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
Garland's accounts of various aspects of the Middle Ages is woefully inaccurate and riddled with stereotypes. As a medieval historian, really disappointed by this.
Memorable in both the structure and the enthusiasm of the presenter. There is not a better course with which to start your plunge into the Great Courses.
Professor Garland has a very soft and gentle style of delivery, which he mixes up with the occasional jest or sidenote, which really immerses you into the different worlds and eras he brings to life.
The professor does a wonderful job with everything except keeping a careful separation of our own moral judgements from those of the people he's discussing. As a result, I think his portrayal of life in some of these societies is inaccurately miserable. Remember, there are people in China today who don't want democracy, women in Islamic countries who believe it's wrong to go out in public without being covered from head to foot, etc. Women are often the keepers of a societies morality, and those poor oppressed Greek women would've been the first to say what the rightful place of a woman is. They were not all modern feminists trapped in an alien patriarchy. The societies should be evaluated on their own terms if we want to understand them.
That aside, this is well worth a listen.
interesting, relevant, relatable
I feel like I learned why Jews are always treated as different. I never knew why. It's because they would only worship one god when many gods were worshiped by others at the time. This simple difference led to issues that seem to continue over centuries.
No. It's best to have time to think about what you've heard before moving on to another time.
Well worth reading although I found the beginning time a little slow. I recommend this book to everyone!
This book relates the history of the 99% not the one %. The regular people, rather than the outliers. It fills a huge void in the traditional teaching of history, confined as that is to kings generals explorers revolutionaries et al. This history gives foundation and significance to the history on the leaders. Excellently done.
It is unfortunate that the professor's vocal delivery lacks sufficient fluidity. This alone I found a barrier to continuing listening but when added to inability to resist making judgements based on his and our modern day moral ethics made getting through it a real struggle.
When I listen to history it I want to be presented with current information on what happened and the circumstances under which it occurred. I don't want a commentary on the righteousness of it.
Robert has narrated the best Great Courses lecture I have ever listened to. Great delivery and enthralling content keep you wanting more through all 48 chapters. Highly recommended for anyone remotely interested in history.
"Nearest thing to time travel available"
Superb, loved his Greece and Rome, bought this and couldn't get enough. A natural story teller just brings the lives of ordinary people to life. Just relax and let Professor Robert Garland read the narrative to you. Got to be even better than reading it for yourself.
The leader of the Roman bandits which he did with an east end accent like Fagan from Oliver Twist or an English pirate.
Infant mortality in the ancient and medieval world 25-30%. Starvation of the children left behind after their family were wiped out by the plague and having to beg in the streets. Throwing ones relative onto a passing plague cart from an upstairs window which for a deeply religious people must have been terrible, but they had no choice.
At 53 years of age I want to go to university and study history under Professor Garland. Along with the Time Travellers Guide to Medieval England and the Time Travellers Guide to Tudor England by Ian Mortimer this is a must for those that wish to learn about history from the viewpoint of ordinary people. Works such as these have taken a long time to appear, but now they they have I hope there is more to come.
"Well worth the listening"
It informed about ordinary people through many cultures.
Very well researched and read. Obviously interested in his subject and puts it across in an interesting and accessible way.
"Excellent empathic history"
Excellent narration with extraordinary breadth of research and insight into the other side of historical life across the classical and medieval periods. Wonderful example of empathic social history done with wit, intelligent charm and compassion.
"Brilliant Trip Back In Time"
This was one of the best audiobooks I've purchased. The 48 30-minute lectures give a fascinating glimpse of what life was like for ordinary people in ancient and medieval times. The lectures are informed by a wealth of learning but are never stuffy or dry. On the contrary, they are very well written and are delivered in an excellent speaking voice by Professor Garland who brings the people "on the other side of history" brilliantly to life. Another reviewer has said that they are the nearest we'll get to a a trip by time-machine and that captures the essence of the lectures: as Prof Garland speaks we are back there with those ordinary people, sharing their hopes and fears and marveling how they coped without basic things we take for granted - medicine that is effective, spectacles to correct our vision, and so forth. Highly recommended.
"A great Listen. plenty of it. Slight repetition."
Entertaining and informative. Well presented by the prof. who sounds a bit of a stereotype, but his enthusiasm is evident and his empathy for ancient lives is clear.
"like stepping back in time...."
very good but doesn't half go on a bit... all good though, just like stepping back in time ;-)
"A Captivating Journey!"
It was an adventure to be sure and one that has kindled a new desire to know more about history, society and the human condition.
The narrator is easy to listen to becuase he loves his job which brings you into the story without much struggle.
I managed to listen all the way through doing a bit every day and highly recommend. I'll certainly resist a lecture or two.
Perhaps that's not surprising - it's a lot to cover, particularly as the topic strays out of the ancient world and into medieval England (I'd suggest ancient China would have been more interesting). The lecturer is an old-school historian, very partial to Christianity and Ancient Greece to the detriment of understanding the perspective of ancient pagans or the Persians. Many of the whistlestop anecdotes I know to be either false or misrepresented, which makes me doubt the validity of those anecdotes I'm new to. I've no doubt he's an immensely talented historian and lecturer, but this course tries to cover too much ground and ends up with a thin patchwork.
This course gives a great idea of what it was like to be an ordinary person. The course covers all stages of a persons life,and is very informative. Robert Garland makes a great host.
One of the best Great Courses I have taken. I can thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in history.
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