The Foundations of Western Civilization : The Great Courses: Civilization & Culture

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Thomas F. X. Noble
  • Series: The Great Courses: Civilization & Culture
  • 24 hrs and 54 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary


What is Western civilization? According to Professor Noble, it is "much more than human and political geography," encompassing myriad forms of political and institutional structures - from monarchies to participatory republics - and its own traditions of political discourse. It involves choices about who gets to participate in any given society and the ways in which societies have resolved the tension between individual self-interest and the common good.
Within this series of 48 lectures, you'll discover the many ways in which Western civilization has addressed those questions, from its first stirrings in the great river valleys of Iraq and Egypt in 3000 B.C to the beginning of the 17th century and the dawn of the modern world. Your learning will cover vast amounts of territory and thousands of years, beginning in the ancient Near East and moving to Greece and then Rome. You'll explore ancient empires, including those of Persia, Alexander the Great, and Rome.
You'll watch as western Europe gradually expands, both physically and culturally. And you'll examine the globalizations of Western civilization with the Portuguese and Spanish voyages of exploration and discovery.
This broad and panoramic series, ripe with the telling detail on which history can turn, will help you pull an enormous sweep of history together into one coherent - though by no means closed - framework as you watch history develop under the influence of such critical factors as ecology and environment, geography, and climate; government and economics; technology; religion; work and leisure; philosophy; literature; art and architecture; and virtues, values, and aesthetics.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Excellent course!

This is my second, all time favorite history course thus far. I have only been a patron of the Great Courses for about 7 or 8 months when my favorite podcaster mentioned they were now on Audible. I highly recommend this particular course. The professor is very good at what he does, captivating, interesting, and knowledgeable.
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- Tyler "I've been a member here for a few years now. Nothing will ever replace printed books for me, but I do enjoy lots of things Audible has!"

Not a fan of FX Noble's Voice and Delivery

I feel very scattered after listening to this...a LOT of history...yes I managed to take plenty in but I found FX Noble's voice and delivery off-putting, sometimes hesitant and difficult to follow because one line of thought is interrupted with name dropping outside of the sequence and maybe it's something about his syntax...pushed my way through it but i would look for a different lecturer next time.
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- syl

Book Details

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