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The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World Lecture

The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World

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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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  •  
    Lynda Williams Prince George, British Columbia Canada 06-08-17
    Lynda Williams Prince George, British Columbia Canada 06-08-17 Member Since 2016

    Bibliophile, author, publisher, teacher of applied computing and learning technology specialist.

    ratings
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    8
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    "History Buffs Seeking New Perspective"
    What did you love best about The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World?

    The unusual perspective. So much of humanity lived and died outside the halls of the great. Both the sense of shared humanity and the very alien world views of the lowly in the distant past were stimulating fare.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian 06-05-17
    Brian 06-05-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "boring!"

    Absolutely dull. The jerking narration is near impossible to listen to. Very sad I wasted any of my time at all on this total snooze.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AndrewFeist Troy, NY 06-01-17
    AndrewFeist Troy, NY 06-01-17
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    35
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    "fantastic!"

    very very informative and enjoyable. the. lecture
    r has a wonderful sensitivity and seriousness about the subject matter that pulls you in again and again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Duane Barker 05-24-17 Member Since 2016

    pleadesman

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    "good history"
    Would you listen to The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World again? Why?

    No, I dont read books twice.


    What did you like best about this story?

    its great history with a lot of useful and interesting information, details of real life. Fun to listen to.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Devin 05-23-17
    Devin 05-23-17 Member Since 2017
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    "My new favourite lecture series"

    Robert Garland does an incredible job of bringing the past to life for his listeners in The Other Side of History. Whereas a lot of readily available histories tend to focus on the "Great Men" of history, this lecture series breathes life into the forgotten corners of our past. The people who are the focus of these lectures are the people who are usually in the margins of history: The poor, children, women, working-class people, etc. Listening to these lectures is like touring a foreign country and being immersed in the culture there, and I recommend this to anybody which a love of history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ichiji 05-18-17
    Ichiji 05-18-17

    Ichiji

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    "Great Topic, Shallow Treatment, Weak Speaker"

    The great courses recordings are very expensive, so I have a high set of expectations. This one was not worth the price tag.

    The daily lives of average people in history is a fascinating topic. However, the lecturer spends surprisingly little time talking about the experience of average people -- his professed topic. He conveys a lot of information about different civilizations and how they were organized, but that is available in any good popular history. I was hoping for the more personal approach he promised in the introduction. If I were, say, a woman in ancient Greece, how would I dress? How would I bathe? What would I eat? How many children would I have? How would I spend my days? Would I walk outside my house alone or always be in a group? And how would that change from one civilization to another. He doesn't spend enough time on these details.

    To be fair, sources are meager for such information. But there is some evidence, and it should have been fleshed out more. Historical fiction writers do that, and it would have been interesting to examine which of such descriptions are likely to be accurate, and why.

    The subject matter (so far at least) omits China and India, which seems like a huge gap.

    Also, this presentation suffers from self-conscious political correctness that is tedious and adds nothing to the discussion. Listeners understand that slavery is morally wrong -- no need to say it over and over. There has never been a civilization without hierarchy and privilege for a few -- no need to beat us over the head with that, either. To me, the amazing thing about history is not that civilizations were build on a foundation of exploitation of some people by others, but how we managed to make the transition to the point where we judge that morally wrong today -- that's a recent notion, and yet universally held. For about 99% of history might was right, and now, notions of right and wrong have changed. Now that's interesting! Self-flagellation...not so interesting.

    Finally, unfortunately, the speaker has a lisp that grates on the ears after a while. So while the presentation is earnest, it's best taken in small doses. I may not make it through the whole program. This review was written about 1/4 of the way through.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Rubin 05-16-17
    Bill Rubin 05-16-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Excellent"
    What made the experience of listening to The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World the most enjoyable?

    I was delighted to find a course on this subject. As Professor Garland says most history courses deal with leaders. This deals with the day to day life of everyman and woman. He does an excellent job of describing how government, politics and religion influenced these people.


    What about Professor Robert Garland’s performance did you like?

    Professor Garland is an expert with a great sense of story telling and humor. He made it very interesting and appealing.


    Any additional comments?

