Spanning more than two centuries, the Greek and Persian wars forged a new world order, sparking developments in battle strategy, naval technology, world exploration, and art and culture that impact the world even today.
These 24 lectures are your opportunity to survey this globe-spanning conflict and see the human experience behind some of the most remarkable episodes in ancient history.
Look beyond the infamous story of King Leonidas and his famed "300" and uncover the people and the world of the ancient Greeks and Persians. The clash of these two great cultures helped spark some of the most important cultural events in the history of the world: the chronicles of Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon; the dramas of Aeschylus; and Greece's remarkable invention of democracy.
An expert on methods of ancient warfare, Professor Hale offers rare insights into how each skirmish was lost and won. You'll meet the great Greek and Persian leaders, and compare the war technologies they pioneered.
But Professor Hale offers more than just textbook descriptions. An accomplished archaeologist, he provides rare and valuable insights gleaned from years of fieldwork, including an analysis of the landscape of the battlefield of Marathon and modern archaeological surveys of the ground where Xerxes and his engineers dug an 80-foot-wide canal across an Aegean cape.
It's a perspective on history you'll find virtually nowhere else. Bringing together both sides of the story - Greek and Persian - Professor Hale creates a complex and informative account of this world-changing era.
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
Brilliant, enthusiastic lecture.
The extraordinary drama surrounding birth of the Western World.
Brilliant, enthusiastic lecture.
Professor Hale has a gift for beginning and ending on a high point.
If only I had history professors like Hale when I was in college…. But at least I can enjoy it now.
I have listened to several Great Courses, and have to commend this speaker. He was well spoken, concise, and kept me interested in the topic. Wonderful lectures!
John Hale spends most of his lectures trying to defend the "legend" of Xerxes. No battle as lopsided as Thermopylae has ended in a "Victory" for an aggressor. it broke the back of the Persians, forever. He makes it sound like a whooping unmatched in history. Hale tries so hard to aggrandize the Persians that he totally losses perspective of the consequences of the Greek and Persian wars, especially regarding Thermopylae.
this is the second course I have purchased with John Hale. His abilty to tell a compelling story is second to none. I thoroughly enjoyed this historical adventure.
"history at its best: riveting and informative"
The brilliant reading style of the narrator makes you feel you are there at the battles, on the marches, with the politicians and intriguers- rather than a distant observer. I've enjoyed a lot of the Great Courses history series and this is one of my favourites. The narrator takes you along, in a fascinating and exciting journey. The story of the march of the 10,000 Greeks is mind boggling: the flow of events, intrigue, trials and determination of those involved, with links to Socrates and to Alexander the Great (if ever a story cries out for an epic film it's this!).
The reading style and material that transports you back in time.
Humour, excitement & enthusiasm; with paced reading that draws you in.
One of the few books where I've found myself recounting some of the events to other people.
"Wonderful. Very easy to listen to."
Battles are described wonderfully. There is much passion in those parts of the lectures in particular.
The battle of Thermopylae
The death of King Leonidas
"You'll not want to put this down"
One of the very best
Yes! - But it pays to take your time and absorb the information, it is delivered in such a thought-provoking manor.
One of the better Great Courses books.Professor John R. Hale does a great job of giving us the history in a balanced way, he has an unbiased view of both parties. (This, to me, is the most critical aspect of any book on history) He shows the strengths and weaknesses of both sides in a way that is informative rather than critical (Unlike some books I've read)One part of the book I find most interesting is Xerxes invasion of mainland Greece. This covers the well-known heroic tragedy at Thermopylae and the outright bizarre event on the Bosporus...
He describes "Xerxes Canal" - An earth-work that should be classed among the wonders of the ancient world. - In fact up to the 1990's experts didn't believe the ancients were capable of such a feat.
I had to smile at a Greek diplomat's solution to the problem of Persian court etiquette ;-)
Prof John R. Hale has that special way of delivering information that makes you think about things in a new light. When all is said and done This is one of the best books about the ancient world I've read.
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