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Greece and Rome: An Integrated History of the Ancient Mediterranean | [The Great Courses, Robert Garland]

Greece and Rome: An Integrated History of the Ancient Mediterranean

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 an 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. He shows you how these two very different cultures intersected, coincided, and at times, collided.

You'll discover the extraordinary culture that we call Greco-Roman: a unique fusion of civilizations that encompasses statecraft, mythology, language, philosophy, fine arts, architecture, science, and much else. Who were the Greeks and the Romans? How did they organize their societies? How did they interact?

In this unique integrated historical approach, you'll see how Greece and Rome's relationship resembled a marriage: two distinct personalities competing in some areas, sharing in others, and sometimes creating a new synthesis of the two civilizations. And you'll consider their more substantive cultural differences, including religion, their views of foreigners, and their ways of thinking.

You'll delight in the variety of sources - literature, archaeology, the visual arts, coinage, inscriptions - that Professor Garland draws upon to assemble a fascinating and complex picture of these two great civilizations. And you'll appreciate how he keeps Greece and Rome focused on how this material affects us today.

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


©2008 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2008 The Great Courses

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  •  
    Mountain K9iner 08-12-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent content with some caveats"
    Any additional comments?

    Prof. Garland makes clear from several perspectives why we cannot understand or appreciate ancient Rome apart from its relationship to ancient Greece. I now appreciate more than ever the concept "Greco-Roman." This course is excellent, but there are some shortcomings the listener should be aware of.

    1. Garland occasionally argues from etymologies to support some of his interpretations. This method of argumentation has been discredited for over 50 years. His conclusions may be correct, but when he etymologizes his methodology is suspect.

    2. Garland, in spite of his protestations against it, seems unable to resist playing the role of a long-distance armchair psychologist analyzing the interior motives of long-dead ancient persons about whom we know very little.

    3. Garland's presentation of the relationship between Christianity and Greco-Roman culture is superficial at best and just plain wrong at worst. He fails to present (or understand?) the essentially Jewish nature of primitive (including Pauline) Christianity. Further, while he argues that Christianity is essentially an amalgamation of elements derived from contemporaneous Mediterranean religions, he also argues that Christianity thoroughly overhauled the ideology and worldview of the Greco-Roman world. How what was essentially a patchwork of existing religious beliefs could have had such a thoroughgoing transformational effect he does not even address or question. He does not appear to be aware of this apparent contradiction.

    That being said, the course is well worth it and I will listen to some of Prof. Garland's other presentations.

    21 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia 09-06-13
    Julia 09-06-13 Member Since 2013

    I listen to a lot of audiobooks.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Totally Fascinating"
    Any additional comments?

    Apart from Professor Garland's jerky manner of speech, which grew on me, this audiobook series is absolutely fascinating. I appreciated the integrated history of Greece and Rome from all angles, including other groups like the Etruscans and some mention of other tribes and the Egyptians. I had a fuzzy picture of what these cultures were like and how they fit together, but did not understand the big picture until I listened to these excellent and well researched lectures. The biggest aspect I appreciate by Professor Garland is his storytelling ability and charm. I love how he organizes the courses. Highly recommended for history fans!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CBiscuit 06-05-15
    CBiscuit 06-05-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Great don't miss it"

    Probably my favorite audible yet. Really informative and to the point. I haven't found another source as easy to follow with such detail.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 05-28-14
    Benoibe New Orleans, LA, United States 05-28-14 Member Since 2010

    Audio Addict! Usually listening to History these days. Love Will Durant most of all authors!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Phenomenal listen!!! A superior audiobook!"

    I have enjoyed most of the Great Courses I've bought. This lecture is one of the best, with a great depth of information and excellent analysis and synthesis of ancient societies of Greece and Rome. It has been my experience to read and study Greek and Roman civilizations quite separately, making it seem that they are many centuries apart. But in truth, the "classic" age of Greece takes place during the early life of Rome. The Hellenistic period is during Rome's rise to power. Professor Garland provides excellent synthesis of the material in the proper context, demonstrating the interplay of the two cultures. He explores both cultures and governments, with an emphasis on the differences, similarities, and strengths of each society, and how each influenced the other. I have recently finished listening to a half dozen books about ancient civilizations, including the histories of Rome and Greece. This lecture is an excellent find for me- bringing it all together for a better understanding. The approach taken by Professor Garland reshapes the study of these two great societies, giving the listener a new perspective and a fuller and more complex world view.

