Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome : The Great Courses: Ancient History

  • by The Great Courses, John R. Hale
  • Narrated by Professor John R. Hale
  • Series: The Great Courses: Ancient History
  • 18 hrs and 40 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

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.
The riveting narrative unfolds like a series of detective stories and provides a new perspective from which to view the world of the Greeks and Romans, resurrecting them in all their glory and affording us a better grasp of cultures that have greatly influenced our own.
A series of exciting archaeological sites that provides you with a detailed idea of what Classical archaeology entails, as well as insights into the details of ancient Greek and Roman life. These case studies - involving both famous sites and discoveries unknown outside the field - include the city of Troy, the Athenian Agora, and the Cape Gelidonya Shipwreck.
Through an analysis of these and other riveting sites, you get a superb sampling of Classical archaeology and learn how it combines ancient history, anthropology, ethnography, comparative religion, art history, engineering, historical linguistics, paleobotany, and other pursuits with a dash of Indiana Jones-style adventure.
Mysteries abound in this course, and in the end, you'll view the world of the Greeks and Romans not as a sequence of historical events but as an immense living organism; a system in which society, culture, and the natural environment interact in dynamic, creative, and sometimes destructive ways.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

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 attention since it was the only choice in Audible in the category of Greek history. So when I first started to listen to it, I was a little disappointed that it was about Greek and Roman Archaeology. Boy did my opinion change.

This audio book has 36 chapters covering the history of archeology, examples of different sites and social aspects (slaves and women).

The author, John Hale, is absolutely amazing. He tells stories in the old tradition, where you sit back and enjoy his voice, and lyrical tale. He somehow is able to wrap up the ending of each chapter with a wonderful bow that leaves you satisfied yet wanting more.

I came from very little knowledge about archaeology and left with a good basic understanding of the study. I will definitely try more of his lectures.

This deserves all the stars possible.
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- Bookworm

Fantastic ride of passion with an "insider"

Would you listen to Classical Archaeology of Ancient Greece and Rome again? Why?

It is quite possible that I will revisit parts of the lecture again, since both the passion that Mr. Hale (again) shows for his topic and the personal anecdotes he presents to illustrate the work of archaeologists are motivation to dig out some books again or, at the very least, open you eyes to the world around you.


What about Professor John R. Hale’s performance did you like?

Mr. Hale loves what he does, he is passionate and absolutely able to let his audience participate in his excitement. This is far more than one can say about most scholars, tutors or self-acclaimed specialists on any topic. Even if Mr. Hale at times seems to go a (very tiny) bit overboard with his confidence in what he sees as the "right interpretation", he always manages to get "back on track" and, in comforting contrast to some other lecturers, reminds the student of the "greater picture" and that there might always be more questions than answers in archaeological "evidence".
This is exactly what some European "old school" history professors need: To take one or twenty steps back from their high-handedness, and, may be, get their hands dirty.


Any additional comments?

Mr. Hale takes his audience on a tour through the history of archaeology. He shows what he considers the beginnings of this profession, telling a lot of - both personal and handed down - anecdotes that illustrate how conception of archaeology and its self-image have changed over time.
In the second part he lights up some more or less known excavations (that have been discussed "to death" elsewhere) by putting them into historical context, linking their background to archaeologists he described in his overview of the profession. This gives a far more complete image of what we learn from such undertakings (the excavations) and the interpretation of the findings, it also puts some perspective on what is going on world-wide at ancient sites today.

A really worth-while listening, touching far more than "only" dusty dirty grave-digging.

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- Marc

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses