Regular price: $14.95
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for $14.95
I highly recommend this course as a broad introduction to the subject matter.
Focusing exclusively on the ancient civilizations of the Near East, professor Harl manages to cover a lot of ground in just a small number lectures.
The course begins with Sumer and the early city states of Mesopotamia. continues with Egypt, the Hittites, Minoan & Mycenaean Greeks, the Phoenicians, Hebrews, Assyrians, and concludes with the Persian Empire of the Achaemenids.
One drawback of moving so quickly is there isn't enough time to go into greater detail.
This is just a quick survey, but it is delivered by a wonderfully entertaining and informative lecturer.
Professor Harl is enjoyable to listen to, and this is the 3rd course of his I've purchased (from the Great Courses Series).
His lectures are organized, and his familiarity with the subject matter is especially impressive considering his background is classical Roman history.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
What made the experience of listening to Origins of Great Ancient Civilizations the most enjoyable?
It lays a foundation for further historical review
Would you be willing to try another book from The Great Courses? Why or why not?
Yes and I have many volumes in my wish list. They have valuable information which lays a foundation for further study.
What about Professor Kenneth W. Harl’s performance did you like?
He had a strong deliverance, however I felt that he was a bit rushed in his execution of the speech. This might not be his fault however. The producer might have only given him so much time to cover this vast portion of history. I would have preferred a more relaxed lecture where he would have been able to go into more detail of the story lines within these dynasties. Many times it is easier for us to remember history if it is in a story form, rather than a facts and figures regiment.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I would say that it is material that needs to be listened to over a few days. If this is the first time you have covered this material then it needs to be digested over a time span of a week. I would suggest listening to it about 3 times to let the information permeate. For myself, my minor was history at TCU, but predominately American History. My only real exposure to Ancient History beyond my own personal research, was an Art History class I had in the Fall of '91.
Any additional comments?
Though I gave this lecture a lower rating in performance and story, I did give it a high rating overall. It received a lower rating in performance because the professor seemed to rush the lecture as previously mentioned. On story I gave it a low rating because it was more of a brief on the facts and figures of the topic and less on the in-depth story line of some of the individuals. Overall I will be interested to listen to this professor in further lectures, as I do have others by him marked in my line up within my wish list.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful