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The Foundations of Western Civilization Lecture

The Foundations of Western Civilization

What is Western Civilization? According to Professor Noble, it is "much more than human and political geography," encompassing myriad forms of political and institutional structures - from monarchies to participatory republics - and its own traditions of political discourse. It involves choices about who gets to participate in any given society and the ways in which societies have resolved the tension between individual self-interest and the common good.
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Publisher's Summary

What is Western civilization? According to Professor Noble, it is "much more than human and political geography," encompassing myriad forms of political and institutional structures - from monarchies to participatory republics - and its own traditions of political discourse. It involves choices about who gets to participate in any given society and the ways in which societies have resolved the tension between individual self-interest and the common good.

Within this series of 48 lectures, you'll discover the many ways in which Western civilization has addressed those questions, from its first stirrings in the great river valleys of Iraq and Egypt in 3000 B.C to the beginning of the 17th century and the dawn of the modern world. Your learning will cover vast amounts of territory and thousands of years, beginning in the ancient Near East and moving to Greece and then Rome. You'll explore ancient empires, including those of Persia, Alexander the Great, and Rome.

You'll watch as western Europe gradually expands, both physically and culturally. And you'll examine the globalizations of Western civilization with the Portuguese and Spanish voyages of exploration and discovery.

This broad and panoramic series, ripe with the telling detail on which history can turn, will help you pull an enormous sweep of history together into one coherent - though by no means closed - framework as you watch history develop under the influence of such critical factors as ecology and environment, geography, and climate; government and economics; technology; religion; work and leisure; philosophy; literature; art and architecture; and virtues, values, and aesthetics.

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

©2002 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2002 The Great Courses

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    Mahbooba 06-07-15
    Mahbooba 06-07-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "loved it"

    an eye opening book! loved it. I highly recommend it. it inspired me to learn about a lot of other topics for which I had to stop this book and investigate those topics further..then I would return back to this book to continue.. as a result it took me a year to finish this book and 10 others (including : the persian empire , foundation of eastern civilization , off the edge of the map , a short history of nearly everything )

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tyler Red Deer, AB, Canada 03-04-14
    Tyler Red Deer, AB, Canada 03-04-14

    I've been a member here for a few years now. Nothing will ever replace printed books for me, but I do enjoy lots of things Audible has!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
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    33
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    "Excellent course!"

    This is my second, all time favorite history course thus far. I have only been a patron of the Great Courses for about 7 or 8 months when my favorite podcaster mentioned they were now on Audible. I highly recommend this particular course. The professor is very good at what he does, captivating, interesting, and knowledgeable.

    8 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason 03-29-16
    Jason 03-29-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "CLIP studying"

    I purchased this to review for the clep exam on western civilization. Very good information and overview of the fundamental concepts that shaped western history. I highly recommend it to learn something new. Professor Noble does a fantastic job organizing and keeping listeners engaged.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AAA 01-18-16
    AAA 01-18-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Extremely annoying speaking style"

    I'm interested in the subject matter but can barely focus on what's being said because the speaker is so irritating. It's like he's trying to get a class of 8 year olds interested in history by being the cool professor, but all he is really succeeding in doing is dumbing material down and delivering information very poorly. I'm really struggling to make myself listen to this one.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DAVID MCKELVEY 05-09-15
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    "Fantastic"

    A wealth of material is very well organized and presented in bite sized lectures. The presenter grabs your attention and delivers a story with a style that epitomized my idea of the ideal professor. Get this course, you won't regret it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Palmer2010 12-26-13
    Palmer2010 12-26-13
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    "Good Survey Course"
    Would you listen to The Foundations of Western Civilization again? Why?

    This question is not applicable to this title or most other audio courses. Would listen to other courses by this professor.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Foundations of Western Civilization?

    Sections covering the Greek and Roman cultures, including the decline of Rome, were especially interesting.


    What does Professor Thomas F. X. Noble bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Good, enthusiastic speaker. Well organized and he makes clear the main, take-away points, which is so important for an audio course.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    History of the World Part I ... Maybe Monty Python and the Holy Grail


    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fred Ramey 05-15-16
    Fred Ramey 05-15-16 Member Since 2016
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    7
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    "Wonderful example . . ."

    . . . of what a audio book and lecture should be. I would recommend this to all lovers of history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adrian Delatorre Los Angeles, CA 05-14-16
    Adrian Delatorre Los Angeles, CA 05-14-16 Member Since 2013

    The Incredible Disappearing Publishing Industry

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent Course!"
    Any additional comments?

    I have listened to numerous courses from the Teaching Company, but this one is by far the best! Clear, concise and very engaging Professor

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon buys from Amazon 04-28-16 Member Since 2015
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    3
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    "Great remedial history"

    This is a LONG (necessarily) teaching of European history. Professor Noble delivered these lectures wonderfully and insigtfully. this was a great revisit of history for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lord 03-22-16
    Lord 03-22-16 Member Since 2012
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    24
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    "this guy enjoys what he is talking about"

    I believe history is a very boring subject that has often put me to sleep. I have had one particular history teacher that loved his subject, and kept the classroom engaged. This guy reminds me of that teacher

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Andy Allison
    Stafford, Staffs United Kingdom
    2/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "Well told and very interesting"

    If you're interested in history but never had the time to study it, curious about the Greeks, Romans, the church and just how Europe came to be how it is? If you kind of know the famous names and event and phrases but not really in any great detail or context then you'll love this relatively unbiased appraisal of western history. Brilliantly told and engaging.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • lilith_farrell
    York, United Kingdom
    3/27/15
    Overall
    Performance
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    "General Outline of western history"

    These lectures cover all the aspects of western history. Naturally they're not very detailed. By it serves as a start point so one can have a general idea of what time period what happens.
    The downside for me would be some of the names are very difficult to remember, so it's kind of hard to remember whose idea is what at a later lecture. Another thing is, the narrator sometimes spoke too slow or even paused for no apparent reason (not like give audience time to think). On the topic front, it's probably just me, I was totally lost in the lectures about philosophy, the great thinkers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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