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
The closest we can get to walking a mile in their shoes. Presenting the various classes of people in the ancient world, Professor Robert Garland's expertise and lecturing style brings a far removed and unknown reality to life.
The author discusses more of his feelings than actual history. I didn't appreciate spending several minutes on the dramatic nuances between main characters in THE ILIAD, knowing Homer (author of THE ILIAD) lived hundreds of years after the Trojan War and the drama depicted must be considered fiction. Furthermore, parts like these in Garland's presentation serve little purpose other than pathetic attempts in humanizing the author, which are inserted whenever the author wants to indulge himself. This could have been half as long.
Humans have lived, loved, murdered, enslaved, worshipped and survived. Here we get a glimpse at previous cultures how they lived. Many aspects feel alien and others familiar.
The stories told in the lectures are well worth listening to.
I heard two of the lectures when they were on the Audible channels. I loved the way he presented the history from a regular person perspective as much as possible. Professor Garland is engaging and enthusiastic about the subject matter and often builds on previous lectures.
I really enjoyed listening to this lecture, I learned a lot of information about the common people front different cultures. Now when I read of particular culture I can understand better knowing their background.
Easy to understand, pleasant listening. Learned a lot about ordinary people.
Learned that when Romans left Britain, society fell seriously into decline.
The woman warrior - Queen Boddicca
... Not able to do that, but did listen nightly to all lectures.
PLEASE, tell me how to access additional info on these lectures. There is a statement that says these materials are in my library. I cannot find them.
I love to read. I love to chat. I love to help. However the thing I love most of all is to learn about anything and everything. Hit me up!!!
The vast majority of all of human kind both past and even present are those people who make up "the other side of history". Dr. Garland gives an excellent perspective on the common people's daily lives. He makes their stories accessible to the modern day person and even tells us how he and other historians have come to these conclusions about their daily lives. all 48 lectures do a great job of giving us a glimpse into our ancestors past and he even ties it altogether with us in the modern age in his final lecture.
If I had any complaint it would be that the lectures are really only focused on the "Western World" but at 48 lectures as it is I can understand partly why and given Dr. Garland's expertise in this particular field.
I have listened to many of the Great Courses and to date this is by far my favorite. If you are interested in history this is a must listen.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
Professor Robert Garland has made a career of piecing together cultural details of ancient civilizations. Garland’s journey back in time is highly speculative. It addresses the lives of losers and the underclass of social groupings and civilizations that have no written records of their thoughts, feelings, or life struggles. Any written record of the early years of human events are revealed as legend, or surmised from preserved remains.
As Winston Churchill said, “History is written by the victors.” Garland acknowledges Churchill’s observation while offering educated guesses about what life was like for the unsung and defeated. He goes back to the beginning of the human race by noting that Homo Sapiens were the only human species to survive in the family of great apes. Though Neanderthals and Denisovans once roamed the earth, the purity of their genetic makeup is overwhelmed by the DNA of North African Homo Sapiens. Though Neanderthals and Denisovans had similar brain sizes, were bipedal, and similar to Homo Sapiens, they disappear as a distinct species of human either through internecine war, or evolutionary selection. Garland suggests it may have been both; i.e. warfare and evolution, with a cognitive growth burst for the singular hominid called Sapiens. No one really knows.
Life in these tumultuous times remains a struggle for survival. Women are still discriminated against; rule is hierarchical, and the gap between rich and poor remains in place. Slavery is somewhat diminished but poverty becomes the new form of citizen enslavement. Agriculture is the main source of wealth but growth of cities like London, Norwich, and York begin the march toward mercantilism, industrialization, and the rise of the middle class.
One concludes from these lectures that “The Other Side of History” is as brutal for a small minority of victors as the general population. The threat of disease and death seem equally prevalent for victors and the poor; however the victors live a life with many more pleasures than the vanquished or poor while they are alive. Perhaps, a minuscule middle class, that is destined to become a dominant population cohort, lives best by neither being a beggar or an aristocratic leader. Garland notes that leaders are many times more likely to die from murder than the general population.
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