The Great Courses: Ancient History
Books in series16
ORIGINAL
(4.4 based on 5374 ratings)
  • The Age of Pericles | The Great Courses

    The Age of Pericles

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Jeremy McInerney
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (17)
    Story
    (17)

    The career of Pericles, the leading Athenian politician and general from c. 450 to 429 B.C., is a prism through which to view the "Golden Age" of Greece, a brief but remarkable era when Athens experienced a cultural flowering of extraordinary power and importance for Western culture. These 24 stimulating lectures present a well-rounded portrait of almost every aspect of Athenian life during the Golden Age.

    Unflinching look at the Golden Age of Athens

    Anyone can tell you that Western civilization owes much to the ancient Greeks. But few people can give you the insight of this lecturer. He gives an i..Show More »

    Reviewed on September 15 2014 by Sean (BELVEDERE TIBURON, CA, United States)
  • Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome | The Great Courses, John R. Hale

    Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, John R. Hale
    • Narrated By Professor John R. Hale
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    Over the years, Classical archaeology has evolved from a pastime of collectors and antiquarians to a mature science. Today, the field is a multidisciplinary effort that involves not only traditional diggers, but also geologists, geographers, anthropologists, and linguists.These 36 lectures introduce you to this fascinating field of study. Professor Hale guides you through dozens of ancient sites with the skill of a born storyteller.

    Absolutely Fantastic!

    I bought this book because I was looking for something about Greece. I thought it was about Greek architecture because I wasn’t paying that much atten..Show More »

    Reviewed on October 21 2014 by Bookworm (New York, NY)
  • The Greek and Persian Wars | The Great Courses, John R. Hale

    The Greek and Persian Wars

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, John R. Hale
    • Narrated By Professor John R. Hale
    Overall
    (54)
    Performance
    (50)
    Story
    (49)

    Spanning more than two centuries, the Greek and Persian wars forged a new world order, sparking developments in battle strategy, naval technology, world exploration, and art and culture that impact the world even today. These 24 lectures are your opportunity to survey this globe-spanning conflict and see the human experience behind some of the most remarkable episodes in ancient history.

    Outstanding

    Brilliant, enthusiastic lecture.

    Reviewed on January 21 2014 by Feedback (VERNAL, UT, United States)
  • The Peloponnesian War | The Great Courses

    The Peloponnesian War

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth W. Harl
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (69)

    The Peloponnesian War pitted Athens and its allies against a league of city-states headed by Sparta. The ancient Greek historian Thucydides captured this drama with matchless insight in his classic eyewitness account of what was arguably the greatest war in the history of the world up to that time. These 36 half-hour lectures draw on Thucydides' classic account as well as other ancient sources to give you a full picture of the Greek world in uneasy peace and then all-out war in the late 5th century B.C.

    I cannot suggest this lecture series enough!

    Harl is great

    Reviewed on September 20 2014 by RayVon ()
  • Alexander the Great and the Macedonian Empire | The Great Courses

    Alexander the Great and the Macedonian Empire

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth W. Harl
    Overall
    (104)
    Performance
    (91)
    Story
    (91)

    Alexander the Great-one of the most renowned figures in antiquity-has inspired everything from medieval romances to blockbuster movies, and military leaders from Julius Caesar to Napoleon to the U.S. general Norman Schwarzkopf. But who was this great king of Macedon? And why is he so legendary? These 36 spellbinding lectures take you deep inside the world of Alexander to witness the astonishing feats of military genius that made his name renowned for millennia after his death.

    Excellent!!!

    A great story about one of the most amazing personalities ever.

    Reviewed on July 28 2013 by Carlos Avalos (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
  • Emperors of Rome | The Great Courses

    Emperors of Rome

    • ORIGINAL (17 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Garrett G. Fagan
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (49)

    What sort of men were the Roman emperors (and they were all men)? What background and training, if any, prepared them for their awesome responsibilities? What depravities did they display? And what achievements can they claim: laws passed, monuments built, lands and peoples conquered? Dive into these questions and more with this introduction to the complex personalities of emperors such as Augustus, Caligula, Claudius, and Nero.