    But the biggest reason I recommend this lecture series is that it's just a really interesting and fun listen!! The teacher is excellent the material is fascinating, and it's just a truly enjoyable experience! Each lecture is engaging and compelling. I kept thinking- ok just one more lecture before bed... That kept happening well into the night, so that I was up early into the next morning, fighting sleep just to hear a little bit more.

    This audiobook/lecture is a complete success, and I'm forever grateful that the Great Courses series is available through Audible!! If you are interested in the time period or in the history of either Rome or Greece, you will enjoy this audiobook!! It is one of the best, and the professor is a joy. Don't pass it up! If you are interested enough to read this review, then you should get this audiobook now!! :)

    11 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blue Eyes 09-01-15
    Blue Eyes 09-01-15
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    "Good introduction to Greek and Roman history"
    Where does Greece and Rome: An Integrated History of the Ancient Mediterranean rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This was the first "Great Courses" audiobook I listened to and one of the few non-fiction books I've listened to. I really liked it, the author did a good job of switching between the two and making comparisons.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Evans 08-17-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Outstanding"

    Great lecture series, interesting from beginning get to end, covers every conceivable topic. Good job!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gino Boynton Beach, Florida, United States 08-04-15
    Gino Boynton Beach, Florida, United States 08-04-15 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

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    "Great!!"

    Very thorough and insightful analysis of the the two foundational pillars of our western civilization. I recommend the verse heartily.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William H. Norton Palm Desert, CA USA 06-20-15
    William H. Norton Palm Desert, CA USA 06-20-15 Member Since 2015

    California Bill

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    "Good integration approach to history."

    A fine course by a brilliant professor.
    Learned a great deal. I want to pursue the topic further.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Phillip 05-25-15
    Phillip 05-25-15
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    "Great integration"

    I truly enjoyed these lectures. Dr Garland's passion and depth of knowledge were truly inspiring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 04-23-15 Member Since 2014
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    3
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    "dry names ,dates, and happenings"

    I could not finish this. The smooth narrative style I expected from Robert Garland wasn't apparent. I eagerly looked forward to each
    lecture in his "The Other Side of History" and was expecting a similar delivery style here. I could not understand many names he mentioned and he seemed to jump around chronologically which confused me further...I relistened to several chapters but finally gave up at chapter or lecture nine. Names of places were mentioned that I realized were the names from antiquity but the context they were mentioned in left me more confused. If you want this professor at his best listen first to The Other Side of History. This is probably just not my interest and I didn't realize it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • SP
    6/19/15
    Overall
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    "Superb"

    A brilliant, passionate and inspiring perspective on the ancient world, which captivates and educates in equal measure.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jonathan
    Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    11/10/14
    Overall
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    "An Unusual and Fascinating Perspective"

    This course was very interesting and informative, and also highly enjoyable. The lecturer has a very easy-to-follow, informal style while managing to impart both a lot of knowledge and also a real feeling for these ancient cultures. This course is told in a chronological order and the relevant historical framework is explained very well, but primarily it is about a comparison of Greek and Roman cultures, and the interactions between them. This makes it very unusual and by the end I felt that I understood the two cultures very much better and could view a variety of other material, both ancient history and contemporary culture, in better perspective. As for all Great Courses material, I recommend looking at the Great Courses web site for details on content and also additional reviews.I recommend this course highly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Louise Armitage
    London
    9/16/14
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    "Fantastic overview of Ancient Greece and Rome"

    I have enjoyed listening to several of The Great Courses, and particularly enjoy Professor Robert Garland's engaging way of teaching you about the ancient world. He has a way of making a long listen very enjoyable and amusing at times. I was drawn to this particular course as I have always read about Greece and Rome separately and this gave a wonderful overview and explained how they worked in synergy to create the world we know today. Of course they didn't always get along and both sides of their relationship with each other, and other nations, such as Persia and Egypt came to influence the modern day world. This course is not dry in any way, and instead gives a very real human perspective of the events, and normal day to day life, as it was known in the ancient world.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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