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The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World | [The Great Courses, Robert Garland]

The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World

Look beyond the abstract dates and figures, kings and queens, and battles and wars that make up so many historical accounts. Over the course of 48 richly detailed lectures, Professor Garland covers the breadth and depth of human history from the perspective of the so-called ordinary people, from its earliest beginnings through the Middle Ages.
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Publisher's Summary

Look beyond the abstract dates and figures, kings and queens, and battles and wars that make up so many historical accounts. Over the course of 48 richly detailed lectures, Professor Garland covers the breadth and depth of human history from the perspective of the so-called ordinary people, from its earliest beginnings through the Middle Ages.

The past truly comes alive as you take a series of imaginative leaps into the world of history's anonymous citizens, people such as a Greek soldier marching into battle in the front row of a phalanx; an Egyptian woman putting on makeup before attending an evening party with her husband; a Greek citizen relaxing at a drinking party with the likes of Socrates; a Roman slave captured in war and sent to work in the mines; and a Celtic monk scurrying away with the Book of Kells during a Viking invasion.

Put yourself in the sandals of ordinary people and discover what it was like to be among history's 99%. What did these everyday people do for a living? What was their home like? What did they eat? What did they wear? What did they do to relax? What were their beliefs about marriage? Religion? The afterlife?

This extraordinary journey takes you across space and time in an effort to be another person - someone with whom you might not think you have anything at all in common - and come away with an incredible sense of interconnectedness. You'll see the range of possibilities of what it means to be human, making this a journey very much worth taking.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


©2012 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2012 The Great Courses

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  •  
    Pandora Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 10-28-14
    Pandora Victoria, British Columbia, Canada 10-28-14 Member Since 2011
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    "One of the Best Things I've Ever Had from Audible!"

    As the title indicates, this is unequivocally one of the best listens I've ever had the delight of finding here on Audible!

    Knowing a thing or two about anthropology, I had one or two very minor quibbles with one detail or another, (specifically whether pre-Neolithic Revolution life was characterized by fear and suffering, where fossil evidence shows the rampant rise of malnutrition and disease afterwards indicating a lower quality of life for several millennia) but there are always debates in this field. These are, however, far, far, over shadowed by Garland's profound humanity, conscientiousness, and care. There were a number of times his heartfelt compassion for right's of men, women, children, and the disadvantaged literally brought tears to my eyes. There were a few times I think Garland had tears in his eyes! His critiques of the discriminations of ancient attitudes towards sexual identity, culture, class, etc., are canny, and obviously informed by a genuine empathy and open mindedness. They are not the natural insights of someone who is posturing these qualities, and it was refreshing to hear.

    Garland himself has a staggered sort of way of speaking, one brought on I think by fervour, and which I found quite charming. He is entertaining and articulate.

    The course often employs a second person narrative, and this walkthrough of ancient life was almost like a dramatic exercise or hypnosis. It draws you right along, puts you right in the shoes, and is very effective, absorbing, and quite fun.

    The information fed my curiosity for the minutiae of day to day ancient life, while also providing enlightening geopolitical context. It was also lovely to hear such up to date information, including homonids like the recently unearthed Homo Floresiensis.

    This course was engaging, educational, entertaining, inspiring and insightful. I can say something of this series which I think to be the truest compliment, that is that I've learned so much by it. I've come away with more from this course than many of the myriad books I've read collectively, and never felt my mind stray for a moment. Garland has only two courses here on Audible, the other of which I gobbled up immediately, sincerely cannot wait for his next.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rachel YAKIMA, WA, United States 05-03-14
    Rachel YAKIMA, WA, United States 05-03-14 Member Since 2013

    I am a clay sculptor and an art instructor at a community college. I mostly listen to audiobooks while I work in my home studio.

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    "Good listen, interesting topic"

    I enjoyed this book, but it wasn't amazing. The focus on the nameless masses of history was interesting, though there was little that was really amazing or surprising.