    Informative and thorough

    A fantastic and thorough examination of the Emperors from Augustus to Constantine.

    I appreciated his balanced view of each Emperor, and his ..Show More »

    Reviewed on July 17 2013 by Philip (Centurion, South Africa)
  • Rome and the Barbarians | The Great Courses

    Rome and the Barbarians

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth W. Harl
    Overall
    (89)
    Performance
    (78)
    Story
    (80)

    The history of the Romans as they advanced the frontiers of Classical civilization is often told as a story of warfare and conquest-the mighty legions encountering the "barbarians." But this only tells one side of the story.Who were the Celts, Goths, Huns, and Persians met by the Romans as they marched north and east? What were the political, military, and social institutions that made Rome so stable, allowing its power to be wielded against these different cultures for nearly three centuries?

    History of Rome from the Barbarian's Perspective!
    Reviewed on March 22 2014 by Mike (New Jersey)
  • The Fall of the Pagans and the Origins of Medieval Christianity | The Great Courses

    The Fall of the Pagans and the Origins of Medieval Christianity

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth W. Harl
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (97)
    Story
    (95)

    Explore the dramatic interaction between Judaism, Christianity, and paganism in Rome from the 1st to the 6th centuries. Why did pagan Rome clash with the early Christians? What was it like to be a Jew or a Christian under Roman law? And how did Christianity ultimately achieve dominance in the Roman Empire?Over the course or 24 lectures, Professor Harl enables you to grasp the full historical sweep of this critically important era and its key figures.

    Outstanding and worth every moment

    The lecturer told a compelling story drawing from both historical written sources and the archaeological record. The scope was enormous, but the narr..Show More »

    Reviewed on December 12 2013 by Wesley (WEST LINN, OR, United States)
  • Late Antiquity: Crisis and Transformation | The Great Courses

    Late Antiquity: Crisis and Transformation

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Thomas F. X. Noble
    Overall
    (40)
    Performance
    (34)
    Story
    (35)

    Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire painted a portrait of the Roman Empire in a long, debilitating slide to oblivion, but now historians have reevaluated this picture to create a radically different understanding of the period now known as "late antiquity." Far from being a period of decline and fall, late antiquity marked one of history's great turning points.

    Drinking history from a fire hose!

    The fact that Dr. Noble gave such a detailed answer to the simple question of the fall of the Roman Empire. It took you from the end of the 2nd cent..Show More »

    Reviewed on December 15 2014 by AlexIndia (Fort Worth, TX, United States)
  • Great Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt | The Great Courses

    Great Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Bob Brier
    Overall
    (74)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (69)

    What is it about ancient Egypt that still captures our imaginations? How did it grow from a few villages along the Nile into the greatest power the world had ever seen? Explore these questions and more in these 12 entertaining lectures that tell the stories of the great pharaohs and the daily realities of Egyptian life.

    Bob Brier all day every day...

    Bob Brier's got an affable manner and he really knows his stuff, he's a great tale teller, lecturer this is basic introductory material, and should be..Show More »

    Reviewed on December 14 2013 by J. (Bangor, ME, United States)
  • Exploring the Roots of Religion | The Great Courses, John R. Hale

    Exploring the Roots of Religion

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By The Great Courses, John R. Hale
    • Narrated By Professor John R. Hale
    Overall
    (69)
    Performance
    (64)
    Story
    (62)

    What impulse drove ancient cultures to create sites like Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, and the pyramids at Giza? Why are we so transfixed by their presence today? And what do they reveal about our ancestors-and humanity? The dynamic force of religious belief is responsible for some of the world's most popular and ancient locales.

