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
These lectures are incredible. I have done a few of the Great Courses series here on audible, and I am usually bored and a little lost by the last few lectures. I had the opposite experience with this one...I was actually more enthralled and intrigued as they went on, and I mourned the last lecture when it was over because I didn't want the story to end!! So much magic, intrigue, mystery and drama. I can't say enough good things about this. It was so good that I'm actually starting it over to listen to it again. I never knew I would be so into Egyptology, but really, what's not to like?? It's amazing!! Bob Brier does a wonderful job, he is fun to listen to, New York accent and all. Truly amazing stuff here.
Cleopatra and Hatshepsut...girl power!! Snefru and Rameses the Great were awesome too! Really all the "characters" presented here are super interesting.
He seems really passionate about what he's taking about. He is never boring.
I constantly found myself saying "woooow" and "cooool" out loud while listening to these lectures on my headphones, eliciting some strange looks from my boyfriend.
Just listen, and become obsessed!! I did!!
I would have appreciated a bigger picture narrative and assessment of ancient Egypt, rather than one that focuses so much on archaeology.
There is far too much focus on the minutiae of the archeological record.
Yes; a book that gives a better overview of Egyptian politics, economics and society.
Bob Brier's enthusiasm for Ancient Egypt is absolutely infectious. I am not familiar with the print version, but the way he delivers this series of lectures certainly made a lasting impression on me.
The entire series was memorable to me, but the one thing that I did not realize but still find striking is the scale (time) of the Egyptian empire. Sneferu (the first Pharaoh to successfully build pyramids), was about 1300 years before King Tut. King Tut was about 1300 years before Cleopatra. On a timeline, Cleopatra is about 600 years closer to us than she was to Sneferu. I listened to this book 1 year ago and this fact still amazes me!
The print version would certainly still be interesting, but it may not be as enjoyable without Bob Brier's obvious passion for and deep understanding of Ancient Egypt.
Christian, Texan, electrician, lover of reading-I lean towards Sci-fi/fantasy but enjoy the classics, history, and science titles also.
Yes, I would recommend this to anyone who has even a passing interest in the topic.
This is a series of lectures. I have listened to several such programs. This one is so far my favorite.
I have heard nothing else by Mr. Brier. I would however like to.
The lecturer did an amazing job keeping this interesting. It is broken into half hour lectures and each one was a joy to experience.
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.
Prof. Brier is very good a relaying infomation in a fun energetic way. I feel he had perfect pacing in delivery of the lessons.
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.)
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.
Lots of great information presented in an entertaining and easy to digest manner.
There were so many stories with multiple interpretations allowing you to make up your own mind.
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.
I'd like to but not quite possible since it's 24 hours long. It's a very fast 24 hours though.
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.
yes, very interesting author know his stuff and is excited about it
only 1 character
Very interesting and comprehensive author doesn't repeat himself though and keeps the subject interesting.
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.
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.
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.
I highly recommend this to anyone who has a passing interest in Ancient History.
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.
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