    Enjoyed it so much!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Lamascus Los Angeles, CA 05-02-17
    Lisa Lamascus Los Angeles, CA 05-02-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Arc of Ancient History unlike any other"

    I learned so much from this book. It gives an arc of history that is unlike any I've ever read. I especially liked the sections on Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome. This book filled in a lot of gaps in my understanding and gave me a perspective on the ancient world that I have never heard before.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    SZ los angeles, CA 04-27-17
    SZ los angeles, CA 04-27-17 Member Since 2015
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    "A+ Superb --- Didn't Want This One To End"

    Professor Garland takes you along on an amazing trip through time, teaching in a manner of which more teachers should take heed. I had no idea this course would be (much much) more than a hum drum itemized list of factoids, when in fact the course puts you in a first person POV throughout some major and minor empires. Just some of the details that Garland throws in makes even one lecture worth the purchase.

    I can't recommend this enough for anyone who is curious as to how similar we are to the commoners of ancient history, plus to teachers who would like a good example of how one can effectively teach!

    I will certainly look for more of his courses.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Berkley Washington, DC 04-21-17
    Berkley Washington, DC 04-21-17 Member Since 2013

    Avid reader. Even more avid listener. I enjoy thrillers, sci-fi, fantasy, non-fiction .... just about everything.

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    "Great overview of the forgotten side of history"
    What made the experience of listening to The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World the most enjoyable?

    Learning about the "less important" people in history; those who aren't necessarily remembered by most historians or the public.


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

    Similar to many of the other Great Courses, it breaks things down into neat 30 - 45 minute lectures that are easily consumed.


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

    No this was the first.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    No, but I do feel like I learned a lot.


    Any additional comments?

    Book focuses on classical history (pre-500 CE) much more than the later periods of the early middle ages. But that's my preferred historical period, so I was pretty happy with that.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • JL
    United Kingdom
    10/9/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Nearest thing to time travel available"
    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?

    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.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Ancient Rome


    Which character – as performed by Professor Robert Garland – was your favourite?

    The leader of the Roman bandits which he did with an east end accent like Fagan from Oliver Twist or an English pirate.


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

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • richard
    IPSWICH, United Kingdom
    10/7/13
    Overall
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    "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.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Kindle Customer
    Nr Langholm, United Kingdom
    8/18/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Well worth the listening"
    What did you like most about The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World?

    It informed about ordinary people through many cultures.


    What about Professor Robert Garland’s performance did you like?

    Very well researched and read. Obviously interested in his subject and puts it across in an interesting and accessible way.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Mark
    1/31/15
    Overall
    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • JOHN
    County Cork, Ireland
    2/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Sandy
    5/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "like stepping back in time...."

    very good but doesn't half go on a bit... all good though, just like stepping back in time ;-)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Ducarta
    London, UK
    1/20/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Louise Armitage
    London
    8/19/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Professor Garland brings history to life..."

    A fascinating insight into the very human side of history, the glimpses into the daily lives of our ancestors that often go unreported. Professor Robert Garland leads us through their daily realities, their struggles and their joys, their pleasures and their fears.
    Adding a corporeal touch to the ancient world. More depth would have been preferable but understandable as the subject matter is so expansive. Robert Garland is a joy to listen to, often humorous and very reminiscent of your timeworn history professor.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Goldfrapper
    Devon, United Kingdom
    8/16/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Absorbing approach that focuses on ordinary people"

    The content of this course is educational and entertaining. It tells us more about those ancient civilisations than a mere review of rulers, struggles for power, wars, etc. Somehow Professor Garland brings these seemingly remote peoples alive by putting 'flesh on the bones' of their everyday lives. It's a long course, but it takes in a great deal and is not boring.

    My only quarrel is with the Prof's method of reading aloud - he introduces brief pauses all over the place, even between a ... single ... word and ... the next. Maybe you won't be irritated by this staccato performance, but I'm afraid I was.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Oliver Hunter
    8/4/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My all time favourite!"

    I absolutely loved these lectures, I have listened to several others but I think this has been my favourite. Not only is it something completely different to all the others is it amazingly well researched and delivered. Prof. Robert has the most captivating speaking voice I have ever had the pleasure of listening to. I never wanted the lectures to end but now they have i am torn between moving on or re-listening to them just because I can. Anyway please please please listen to this series if you want a whole new look into ancient history from "the other side"!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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