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
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.
Say something about yourself!
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!
audio addict! Mostly interested in history and some historical fiction. Will Durant is my all time favorite. Loving the Great Courses too.
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!! :)
I'm a big fan of Robert Garland. He's very passionate about his interests and conveys that with joy when he shares it. Greece and Rome: An Ingegrated History is unlike all the other lecture series' i've listened to from Teaching Company/Great Courses. It plumbs the depths of the well-known Greco-Roman story from a higher altitude than most, offering true glimpses of fresh perspective. And that is quite an accomplishment.
I was almost sad when it ended..it reiterated many points of history that I already knew.. And introduced me to so many other factors that I will have to study now. I most definitely will listen to this entire lecture again because I couldn't possibly gather all the information in one listen. I have a new found respect for Greek and Roman history and for the professor Robert Garland. I will actually search for more of his lectures, it was brilliantly put together and very intellectually and passionately presented..A definite and must listen if you are in anyway interested in Roman and Greek history best listen so far
Great chapters with nice overview and knowledge that one can actually attain and find enriching. But, there is another half with details so deep that it's hard to listen. But, I still recommend. Just don't worry about listening to every chapter if you get bored. Skip and go back to what you like most.
All of modern society's greatest and darkest moments can be traced to the marriage of these two cultures, these two peoples. This course was essential for me to understand the intricacies of the birth and demise of the Roman empire and its export of what modern society believes what it means to be human.
I thought it was confusing. I listened while on the treadmill and I found that my mind was wondering. Perhaps there is a sound reason why the integrated approach to these subjects is rare. If you already knew a lot about each culture and the history of the ancient world, and you weren't on a treadmill, then perhaps you would enjoy it more.
Sure, but honestly, even though I listened to all of the lectures (almost 19 hours), I don't feel that I retained a lot from this particular series. I would listen to another lecture by this professor if it were chronological in nature.
The performance was charming. He reminded me of Alec Guinness in Bridge On The River Kwai. In fact, I found myself whistling the tune from that movie whenever he said things like "ReNAYsance," and "Damned clever chappies, those Greeks."
Well, I guess I would have absorbed more if the first half of the lectures dealt with Greece and the second half dealt with Rome. You could still compare and contrast, but later on, after you got your facts straight.
I have a biased opinion here, because I am a Christian. I felt that his interpretation of Bible verses showed a lack of basic understanding of Christianity. Not the main point of the lectures at all, but it sort of stuck out to me.
"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.
"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.
"Great book, awful narration"
The book is very interesting and well written. The narration is terrible. As a Greek I'm disappointed at the awful pronunciation of Greek words. In barely recognised them and I speak the language and have good knowledge of Ancient Greek. The worse thing is though that the narrator reads practically the entire book as if there is a full stop after every single word. Considering it is an AUDIO book, I find this unacceptable.
A brilliant, passionate and inspiring perspective on the ancient world, which captivates and educates in equal measure.
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