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
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.)
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.
This is in my top 5 audiobooks.
Tom Holland - RubiconBarbara Mertz - Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs: A Popular History of Ancient EgyptJennifer Tobin - The Modern Scholar: Seven Wonders of the Ancient WorldStephen P. Kershaw - A Brief History of the Greek Myths Adrienne Mayor - Greek Fire, Poison Arrows, & Scorpion Bombs
All are interesting topics by enthusiastic experts.
His enthusiasm came through in his narration. I loved how he made the history so personal. He gets listeners to identify with ancient people by asking the listeners to imagine themselves in the ancient world. He made it easy to relate to people from over 3000 years ago.
I was impressed by his analysis of injury and illness in the ancient world, and their effects on ancient people. He brought home the horrors of a world without antibiotics, without pain medication, without hygeine and sanitation, and without basic medical knowledge and care. His account of what the ancients thought about disability and what happened to the old, the ill or the disabled shouldn't have been shocking, but it was.
When listening to this, I kind of felt like a time traveler.
This was a different perspective on history looking at the everyday lives of people. I liked the approach this took. It was good enough for me to want to listen to other offerings in the great courses.
It addressed how everyday people lived and addressed lives of men and women.
It was obvious he loved history.
Professor Garland's narration is bright, colourful and engaging.
A refreshing change after listening to many novels over the years.
No mention of Mayan culture at all. Plus I would have liked to hear about
North American Indians of which there was no content.
I found World History 101 to be as boring a subject as every I took. Kings and princes, the power elite of Western nations. I kept wondering what life was like for the "common man or women." When I saw the description of this book, I jumped on it. Jumped too soon, as it turned out. I felt like I was back in World History 101, but with a professor with an English accent who was even more pedantic than good old Sister What's-Her-Name. I'll think long and hard before I try anything else from The Great Courses series.
I am about 2/3 of the way through this audiobook and have found it to be extremely interesting throughout. I look forward to listening every day.
I am not familiar with any similar books. Perhaps some of the Feynman lectures could be a rough comparison. Think back to a professor whose class was enjoyable to attend, with lectures that were fluid, who could effortlessly recall interesting facts. From my perspective, this is a more reasonable analogy than any other books with which I am familiar.
The overall experience is much more interesting, and the words are pronounced much more precisely by Professor Garland than my "inner voice" if I had read the book myself. Also, I can safely drive while listening. I cannot say the same for reading a book. :)
My extreme reaction is two-fold: 1) Wow, it is good to live in the present! 2) The ancients were really not that much different than us. Obviously general cultural and societal expectations were a bit different, but not as much as I had expected.
The professor really knew his stuff, and related the information in a humorous, relaxed tone.
This is my first Great Course, so can't compare.
I really enjoyed hearing about women in the various societies.
The professor had a great sense of humor that made me smile quite a few times.
This is my first Great Course but won't be my last. I'm hooked!
Really enjoyed hearing the history of civilization as witnessed by the ordinary person of each period. The subject matter is fascinating, the lectures are well-written and impeccably researched and the delivery is fine - if not perfect. I would have listened around the clock if I hadn't had the inconvenient interruptions of life and work.
This is recommended reading/listening for any dedicated history buff! I've already suggested 'The Other Side' to many friends...
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