    Archaeology first hand - one of the best courses

    I may listen to the course again to give me starting points for more in depth explorations of archaeological sites, religious cults and ideas that can..Show More »

    Reviewed on March 11 2015 by Marc (Ebersdorf, Germany)
  • Great Battles of the Ancient World | The Great Courses

    Great Battles of the Ancient World

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Garrett G. Fagan
    Overall
    (75)
    Performance
    (69)
    Story
    (69)

    Forget Hollywood's portrayal of violence and mayhem in ancient warfare and find out what the ancient battles were really like. What were the weapons, tactics, armor, training, and logistics? What were the crucial factors that could turn the tide of battle, giving one side victory and the other defeat?In 24 exciting lectures, Professor Fagan introduces you to the many fateful battles that became crucibles of history: the fearsome clash between the Athenians and the invading Persian army at the Marathon, Alexander the Great's crushing hammer-and-anvil tactics against the Persians at Gaugemela, and the Roman mastery of siege warfare at the Jewish fortress of Masada.

    A Series of Violent Episodes Create a Whole

    This course presents a unique look at ancient history by focusing on key battles. The context of the battle is established and its conduct and outcom..Show More »

    Reviewed on June 04 2014 by Clavius ()
  • The Barbarian Empires of the Steppes | The Great Courses

    The Barbarian Empires of the Steppes

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth W. Harl
    Overall
    (281)
    Performance
    (253)
    Story
    (250)

    The word "barbarian" quickly conjures images of Attila the Hun and Genghis Khan. Yet few people realize these men belong to a succession of nomadic warriors who emerged from the Eurasian steppes to conquer civilizations. It's a part of ancient and medieval history that's often overlooked, but for an accurate view of how the world evolved, it's essential. Covering some 6,000 miles and 6,000 years, this eye-opening course illuminates how a series of groups pushed ever westward, coming into contact with the Roman Empire, Han China, and distant cultures from Iraq to India.

    More than You Ever Wanted to Know re Steppe Nomads

    This is a fabulous course. The course covers over 3 thousands years of Central Asian and Near Eastern history and is a wonderful introduction to the E..Show More »

    Reviewed on September 25 2014 by Christopher (Shanghai, China)
  • Cities of the Ancient World | The Great Courses

    Cities of the Ancient World

    • ORIGINAL (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Steven L. Tuck
    Overall
    (66)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (57)

    Cities of the Ancient World is your opportunity to survey the breadth of the ancient world through the context of its urban development. Taught by esteemed Professor Steven L. Tuck, of Miami University, these 24 eye-opening lectures not only provide an invaluable look at the design and architecture of ancient cities, they also offer a flesh-and-blood glimpse into the daily lives of ordinary people and the worlds they created.

    Ancient Cities

    I found it interesting how he took each city and built upon them a ground work of how people have progressed.

    Reviewed on August 16 2014 by Amazon Customer (Salt Lake City)
  • The Joy of Ancient History | The Great Courses

    The Joy of Ancient History

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Bart D. Ehrman, Professor Bob Brier, Professor Craig G. Benjamin, and others
    Overall
    (96)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (81)

    For years, The Great Courses has taken lifelong learners on stirring explorations of our ancient roots; ones that bring you face to face with what history means, and how we use it to understand both the past and the present. So where's the best place to start? Right here with this eclectic and insightful collection of 36 lectures curated from our most popular ancient history courses.

    Ancient World Greatest Hits Playlist
    Reviewed on June 10 2014 by Emily (Philadelphia, PA, United States)
  • Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed | The Great Courses

    Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mesoamerica Revealed

    • ORIGINAL (23 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Edwin Barnhart
    Overall
    (93)
    Performance
    (79)
    Story
    (81)

    Centuries ago, Spanish conquistadors searching for gold and new lands encountered a group of independent city-states in Mesoamerica. Sophisticated beyond the Spaniards' wildest imaginings, these people were the Aztecs, the Maya, and related cultures that shared common traditions of religion, government, the arts, engineering, and trade. In many ways more advanced than European nations, these societies equaled the world's greatest civilizations of their time.

    Everything you would ever want and more

    Professor Barnhart in an expert and the research is up to date as of the spring of 2015. As with any Audible purchase of Great Courses material, you ..Show More »

    Reviewed on March 22 2015 by Mike Dowling (West Palm Beach, FL USA)