For years, The Great Courses has taken lifelong learners on stirring explorations of our ancient roots; ones that bring you face to face with what history means, and how we use it to understand both the past and the present. So where's the best place to start? Right here with this eclectic and insightful collection of 36 lectures curated from our most popular ancient history courses.
Guided by some of our most highly rated and award-winning professors - including archaeologists, classicists, military historians, and religion scholars - you'll hopscotch around the world and across time to experience the fascinating variety of what ancient history has to offer.
Because the subject itself spans roughly five millennia, this "best of" collection does all the legwork for you, selecting captivating lectures that offer both introductions to and deep dives into some of the most prominent ancient civilizations, including the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. This collection also takes you far afield into the dramatic stories of cultures in Europe, the Middle East, South America, India, China, and other parts of the world.
Listening to some of our brightest academic minds talk about the ancient world, you'll truly understand why we're still captivated by people and events from thousands of years ago, and why they still have much to tell us about where we are. And where we're headed.
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Ancient World Greatest Hits Playlist
The narrators are professors speaking directly to the listener so their personalities and enthusiasm for the topics really comes through. No dry voice reading in monotone here.
This course is like a greatest hits playlist of topics in ancient history, or an ancient world highlight reel. This isn't the "deep cuts" so it is a good place to start if you like ancient history movies or documentary films. It covers the high points, important points and the popular points. These lectures don't include endless background information or things interesting only to academics. These lectures focus on aspects of the ancient world that are still relevant and interesting to the modern world.
Here's the table of contents:
JOY OF ANCIENT HISTORY LECTURES
1 Lessons of the Peloponnesian War
2 Parthenon and Acropolis
3 Heroes at Thermopylae
4 On Athenian Tragedy
5 The Parable of the Cave
6 Famous Greeks—Solon
7 Aristotle's View of the Natural World
8 The Battles of Megiddo and Kadesh
9 Greco-Roman Views on Death—and Beyond
10 Gaius Julius Caesar
11 Early Germanic Europe
12 Gladiatorial Games
13 Dining in Imperial and Republican Rome
14 The (Mad) Emperor Caligula
15 Being a Rich Roman
16 The Mystery Cults
17 Herodotus’s Account of Egypt
18 The Great Pyramid of Giza
19 Being an Egyptian Worker
20 Cleopatra—The Last Pharaoh
21 What Do the Mayan Glyphs Say?
22 The Amazon—Civilization Lost in the Jungle
23 Chalice of Blood in Ancient Peru
24 Attila the Hun—Scourge of God
25 Mesopotamian Creation Stories
26 The Empire of Hammurabi
27 The Epic of Gilgamesh
28 The Chariot Revolution
29 The Assyrian War Machine
30 The Art and Architecture of Power
31 Cyrus, Xenophon, and the Ten Thousand
32 Opening the First Dead Sea Scroll
33 Jesus in His Context
34 The Legend of Troy
35 The Qin and the First Emperor of China
36 Alexander Invades India
An Ancient History Fruit Salad