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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.

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

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  •  
    Khellian United States 11-14-13
    Khellian United States 11-14-13 Member Since 2005
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    "Easily Five Stars !"
    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?

    No - the presentation by the professor is outstanding and that would be missing from the book. However a book on the same topic would be interesting in its own right.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World?

    One of the theme throughout the whole 48 lesson course was how the common people were remarkably similar in that they shared the same hardships and threats throughout history. Indeed history does seem to repeat itself.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    There really aren't any scenes as course in the great course series -


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Again this course could never be made into a film.


    Any additional comments?

    Your can tell that this was a labor of love by Professor Garland whose knowledge and passion for the subject bring alive an insight to the other side of history, that of the common people. His presentation is perfectly pitched to provide interesting education together with that spark which brings to life his subject. This is only the second in the Great Courses series where I have awarded 5 stars and I don't do so lightly - all 48 lectures were a truly enjoyable experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Middleton, WI USA 11-01-13
    Christine Middleton, WI USA 11-01-13 Member Since 2011

    I live in Madison, WI, and graduated University with 172 credits, because I was very bad at not just taking classes that interested me.

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    "Well presented, in depth, interesting book."
    What made the experience of listening to The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World the most enjoyable?

    The author/professor who reads it has a great interest in the subject matter, and draws from a variety of sources. Each lecture has a focus 'Being Old in Greece' - for example, and really draws you into what their experiences would have been. Where there is not original material to draw from, he leans on archeology and similar contemporary societies.


    What other book might you compare The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World to and why?

    It's the first 'Great Course' I've listened to of it's kind - however it is much more like you're sitting in a great University lecture hall - only without the 8am and hard, uncomfortable lecture seats.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I'm not finished with it yet - it's a run time of 24 hours! But so far I like the focus on Greece more than the Egyptian culture. The author did his doctoral work on that, and he's very enthusiastic.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Uh, it's a college course.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Greenville, Texas, United States 10-31-13
    Andrew Greenville, Texas, United States 10-31-13 Member Since 2013
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    4
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    "About time someone told this side of history"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely, and have already. Professor Garland brought to light the ordinary lives of ordinary people throughout history; and it was a fascinating story. Frequently inspiring, occasionally heart-wrenching, but worth listening to all the way through.


    What other book might you compare The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World to and why?

    I know of nothing comparable, being new to the audiobook scene.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Robert Garland’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is the first time I have been privileged to listen to one of Professor Garland's lectures; I wish he had taught at my alma mater, as he is easily the most interesting history teacher I have ever learned from. His diction is clear, and he clearly loves his subject.


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

    Wanted to, yes. As it is 24 hours long, however, I was unable to. I spent a few hours a day over the course of a week listening to this.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher BROOKLYN, NY, United States 10-31-13
    Christopher BROOKLYN, NY, United States 10-31-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great intro to details history usually leaves out!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World the most enjoyable?

    Garland gives a very succinct and digestible, and yet impressively extensive and deep, account of the kind of details that "capital H" History, if you will, leaves out. This angle on history has garnered more and more interest in the past few decades, and yet it's still fairly difficult to find information on it that's this good. Garland gets into the details that let you really picture life in the ancient world.

    This will be an excellent resource to anyone who is interested in ancient history and wants to be able to visualize what it was like to live back then. I'd also recommend it to anyone who wants to write fiction set in the ancient world, as it'll give you some idea of what your characters should be going through on a day-to-day basis: very important for realism!


    What aspect of Professor Robert Garland’s performance would you have changed?

    Garland's diction is not smooth the way one might want the reader of a story to be, but his highly annunciated and somewhat halting speech patterns are actually great for a lecture; it's how one might read a history book aloud to oneself for maximum comprehension and retention of facts. Also, he's got a bit of a lisp, but don't let that put you off; it's really not unpleasant once you get used to it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beatriz Sao Paulo, Brazil 10-25-13
    Beatriz Sao Paulo, Brazil 10-25-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Eurocentric in scope"
    What disappointed you about The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World?

    While this course is described as exploring "the breadth and depth of human history" from the common man's perspective, it is in truth focused on European history and, more specially, classical civilization.I expected to learn more about life in ancient China, Japan, Russia, India, the Americas, African civilizations other than Egypt (their enemies, the Nubians, are not even mentioned) and other places, to give me a better idea of the Ancient world. Instead, this series of lectures focused on Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and the usual. Even here, he spends many lectures on Rome and Greece, while rushing through Persia and ignoring Thracians and Goths.These lectures also tends to treat each civilization as mainly homogeneous. Despite lasting a thousand years, Rome is treated simply as "Rome". The social changes as it progressed from a small village to a huge empire are not shown. Greece and other civilizations are treated the same way.


    Would you recommend The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World to your friends? Why or why not?

    Perhaps, if they are specifically interested in classical European history. If they are looking for a broader scope, I would steer them away.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The use of the second person (you) to place the listener in the action, as it were, is gimmicky and not very effective.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sherry Coldspring, Texas, United States 10-12-13
    Sherry Coldspring, Texas, United States 10-12-13 Member Since 2004
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    "Enthralled, I listened twice."
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World?

    157 holidays a year in ancient Rome amazed me. Then, if one killed their father, the punishment was to be sewn into a bag with a snake, a rooster, a dog and a monkey, and, then thrown into water? We are not so barbaric now as I had thought!


    Have you listened to any of Professor Robert Garland’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    It all mesmerized me.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the only book I have ever reviewed. This one was just too interesting to believe, for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Levi Moselle, ms, United States 10-12-13
    Levi Moselle, ms, United States 10-12-13 Member Since 2013

    Age 30, love history. Mostly war stuff.

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    "Definitely a good listen"
    What did you love best about The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World?

    It was a little slow at the beginning, but after the first couple of chapters I couldn't turn it off.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World?

    The narrators humor.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Robert Garland’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Not sure


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evan Nicholas SANTA MONICA, CA, US 10-01-13
    Evan Nicholas SANTA MONICA, CA, US 10-01-13
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    "Extremely Interesting"
    Where does The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Among the best lecture series I've listened to.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Being a child in Ancient Greece.


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

    No, episodic.


    Any additional comments?

    Perhaps some would say a little dry, but I found the content extremely interesting and well delivered. Offers great perspective.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    george Bathurst, Australia 09-26-13
    george Bathurst, Australia 09-26-13 Member Since 2011

    New Trickster

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    "Interesting but not in large chunks."

    Life for the ordinary Soldier, Slave or Citizen in the world of the Ancients was just a tad above awful. Reading about (hearing about) it was interesting but I made the mistake ( i think) of listening to 5 or 6 lectures at each session.

    I will try again in 6 - 12 months and listen again, but only to one lecture per week. (Like a student would.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Toronto, Ontario, Canada 09-24-13
    David Toronto, Ontario, Canada 09-24-13 Member Since 2002
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    "The course I've been searching for"
    Any additional comments?

    Prof. Garland begins the course by noting that it's one that he's been preparing for all his life. Listening to it, I feel like this is the course I've been searching for all my life -- or at least, for as long as I've had an interest in history. I've always been fascinated by the question of what life was like in the streets and farms and backwaters of history, rather than in the palaces, and it's always been a topic that tends to be given short shrift. This course covers the daily lives of ancient peoples in exuberant detail. It's a lovely series of lectures, enthusiastically presented and richly detailed. I'm two-thirds of the way through, now, and not looking forward to having it end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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