Locales like Mesopotamia or the Indus Valley, peoples like the Hittites or Assyrians, or rulers like Sargon, Hammurabi, and Darius are part of a long-dead antiquity, so shrouded with dust that we might be tempted to skip over them entirely, preferring to race forward along history's timeline in search of the riches we know will be found in our studies of Greece and Rome.
But, according to Professor Harl, these civilizations, "act as the cultural basis for many of the civilizations that will emerge on the Eurasian landmass and will dictate the destinies of many of the people living today on the globe." These remote, ancient civilizations stand behind the traditions of Greece, so it is critical to understand these great societies in order to better understand those that would come later - including our own.
These 12 fast-paced lectures cover many civilizations that may only receive a few lines of cursory discussion in the average Western civilization textbook. Beginning in the Bronze Age and the emergence of urban-based literate civilizations, the story continues through the demise of Persia's great empire at the hands of the Greeks.
Along the way, you'll examine advances such as the invention and evolution of writing, the development of vast empires dependent not only on military might but on laws and administration, the growth of trade, and the contributions of the Hebrews to the religious and ethical future of Western civilization.
History lovers will appreciate this course for its deep insights and its rock-solid foundation for deeper exploration.
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Fantastic, but too short.
- M. Brian Burchette
Great material lecture
It lays a foundation for further historical review
Yes and I have many volumes in my wish list. They have valuable information which lays a foundation for further study.
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.
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.
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.