Ancient Egyptian civilization is so grand our minds sometimes have difficulty adjusting to it. It lasted 3,000 years, longer than any other on the planet. Its Great Pyramid of Cheops was the tallest building in the world until well into the 19th century and remains the only Ancient Wonder still standing. And it was the most technologically advanced of the ancient civilizations, with the medical knowledge that made Egyptian physicians the most famous in the world.
Yet even after deciphering its hieroglyphs, and marveling at its scarabs, mummies, obelisks, and sphinxes, Egyptian civilization remains one of history's most mysterious, as "other" as it is extraordinary. This chronological survey presents the complete history of ancient Egypt's three great Kingdoms: the Old Kingdom, when the pyramids were built and Egypt became a nation under the supreme rule of the pharaoh and the rules of Egyptian art were established; the Middle Kingdom, when Egypt was a nation fighting to restore its greatness; and the New Kingdom, when all the names we know today-Hatshepsut, Tutankhamen, Ramses the Great, Cleopatra, and others-first appeared. Professor Brier's 48 lectures glisten with the kind of vivid anecdotes and human glimpses that make this ancient world breathe again.
"The fun of history is in the details," he notes. "Knowing that Ramses the Great was crippled by arthritis for the last decade of his long life makes us more sympathetic to the boastful monarch who fathered more than 100 children. If we understand what it was like to be a miner sent to the turquoise mines in the Sinai mountains in the summer, we will feel a kinship with our long-dead counterparts."
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.
©1999 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)1999 The Great Courses
I once had the opportunity to listen to this series, and I did so twice. Now the opportunity to own it on Audible has put tears in my eyes, literally tears in my eyes. This series won't make you an Egyptologist, but you will know so much by the end of it that the uninitiated might mistake you for one. I once visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a friend and when we hit the Egypt section I turned into a tour guide. After explaining how the Temple of Dendur ended up in New York, I turned and drew her attention to the interesting art style of the Amarna panels, and at this point she stopped me and asked, "How do you know all this?" This is how I know all this. I once held a group of people around a campfire in Eastern Washington spellbound for an hour as spoke on what we owed to the Egyptians, the basic ways of thinking and acting that we owe to them. I'm serious... spellbound (it helped that everyone was a bit intoxicated.)
This series will make you interesting. They might as well stick a guarantee on it.
Just to give you an idea... there's a half hour on mummified animals. Mummified ANIMALS. There's already about two solid hours on human mummies, but Brier feels that to be complete you need to know about the animals as well. If you are thinking, "How am I going to get through thirty minutes on dried up animals, let alone 24 solid hours on Egypt?" let me assure you, it will be over before you know it and before you want it to be. I've listened to a lot of Teaching Company lectures in my time, and while they never have anyone truly boring you often are reminded that these people are all university professors. But Brier's delivery is almost mesmerizing, his enthusiasm for the subject positively boyish. This series will never require your patience.
There may be special interest to those with an interest in Biblical history, whether you are Christian or otherwise. Whenever you reach a point where Biblical history intersects with Egyptian, Brier will stop and discuss it. There are several lectures devoted exclusively to the topic. I'll lay it out: Brier is a historian and therefore does not regard the Bible stories as literal truths, but he treats them with true sympathy and interest. His conclusions really surprised me, especially regarding the Exodus. His speculations on Joseph are perhaps more of a stretch.
The one rather slight downside to the whole series is that Brier has some rather fanciful theories about the life and times... and death... of Tutankhamen, a lot of which have been, if I'm not mistaken, disproven in the years since this first came out and which anyway were never taken seriously in mainstream Egyptology. Speculating about the Bible is one thing, but Brier doesn't pretend it's anything but speculation. His Tutankhamen material is, despite disclaimers, told with the passion of a true believer, which makes it slightly tragic when you discover afterwards that some of the basic facts just aren't there. It makes for an interesting listen, at least.
Overall, this is a MUST PURCHASE. Everyone needs a pair of really good shoes, a couple of good jackets, and a lecture series on Ancient Egypt. Do not hesitate.
The professor is engaging and a great story teller. He gives you all the information you could want without boring you. He does an excellent job of making you want to learn more about Ancient Egypt. I feel like I got an accurate portrayal of the psychology, religion, architecture, medicine, magic, technology, and sociology of the Ancient Egyptians.
Absolutely. I listened to to for hours at a time and never lost interest.
