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.
Cultural change and continuity are the main themes of these lectures. You'll come to see how each successive civilization inherited and modified the political, social, religious, and economic institutions of its predecessor. In fact, the scope of Anatolian history can be best understood as a series of major cultural and religious rewrites: first by the Hittite emperors; then by the elites of Hellenic cities; next by their Hellenized descendants in the Roman age; then by Christian emperors and bishops in the Byzantine age; and, finally, by Turkish rulers and Muslim mystics.
To give you a stronger sense of that continuity (and the various changes that are a part of it), these lectures are organized into five cultural components: Early Anatolia (from 6000 to 500 B.C.), Hellenized Anatolia (from 750 to 31 B.C.), Roman Asia Minor (from 200 B.C. to 395 A.D.), Byzantium (from 395 to 1453), and Islamic Turkey (since 1071).
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©2001 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2001 The Great Courses
This was a great overview of a history of Asia Minor (or Anatolia), what today would essentially be the area of the modern Republic of Turkey. Far from being an obscure topic about an obscure region, this little area is packed with history and was a major player throughout it.
You will go from prehistory and the earliest Hittite Civilizations through the continual cycles of change the region experienced. As the natural crossroads of East and West, this region continually felt the pulls of the great cultural traditions of both East and West, a dynamic which continues right up to the present. This area was constantly "remade" as it went through phases of Greek, Roman, Celtic, Byzantine, and eventually Barbarian Steppe culture. The series ends with an look at how those Turkic speaking barbarians entered and remade this peninsula one last time into what would eventually be the heartland of the Ottoman Empire and the foundation of what we know as the modern Republic of Turkey.
The Professor is amazing. I have listened to many of his works and he offers his listeners traditional history at its very best. If you enjoy a good history book or class, you will learn from and enjoy this series.
Dr. Harl is clearly "into" his field of study, and his awareness of the interconnectedness of Ancient Turkey with Mediterranean countries, ancient Mesopotamia and further east, made this a fascinating series of lectures covering the times span (approximately) of about 1700 B.C. to 1700 A.D. He was (auditorily) an animated speaker who kept my attention throughout, and I stole time to listen to his lectures wherever I could. My only regret that this series of lectures was limited to a total of 24. I do, however, see that Professor Harl has more in-depth lecture series on each of the parts discussed in this overview, and I will have to make that my next goal.
I couldn't wait to here the next chapter. revealed ancient history about which I had only a clue.. It whet my appetite for more knowledge.
Harl does a fabulous job conveying the subject matter and explaining the Asia Minor History. This is my third course of his and he is passionate about the material and that makes listening to him all the more exciting.
Especially in the beginning, the lecture takes the form of extremely dull summation of fact and listing.. It does improve somewhat, with some interesting stories and pictures of Asia Minor. Overall, it was rather disappointing though
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