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."
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©1999 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)1999 The Great Courses
Always moving. Always listening. Always learning. "After all this time?" "Always."
When it comes to fantasy archeologists, no one comes close to Harrison Ford's 'Dr. Henry Walton 'Indiana' Jones, Jr. ("Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom", 1994, and etc.). In real life, Egypt's former Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass has the fedora and matinee screen idol presence, but Great Courses Lecturer Bob Brier is the dashing adventurer and clever thinker.
When Brier talks about pyramids, temples and tombs, it's with the familiarity of someone who's been in them so many times, he knows all the secret hiding places, and maybe - just maybe - is making arrangements for a sarcophagus of his own. He dishes about pharaohs, families, feuds and fashion like Cleopatra wad a Kardashian sister. Ancient Egypt - especially during the reign of Rameses the Great felt real to me.
Brier starts with prehistoric Egypt and moves to Narmer, arguably the first Pharaoh around 3,000 BCE; and moves to the last dynasty, which ended almost at the same time Jesus was born. There are separate chapters on the Rosetta Stone and hieroglyphs; Biblical Egyptian history; and mummification. Brier's an expert on that - he made a mummy in 1994. That's in this Great Courses "The History of Ancient Egypt".
48 lectures sounds like a lot (pun intended!) but that's 3000 years and the start of organized civilization and recorded history.
Brier's really enthusiastic about Egyptology, and it's easy to imagine him animatedly lecturing in front of a college classroom. He does have a heavy New York accent, but he's so thrilled with what he's teaching, I forgot about that. Unfortunately, he does have a verbal tic that I noticed eventually - he uses the word 'right' as a bridge. Better than 'like', I guess. I probably wouldn't have noticed it if I listened to it like most Great Courses - one lecture a day, on the way home from work. I was so interested in this one, I finished the whole course in 3 1/2 weeks.
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I didn't know what to expect, having not purchased from this series before. I was hooked in the first lecture. It was fascinating from beginning to end. I learned so much. I think was presented in a very accessible manner. Can't say enough good things about this!
Brier covered so much information, much still new to me although I've read a lot of books about Egypt, that it is a delight to listen. My only complaint is about the canned applause before and after each lecture. I'm willing to bet big money there was no audience present. Not enough to deduct anything though. I recommend this to anyone that has any interest in ancient Egypt. Rickapolis
Say something about yourself!
I have studied Egypt on my own but I found much I didn't know. I really enjoyed not only the content but that he told it in very entertaining and personal ways. Excellent!
Listening is an absolutely critical life skill. Hearing the stories of others is one of its many rewards.
This series was incredible. There is 24 hours of listening here, 48 lectures at 30 minutes each, but the listening experience was more coherent, and flew by faster, than many 9-12 hour novels.
From Narmer to Cleopatra, this series gives you a really solid overview of the long and impressive history of ancient Egypt. The course literally covers more than 3,000 years and never gets overwhelming or confusing. I have a very small complaint that Mr. Briar tends not to give you a date very often, but you can look that up easily enough. I spent a lot of time anyway googling different temples and artifacts as he mentioned them so I could see them!
After listening to these lectures you will not only have a head packed with interesting stories and facts, you will be thinking about what Egypt-related thing you can read, watch, or listen to next. (And Bob's last lecture gives you a number of ideas for just that.)
Can't recommend this enough. the professor has a relaxed style and voice which I find quite suitable to his lectures. You are sure to learn a great deal, no matter your age or knowledge of Egypt.
the presenter and Authority on Ancient Egypt is very well organized makes it very clear to understand in plain English and makes it fun to listen to all the while getting educated about ancient Egypt you learn a lot of things that had names and words associated with them that you never knew we're apart of ancient Egypt
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