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Ancient Empires before Alexander Lecture

Ancient Empires before Alexander

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Publisher's Summary

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.

Professor Dise immerses you in the political, administrative, and military details of these thrilling civilizations, analyzing three basic questions: How did this particular empire emerge? How was it governed and defended? How and why did it ultimately fall? These questions raise a host of profound issues on the growth, development, and failures of vast imperial systems.

Grounded in a chronological approach, you'll find no better guide through the palatial halls, administrative offices, and war-torn battlefields of these empires than Professor Dise. Each lecture is packed with a range of rich sources on which our current understanding of the ancient Near East rests, including cuneiform tablets, colorful narratives, and archaeological remains.

As you comb through these intriguing records, you quickly become more informed about how the past is recorded and passed down to subsequent generations. Spanning thousands of years of human history and encompassing regions both familiar and forgotten, this course is a remarkable tour through the farthest reaches of the ancient world - in all its marvelous diversity.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2009 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2009 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (85 )
5 star
 (52)
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Story
4.3 (80 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Travis 01-25-16
    Travis 01-25-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    25
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    Story
    "the Dream of Empire."

    great courses isn't just a title this is truly a great course. I enjoyed every minute of these lectures listening for hours at a time

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-28-16 Member Since 2015

    rnin85

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    5
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    "Boring--"

    I just couldn't finish this course. I made it through the first 4 chapters but I could go no further. Let me be up front that it was not the material but the presenter. He seemed bored by his own material. His presentation was monotone and just had no life to it. If I was in his classroom course, I would have to sit in the back. I would sit in the back so I hopefully wouldn't be noticed when I dropped off to sleep.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua VALLEJO, CA, United States 08-11-13
    Joshua VALLEJO, CA, United States 08-11-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
    15
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
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    "No customer support from the publisher"
    Would you try another book from The Great Courses and/or Professor Robert L. Dise Jr.?

    No


    What could The Great Courses have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    The publisher could have offered the supplemental reading material for a proportional price (they want $10+ to get the course outline. I paid ~$11 for the credit which bought the entire course). Does doubling the price seem reasonable for an outline, an outline that can be made into a simple PDF and emailed with little to no additional actual cost to the publisher?This is not an issue with Modern Scholar courses.


    How could the performance have been better?

    I don't think the professor looked at this course as if it was for an audio audience; it seemed he was trying to give regular classroom lectures without any visual keys. Lecturing to an audiobook-only audience is a distinct skill from lecturing to a group of people live.


    Any additional comments?

    Avoid buying courses from this publisher until they update their policy on supplemental materials. Suggest Modern Scholar courses if appropriate.

    2 of 36 people found this review helpful
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  • Clare
    London, United Kingdom
    2/22/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lecturer isn't as clever as he thinks he is"
    Any additional comments?

    I thought I would give the Great Courses another go. Once again the lecturer chosen seems an odd choice, This is a series of lectures on Empires before Alexander so they choose someone whose specialty is the Roman Empire! Why? Surely it should be someone who specialised in the earlier Empires.There are some superficially irritating things, why does each lecture end with some canned applause & some music thousands of years too late? Also the title should have been Empires of Europe, Near & Middle East before Alexander as no mention is made of any empires in China, India or Africa outside of Egypt etc. I don't mind the focus but I mind that it's pretending it's not there.Sadly the lecturer also feels the need to make factious comments every now & then which I imagine is supposed to make the lecture more engaging but actually is just irritating.However, despite this I have managed to persevere & have found it interesting enough to continue. However, niggles of doubt do creep in. The lecturer doesn't appear to know much about archery as he confuses compound & composite & fails to mention recurve when it was relevant. How much else, that I know less about, is similar?All in all Modern Scholar remains superior

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Dr Ibrahim Nasr
    2/5/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very good book"
    What did you like best about this story?

    The best thing about this history is the linking between the events and the explanation of why such events happened


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were few events that made me feel as if I am living with the historical characters especially with the Persian empire


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Jonathan
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    10/29/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Interesting Material but Mediocre Delivery"

    This lecture course covers a large number of ancient empires, leading up to (but not including) Greece and Rome. For more details about content, I strongly recommend looking at the Great Courses web site which includes titles of each lecture (and lots of reviews). I knew very little about Ancient History and this course provided a really good introduction -- relatively brief on each empire, but a good overview. However the course had two main problems from my perspective. One is that the material is very much slanted towards military history -- lots of detail about armour, chariot types etc, while the cultures are treated rather sparsely. This would suit some people but wasn't ideal for me. The biggest problem though is that the lecturer is rather boring. He does not put any personality into the material -- he sounds as if he is just reading written notes and sometimes he sounds rather bored by the whole thing. Overall I'm glad to have listened to this but I had to force myself to keep going at several points.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stephen
    stoke on trent, England
    9/19/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Must Try Harder"
    Has Ancient Empires before Alexander put you off other books in this genre?

    It could have if it had been the first "Great Courses" book I listened to


    What aspect of Professor Robert L. Dise Jr.’s performance might you have changed?

    There are parts of this course where he just sounds bored


    Was Ancient Empires before Alexander worth the listening time?

    Just about


    Any additional comments?

    "Professor" Robert L. Dise doesn't sound like a professor. He lacks impartiality on the various peoples. He uses racial epithets when describing some cultures:
    For example he compares the ancient Greeks to a bunch of "Drunken Rednecks" and condemns them for daring to resist the Persian invasion.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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