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The History of Ancient Egypt | [The Great Courses]

The History of Ancient Egypt

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (251 )
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Performance
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  •  
    aaron gilbert Pearland, TX United States 06-24-14
    aaron gilbert Pearland, TX United States 06-24-14 Member Since 2012

    Christian, Texan, electrician, lover of reading-I lean towards Sci-fi/fantasy but enjoy the classics, history, and science titles also.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So well taught! So interesting!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes, I would recommend this to anyone who has even a passing interest in the topic.


    What other book might you compare The History of Ancient Egypt to and why?

    This is a series of lectures. I have listened to several such programs. This one is so far my favorite.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Bob Brier’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have heard nothing else by Mr. Brier. I would however like to.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The lecturer did an amazing job keeping this interesting. It is broken into half hour lectures and each one was a joy to experience.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are like I was and you keep looking at the Great Lectures wondering if you might enjoy them then this is the perfect place to start.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly Scottsdale, AZ, United States 06-23-14
    Holly Scottsdale, AZ, United States 06-23-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    7
    3
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    Story
    "Fun and Fascinating"
    What about Professor Bob Brier’s performance did you like?

    Prof. Brier is very good a relaying infomation in a fun energetic way. I feel he had perfect pacing in delivery of the lessons.


    Any additional comments?

    While listening to the audiobook I found myself exercising a little bit long just to finish a chapter and start a new one. (Any Professor that can do that must be good.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yoshi Yoshitani United States 06-19-14
    Yoshi Yoshitani United States 06-19-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Really nice overview, very Relaxing"

    I love listening to this right before I go to bed. It's nice and lulling and the professor gives you a good overview of Egypt. He tells you interesting little stories, and also is very clear when he is giving opinion and when he is giving fact. This is highly enjoyable, and I would recommend this to any one!

    Word of warning, he has a very distinct and thick accent. Prepare for him you say "you know?" at least 5 times a lecture. But he does sound very friendly.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken new york, NY, United States 04-18-14
    Ken new york, NY, United States 04-18-14 Member Since 2007
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    30
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    Story
    "Brings Egypt to life"
    What did you love best about The History of Ancient Egypt?

    Lots of great information presented in an entertaining and easy to digest manner.


    What did you like best about this story?

    There were so many stories with multiple interpretations allowing you to make up your own mind.


    What does Professor Bob Brier bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Prof. Bob Brier is a passionate storyteller about Egypt. He makes history fun to listen to. You get the sense of sitting around a fire while your uncle who happens to be an amazing historian regales you with ancient tales of Egypt.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I'd like to but not quite possible since it's 24 hours long. It's a very fast 24 hours though.


    Any additional comments?

    This rekindled my love of Egyptian history. I visited some Egyptian collections here in NYC after listening to this and the carvings and paintings seemed to come to life as the stories replayed in my head. Highly recommend this to any fans of Egyptian history or history in general.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hyrum Orem, UT, United States 04-18-14
    Hyrum Orem, UT, United States 04-18-14 Member Since 2002
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    "Great History of Ancient Egypt"
    Would you listen to The History of Ancient Egypt again? Why?

    yes, very interesting author know his stuff and is excited about it


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    King tut


    Which character – as performed by Professor Bob Brier – was your favorite?

    only 1 character


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    the end


    Any additional comments?

    Very interesting and comprehensive author doesn't repeat himself though and keeps the subject interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L'Ara Centreville, VA, United States 04-18-14
    L'Ara Centreville, VA, United States 04-18-14 Member Since 2010

    Laurie S. Sherman

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    "This Lecturer is not worth time/credit!"

