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
This lecture series truly delivers -- it was fascinating, fresh and shed light into some of the shadowy corners of life in the ancient world. Professor Garland used highly visual language to depict unforgettable scenes of lost eras and empires: I can't shake images like the one of the Roman slave tossed into a pool of lampreys because he broke a cup, or the terrified Celtic monk tossing his precious illuminated manuscript into a peat bog while being chased by Viking marauders. Wow. Garland has really delivered on a commitment he clearly made to himself, remembering to tell stories of men, women, soldiers, nuns, and more slaves than you can possibly comprehend. Terrific and truly enriching.
Yes, gives a nice view of everyday life in a number of ancient civilizations.
The narrative surrounding death in an ancient Greek household.
The story of an Irish Monk being pursued by a viking.
It was very moving in places. Garland is a very compelling speaker.
My one qualm is that after the 4th century or so, everything was viewed through a Britain-focused lens. I would have preferred to spend some time going back to Rome in the time of Constantine, or learning about life in the Byzantine empire.
I have a greater understanding of the similarities and differences between how people lived in ancient civilizations and how we live now. I could listen to this several times.
I love history and was excited about this book but only got about half way through it and gave up. I did give it 3 stars because it does have some redeeming qualities in that there are interesting snippets here and there, but the author tends to focus too much on the negative - slavery, war, torture, hardship. And frankly the narrator was dry and boring, not engaging at all.
Could not recommend this highly enough. Hours and hours of subtly feel-good narrative about a very interesting topic. Perfectly presented, great narrator.
I recommed the written work "The Common People of Ancient Rome by Frank Frost Abbot" Scribner 1911. Its been on my Kindle for years and I think it was free. Not certain how I came up with it. I still reference Edicts of Diocletion wage and price controls.
I will give it one more try but this presentor is like fingernails on slate, both in sound and in intellectual breadth.
Harsh. Monotonous. Humourless. Obsessed with class.
One more source to peruse but thin gruel. And gruel it is. Even amateur Dan Carlin is WAY better.
I was really looking forward to this. What a bust.
Humanitarian Aid Worker living in Central Asia.
I enjoyed this course. The professor was very informative and related the information in a clear and enthusiastic manner. It touched briefly on the Persian Empire, focusing mainly on the development of civilization through the Greek, Roman and then Medieval Europe world. It would have been nice to hear about Daily Life in the Ancient Far East and more from Persia and the Steppes, but I suppose they would have needed to make it two different courses. It will definitely stop your grousing and make you thankful for the precious things we have and overlook everyday in the constant race for more and better.
@natesrandomisms Believer (27yrs), Husband (15yrs), Dad (3yrs), Son (35yrs), Broken neck survivor.
This is in the top ten of Great Courses. Keeps your attention.
If you would like to learn information beyond the lives of Kings, Queen, Royalty, Pharaohs, rich and famous of ancient times than buy this Great Course.
I would recommend, and already have recommended, this audiobook to anyone who finds history fascinating, or who finds it dull and boring. This audiobook engaged not only me, but my 14 year old daughter, my 21 year old son, and my anti-intellectual husband.
I wish there were more books/courses like it.
Professor Garland had us falling in love with the nameless many who populated the "other side of history". The women, the poor, the children, the slaves, the outcasts whose names do not get preserved in the history books.
History from the perspective of those who lived it, not those who made it.
"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.
"Accessible, satisfyingly detailed, and fascinating"
The Other Side of History is a delightful idea for a series of lectures. It makes ancient history seems so much more tangible, real, and fascinating. The macro-scale progression of ancient society is woven into the details of how its citizens actually lived their lives in such a coherent and natural way. Professor Garland is consistently entertaining, and his obvious passion for the subject is wonderfully infectious. Highly recommended.
"No prior knowledge needed"
Never did he presume prior knowledge but was not patronising to those who had it, he connected with the audience rather than talking 'at' his listeners.
At 24 hours length that would be difficult, the half hour sections made it easy to listen to and easy to keep on listening.
Robert Garland involves the listener and makes them feel like a time traveller by staging the scene before describing the events. It is difficult not to relate to the topics as they cover daily life of the average citizen in various civilisations, from birth to death and beyond. His style is clear and easily understood with few 'long' words, it presumes no prior knowledge yet at the end of it the listener is left with a remarkable knowledge of the ancient world which can be used as a gateway to more indepth study or as a means to really understand and end enjoy dramas depicting the era covered.
"Everyday history in a nutshell"
Really enjoyed this book. Although it is of historic interest it was like listening to mini autobiographies. Feel as if I know much more about ancient history and what life was like. Would have preferred more detail but at least the pace was good. Shame about the narrator - pleasant voice but too often a bit stuttery and robotic. Nontheless I would recommend.
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