    If you like Great Courses, like I do, this one is not bad. Decent. Worth it if you find the topic intriguing and want something to listen to for a while during otherwise boring tasks.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff United States 01-15-14
    Jeff United States 01-15-14
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    "Fantastic lecture series"
    Any additional comments?

    This lecture series is packed with very interesting information, and professor Garland is very easy to listen to. If you're at all interested in history and what daily life was like in the past, I would heartily recommend it to you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dale 01-15-14
    Dale 01-15-14
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    "OUTSTANDING!!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World the most enjoyable?

    The author's unique perspective on history...i.e. from "the other side".


    What did you like best about this story?

    I felt as if I was a part of history again...loved it!


    Which character – as performed by Professor Robert Garland – was your favorite?

    No favorite


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

    No, it was better broken up into manageable chunks...gave me time to chew over what I'd just heard.


    Any additional comments?

    Wish Professor Garland had more similar lectures...

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nate 01-12-14
    Nate 01-12-14
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    "Simply amazing"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World to be better than the print version?

    Truly worth a listen or two. Kudos to Prof Robert Garland, he provides a rich listener experience.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua MEDFORD, NJ, United States 01-08-14
    Joshua MEDFORD, NJ, United States 01-08-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Enthralling experience through ancient history"
    If you could sum up The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World in three words, what would they be?

    Personable, relate-able, fascinating


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    His recitation of Chaucer in Middle English, I enjoyed hearing what I would guess to be an authentic accent to how the language was spoken.


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

    His quips about his personal feelings or how we would personally feel if we lived during those times.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I laughed at his story when he was 6 and burst out singing the hymn for the holy crusade in the middle of a restaurant with his family.

    Maybe a theme that I've discussed with my friends about how he stresses how dangerous life was in ancient times, especially during Greek and Roman times, how easily it was to become sick or injured and how often those occurrences could leave you permanently disfigured or dead.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd enjoy meeting this professor.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Walnut Creek, CA, United States 12-16-13
    Susan Walnut Creek, CA, United States 12-16-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Not So Much About Daily Life as Basic Culture"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I was excited to find this book, but I was eventually disappointed in that selection. Don't get me wrong. I thought it was a good series. It just wasn't what I surmised from the title. I have taught introductory courses about the ancient world. I know about ancient cultural practice: religion, class, labor, concepts of the world, gender roles, etc. What I was hoping for was a clear picture of daily life. Where did these people sleep? What did they do when they got up in the morning? What did they do during the day? At night? How exactly, really, specifically, did the daily life of a king differ from that of a laborer, for example? I wanted to be able to see individual people living their lives.


    What about Professor Robert Garland’s performance did you like?

    His voice was pleasant, easy to listen to.


    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. 12-14-13
    J. 12-14-13

    Ancient History, philology, non-fiction.

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    "Outstanding insights, excellent narration"
    Would you listen to The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World again? Why?

    Because of the Professors skillful delivery I'll definitely be giving this title another listen. This lectures series will round out your timeline with useful details that make it easier to parse the bigger picture.


    Any additional comments?

    Highly recommend this title to anyone who loves History.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Samara United States 12-09-13
    Samara United States 12-09-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Entertaining for a history book"
    Would you listen to The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World again? Why?

    I will be listening to this one again! It's hard to soak up all that information in one listening. and it was fun to listen to so it wouldn't be painful to do it again,


    Any additional comments?

    Professor Robert Garland's did a great job keeping me interested.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HIII 09-07-13
    HIII 09-07-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Enriching daily life"

    This listen is packed with information, it is not just a one time around listen. Disadvantage is Robert Garland himself, who just can't see to relax and speak normally - sometimes I thought he was out of breath and other times searching for his place in the text. Either way it doesn't matter but it does interrupt the flow. Many of the things you will hear you probably have heard before but overall it is very interesting. I especially loved his connection to art, both very old and newer, to enrich descriptions. I am glad I tried it and will listen to another Great Course series again soon.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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