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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.

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

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Amazing!

This is the first I've listened to the Great Courses and wow am I impressed! I was riveted to this. Professor Garland paints a magnificent picture of ancient civilizations and talks about things I never even thought about! My one complaint is that I would love to have learned more about ancient China or India or civilizations not typically explored in this manner, but I suppose there wasn't enough information in the historical record for that. Still, absolutely amazing and a must-listen for fellow daydreamers.

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A Treasure and a Delight...

If even by just happening upon this course by mere chance, by all means take it. But if you are intentionally seeking out something specifically focused on this period, then for you this will be a genuine treasure and a delight. Enjoy.

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Call it a cliche, but he brings history to life

This is an absolutely wonderful series. I don't do well with non-fiction and I haven't taken many history classes, but I streamed a couple of these lectures free through Audible Channels and I was intrigued. This series of lectures brings the story of the little guys to the forefront, and Dr. Garland tells their stories in a charming and enthusiastic way. The half-hour lecture format was perfect for my morning and afternoon commute, but after a while I found myself not wanting to wait and listening to a lecture or two at work.

As soon as the series ended I immediately wanted to start it again, and I assume that I will take this journey again several times in the future. A+ stuff!

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Very entertaining as well as educative.

Excellent presentation of the way 9f life of our ancestors. I've enjoyed every minute of it - have listened to the complete course three times already.

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Fascinating view of what life really was like

Thoroughly enjoyed the detailed lectures about everyday citizens of ancient cultures. Listened to this as a prelude to a home school study of Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome with a grandson. Lots of info about what life was like for ordinary people helps make history come alive for upper elementary-aged and middle school students (and adults as well). Being able to print out the text of each lecture was truly helpful while preparing the home school sessions.

Professor Garland's passion for history and ancient civilizations as well as his extensive knowledge came through in every lecture. Well worth the time and purchase price. And a great way to complete my 2 mile daily walk...while listening to this series of lectures!

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  • anonymous
  • Brownsville, TX United States
  • 09-28-17

Thoroughly enjoyable

I have listened to many of the great courses in the past, and I rarely take the time to review a course. Professor Garland, however, deserves high praise. Although I have a bachelor's in history, I knew little about the Egyptians, Greeks, Roman, and Anglo-Saxons. Professor Garland gave me a sense of all these societies and moreover made me reflect on the shared points of reference we all have when our current world can be contextualized in terms of history. Professor Garland has a clear delivery and dry sense of humor. I generally listened to these lectures while exercising and I found them an engrossing distraction. I look forward to taking more of his courses.

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Mistaking basic facts makes me question the whole lecture series

Towards the end of the lecture series when discussing Pilgrimages he includes an aside about the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca ‘the burial place of the Prophet Muhammad’. A cursory knowledge of facts would show that is simply not true and undermines the rest of the scholarship. His biases and Eurocentricism are understandable, his inability to fact check
Something quite basic is not.

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Excellent book

Excellent read.This book captured my attention all the way to the last chapter. I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in ancient history.

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Interesting material, but too much bias

I have now listened to a number of Great Courses on this era of history, and this was easily the most slanted in its view. It was told from a 21st century viewpoint, through the lens of Nietzsche and Freud, and other points of view that dominant current academic opinions. From this perspective, life is a pursuit of pleasure, wealth, and power, and any other motive for human behavior was discounted. If you do listen to this course, don't make it your only one about this subject matter.

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Prof. Garland makes history come to life

Professor Garland has set a standard so high I almost feel sorry for other Great Courses lecturers. Everything is perfect: the research and credibility; Garland is entertaining in that delightful, subtle, British style. He is stringent and although it's a long course, he ties it all together so well. This is by far the best audio course I've ever taken.