The presentation was perfect, in other words, the lesson plan was very well thought out and executed perfectly. Great top down approach that kept a linear path through and made sure you kept up along the way with small reminders pasted in here and there. I was able to retain a lot more than usual because of the effective teaching style of hinting at something to motivate, elaborating on the details then systematic reminders.
I loved the use of historical data to speculate on daily life or personalities.
He talks to you like he really LOVES Kmt (Egypt for the unlearned ;P) and does so in a very friendly way.
This Audiobook touched me and left me a little misty when the instructor signed off. I didn't want it to end.
This one is a definite keeper. I enjoyed these lectures precisely because they were not dry, filled with dates and dull facts. Each lecture told a story.
I felt as if I was on a personal tour with Dr. Brier in Egypt as we walked through the museum, the pyramids, Karnak, the Valley of the Kings and Au Simbel.
I've seen him on various television documentaries on ancient Egypt.
We are all ancient Egyptians!
Prof Bob Brier obviously knows his stuff, but what sets him apart in this series of lectures is how deeply he draws you into the characters and stories of Ancient Egypt.
Bob Brier is a great orator a World class Egyptologist. Unfortunately this recording was ruined by some very annoying post production elements that detract greatly from the presentation of the material.
At the beginning of every segment a very, annoying musical score is added. I's a loud, trumpeting "fanfare" that serves no purpose but to annoy and is completely out of place.
If you like to listen to Audiobooks in a relaxed setting this post production music will set your teeth on edge and send you reaching for the volume to pot that awful music down every 20 minutes or so. No excuse for bad decisions like this.
I don't understand how anyone thought that adding this audio could possibly make the series more enjoyable.
Other than this the series was great, as a "primer" to Egyptian History. You might have heard most of the anecdotes, but Prof. Brier adds enough details that you will be sure to learn something.
I won't buy another audiobook lecture if it has these post production "score" added to it.
-which is why I'm mentioning it here.
the best book
The knowledge is fascinating and prof. Bob Briar
It made me dig deeper for knowledge about ancient Egypt.
Professor Brier is obviously obsessed with Egypt and everything related to it. His passion for the subject will rub off on you and makes this course so exciting that you won't want to stop listening. His description of the process of human mumification, which he himself has ACTUALLY PERFORMED is probably the highlight of this course.... even if it does make one a bit queasy.
My favorite Pharoh as related by Professor Brier was probably Ramses the Great, His youthful bravado, monument building and mysterious midlife crisis (which according to Prof Brier may have been related to the exodus) made the story of his life one of the more fascinating sets of lectures included in this course.
One thing that did worry me slightly during this course was tendency of Professor Brier to expound his own personal theories as opposed to strictly analyzing historical documents or archaeological evidence. However, I'm sure most listeners would agree that his theories are generally both captivating and logically sound.
One important point that he stresses is that the Egyptians had a tradition of excluding negative events from their official records. Thus, we can't expect to find wall paintings depicting the Israelite exodus or millitary defeats. This doesn't mean that these events didn't happen. Additionally, Thousands of years separate us from the ancient Egyptians and papyrus doesn't keep well. In all, we can't expect to be completely certain about every aspect of ancient Egyptian life but Professor Brier has given us a thoroughly belivable picture.
This does not apply since this is a lecture.
This does not apply since this is a lecture.
The Professor lectures well. His interest, passion, and expertise shine through.
This does not apply since this is a lecture. Although there are several points of the historical timeline that the Professor is particularly adept at bringing to life. The multiple connections that are made connecting the legacy of Egypt to modern times almost given as small asides at times, are quite effective.
The Professor's ability to cover such a long period of time and still connect the listener/student to the past on personal level is top notch. All history should be delivered with such passion, understanding, respect, and appreciation. Well done. Highly recommended.
I have listened to many audiobooks on history and this is by far my favourite. Bob Brier makes you feel like you were really there. Whether you are interested in solid dates and facts, or the romance and wonder of Egypt, you will definitely not be disappointed.
"Good book, bad speaker"
Every ozher book about history, cause I like this stuff.
He is a awful speaker. He can`t right stress the words and sentence. I`m from Germany, and for myself his speaking is hard to understand. Sometimes he is speaking sluggish, than he fired like a bren gun, and most bad: He can`t speak accented and plain. Sorry for the very good text!
Professor Brier shouldn`t speak audiobooks.
"fascinating, and a joy to listen to"
one of the best
the narrator and of course all the Pharaohs- and explorers
voice, pace, content
Egypt- the first civilisation
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