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.
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.
©2012 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2012 The Great Courses
Such a span of history! And yet, Professor Garland is able to both relativize and contextualize each segment in such a way that the immediacy of the daily life of ancient people is palpable. A splendid series!
I enjoyed this series of lectures very much. I will have to listen to them several more times in order to absorb all of the information presented. Very well done!
After reading the reviews for this Great Course and listening to the excerpt, I decided to take a chance on 48 lectures (24 hours!) on Ancient History. I was enchanted by the approach - everyday life of the everyday person - and the professor's style. I learned so much while listening in my car - ten minutes here & ten minutes there.
I have to say I teared up at the final lecture when Professor Garland summed up the course and said goodbye.
My next selection will be "Greece and Rome: An Integrated History of the Ancient Mediterranean."
It surpassed my expectations. Professor Garland is a real teacher, not just a learned researcher, although he is certainly that, as well. His love and respect for his subject matter comes through in the intelligence as well as the humanity of his organization and deliver. This is a work about real people and for real people. Bravo!
The comprehensiveness of this course. I was not expecting to hear topics such as Greek refugees or Viking raiders.
Alexander the Great. He attempted a social experiment with the marriages at Susa to unite the west with the east.
Seladdin, the sultan of Syria and Egypt during the 2nd Crusade.
The extremely violent eruption that occurred in the area of Sumatra 75,000 years ago that nearly caused the species homo sapiens to become extinct.
Professor Garland was really adept at providing descriptive scenes with numerous examples and providing dates to put everything into a clear perspective. His course was extremely thorough. The one question that I have is: Did the Indus Valley civilization leave much of an impact on western civilization?
Since it's an audio course, I'm ranking it against other courses I've listened to rather than audiobooks in general. This course's subject matter is fascinating, but the delivery of the narrator falls somewhat short.
Focus on the "great man" approach is extremely common, particularly in ancient history where the sources are limited and generally commissioned by said "great men." It's refreshing to see a general survey of what life was like in various ancient societies.
There aren't characters, but Dr. Garland's speech is a little off and took some getting used to. Once you get involved in the material, however, there shouldn't be any issue.
Strongly recommended if the subject matter interests you; not recommended if it does not or if you don't like listening to audio courses and/or history podcasts.
I greatly enjoyed these lectures. They cover a very broad range of human history in an interesting and engaging way. Due to the rather large range of history, the material can move quickly and without as much detail as I would have liked at times. Still I learned a lot through the lectures and would recommend them, especially if you are interested in the daily lives of the ordinary people thought history.
Listening to a professor discuss his life's work via a series of lectures is not always nearly so engrossing but this one was. Like everything else, not every section interested me the same, but overall, it was fascinating. There were times, of course, when I wondered how they could have possibly known something, but for the most part, all seemed credible.
Professor Garland is a very good orator and I passed many pleasant commuter hours with him.
Love history, love books. Love current events. Christian conservative. British history. Military history. Political history. Classic fiction.
Impossible to be disappointed with this one. The professor is a master of putting you in the place and making you care about the subject. He's a great narrator as well.
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