    I love listening to the great courses. We expected the Ancient Egypt course to be great, as the history is so rich.
    However this lecturer was very disappointing. My husband and I, both ardent listeners to the various courses, and we love to learn more deeply about many subjects from linguistics to history to ... well, see the Course list! We listen with great interest to many of the various lectures... we got hooked when some of them were offered in a BOGO sale. The best for us was the History of Language, what an engaging speaker. However the lecturer ron Egypt, though an expert in his field, repeats almost everything he says, and truly does not seem to have a high regard for his audience. I must say that he has a great love of his subject that shines through, but he loses his audience, or at least he did at my house, with too many self-important opinions that seemed to us to come off as some sort of inside snide statements. He is bothersome to listen to for all those hours, which we have not minded at all in most of the other Courses. We couldn't actually finish it because it was just too much of an ego trip for him, perhaps, and some of the lectures were not substantitive or interesting. We don't suggest at all that you give up on the Great Courses series. There are very many we have listened to with joy and discovery. We don't recommend the Medical Myths one, scary bad) but many others that we recommend, with the best being the History of Language course due to the lecturer.. So far, of the many that we have so enjoyed,the faults of those two have very much more to do with the lecturer than his subject. Good luck! Hope this helps. L'Ara & John

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Kokomo, IN, United States 04-14-14
    Lisa Kokomo, IN, United States 04-14-14 Member Since 2009
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    "Spellbinding"
    Would you listen to The History of Ancient Egypt again? Why?

    Yes. Even thought the entire thing is over 24 hours long, I would definitely listen to it again just so that I can reabsorb some of the information.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The History of Ancient Egypt?

    I don't think I ever realized how long Egyptian history is. Cleopatra is closer in history to us than she was to the pyramid builders.


    What about Professor Bob Brier’s performance did you like?

    He is extremely knowledgeable about the subject, but makes it interesting and accessible to the person who doesn't know a lot about Egyptian history.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this to anyone who has a passing interest in Ancient History.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Floyds Knobs, IN United States 04-08-14
    Amazon Customer Floyds Knobs, IN United States 04-08-14 Member Since 2009
    ratings
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    5
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    "A Great Foundation for Novices"
    Any additional comments?

    Professor Brier made comprehensible an incredible span of history. The lectures were enjoyable, informative, and accomplished Brier’s goal of stimulating further interest in Egyptology. I had little to no background in Egyptian history, but completed the lectures feeling I had built a solid foundation and understanding of ancient Egyptian history, art and culture. Each of the 48 lectures was well worth the time I invested. Professor Brier presented a sweeping history, acknowledging areas where academics were strong or spotty, presenting various theories and interpretations, and balancing his own ideas with opposing or different theories. I would highly recommend this lecture for any novice interested in this ancient and mysterious land.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Peter Perth, Australia 03-25-14
    Peter Perth, Australia 03-25-14 Member Since 2009
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    "The Mummies LIVE"

    Prof Brier is simply brilliant. I listen to, and read a LOT of history, but this man is truly gifted - he makes all the events memorable, and intersperses the material with trivia that is soooo fascinating. What makes this experience exceptional is A) Prof Brier's encyclopaedic grasp of the material, b) he is in love with ancient Egypt and his enthusiasm is really infectious c) he repeats salient parts so that even those with dodgy memories can easily recall facts. and d) egypt is truly the beginning of all civilisations - the most successful and long lived civilisation on the planet... understanding Egypt is part of understanding who we are, and how we got to this point. One hesitation - to a non American Prof Brier has such a thick Noooo Yorke accent he sounds like Kermit the frog - when you start. Then you start to love him and Brooklyn is forgiven. Ps this is the man who has used ancient techniques and successfully mummified a modern (dead) human. Thats dedication for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan North San Jose, CA, US 03-18-14
    Nathan North San Jose, CA, US 03-18-14 Member Since 2012

    @natesrandomisms Believer (27yrs), Husband (15yrs), Dad (3yrs), Son (35yrs), Broken neck survivor.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Learning is great!"
    What did you like best about this story?

    The professor does a great job in placing you in ancient Egypt.


    What about Professor Bob Brier’s performance did you like?

    Teaches life into a potentially dead subject.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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