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This was a great overview of a history of Asia Minor (or Anatolia), what today would essentially be the area of the modern Republic of Turkey. Far from being an obscure topic about an obscure region, this little area is packed with history and was a major player throughout it.
You will go from prehistory and the earliest Hittite Civilizations through the continual cycles of change the region experienced. As the natural crossroads of East and West, this region continually felt the pulls of the great cultural traditions of both East and West, a dynamic which continues right up to the present. This area was constantly "remade" as it went through phases of Greek, Roman, Celtic, Byzantine, and eventually Barbarian Steppe culture. The series ends with an look at how those Turkic speaking barbarians entered and remade this peninsula one last time into what would eventually be the heartland of the Ottoman Empire and the foundation of what we know as the modern Republic of Turkey.
The Professor is amazing. I have listened to many of his works and he offers his listeners traditional history at its very best. If you enjoy a good history book or class, you will learn from and enjoy this series.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
Unfortunately, I just could not get into this course and found my mind wandering way too often. I hope it wasn’t a case of the lecturer’s style not resonating with me because I have already bought a number of his other courses because the topics he covers really interest me. Maybe this was just a specific sub-par effort but the reviews are extremely high so a lot of people don’t feel that way.
I purchased this course because it covers the many civilizations that came to occupy this region of the world but I felt the professor didn’t do their stories justice. I wished he’d spent more time introducing the peoples in a chronological/narrative manner but instead he seemed to assume listeners knew specific events and had a foundation of knowledge and the lectures instead felt like a fast recitation/rapid fire of many civilizations and facts in some cases without discussion of a greater meaning/bigger picture. At times I felt lost trying to keep up and maybe that’s why my mind gave up and kept wandering. I feel like the best history Great Courses are those that explain the basics and facts and then provide any additional details or insight.
The abrupt endings to lectures without a conclusion, “winding down” comments, or preview of the next lecture were jarring. The sudden round of applause at times to mark the end of a lecture caused me to jump once or twice---no idea he was finished!
Additionally, the professor used a lot of “filler” words including “Uhh” and “Um” which became very distracting as the lectures wore on. In one lecture I counted 44 in the first 4 minutes. 300+ for a 30 minute lecture just makes it way too distracting.
I am going to try "History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective" next in the hopes of a better understanding of these civilizations.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
These are great lectures, but told awfully quickly and tersely. Some people may find, like me that its hard to maintain attention and your mind wanders off. BTW lecturer sound like Agent Smart in TV series, Get Smart.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I thoroughly enjoyed this book that took me from pre-history to modern Turkey with many small details that makes you live with the people who lived there through the centuries