And why is nearly every nation on earth, in one way or another, the consequence of the British Empire?In these 36 lectures, Professor Allitt leads you through four centuries of British power, innovation, influence, and, ultimately, diminishment-four profound centuries that literally remade the world and bequeathed the complex global legacy that continues to shape your everyday life.

    Mike says: "Learn About Great Britain from a Great Briton!!!"
  • Great Ancient Civilizations of Asia Minor

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth W. Harl
    Overall
    (140)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (122)

    Embark on an unforgettable trip into the historical glories of the past with these 24 lectures that immerse you in the history of an often overlooked region of the ancient world. With Professor Harl as your guide, you'll plunge into the history of Asia Minor's great ancient civilizations and come face to face with eye-opening historical milestones. Among these: the rise of the Hittites, the legendary Trojan War, the birth of Western philosophy, the fiery Greek and Persian Wars, the victories of Alexander the Great, the dawn of the Hellenistic Age, the spread of early Christianity, the golden age of Byzantium, the birth of the Ottoman Empire, and much more.

    Mike says: "There Ain't Nothin Minor about this Asia!!! : )"
  • The Late Middle Ages

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Philip Daileader
    Overall
    (171)
    Performance
    (147)
    Story
    (145)

    The Late Middle Ages-the two centuries from c. 1300 to c. 1500 - might seem like a distant era, but students of history are still trying to reach a consensus about how it should be interpreted. Was it an era of calamity or rebirth? Was it still clearly medieval or the period in which humanity took its first decisive steps into modernity? These 24 provocative lectures introduce you to the age's major events, personalities, and developments, and arms you with the essentials you need to form your own ideas about this age of extremes.

    Mike says: "An Excellent Overview of the Late Middle Ages"
  • The History of Ancient Rome

    • ORIGINAL (22 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Garrett G. Fagan
    Overall
    (930)
    Performance
    (836)
    Story
    (826)

    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.

    Sad Donkey says: "Fantastic"
  • Great Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Bob Brier
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (129)
    Story
    (129)

    What is it about ancient Egypt that still captures our imaginations? How did it grow from a few villages along the Nile into the greatest power the world had ever seen? Explore these questions and more in these 12 entertaining lectures that tell the stories of the great pharaohs and the daily realities of Egyptian life.

    J. says: "Bob Brier all day every day..."
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