The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World

The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient WorldI am tired of kings and prelates and their problems This has come at just the right time Garland takes us from pre history thanks to archeology through the Middle Ages As time progresses, this narrative becomes a bit Euro centric, but the 48 lectures provide a wealth of information on the daily life of ordinary people their work their recreations their religions and their communities Garland s expertise is in the B.C.E., but he shares some wonderful aspects of the later epochs including an important analysis of Chaucer s Canterbury Tales.When all is said and done, it was the similarities that I found myself pondering Plus a change, plus c est la m me chose There are so many things that have changed our lives but we behave in much the same way Our need for companionship our propensities for conflict our search for a higher authority and thoughts of an afterlife Each lecture is just short of half an hour There wasn t one that I found less than informative and entertaining. Really 4.5These lectures deal with the other, less talked about folks from ancient, classical and medieval history.Prof Garland attributes his enthusiasm for history to the unnamed Ginger discovered in Egypt about 5200 years ago Without Ginger we might not have been able to experience the entertaining and informative lectures about the other people of history Those other people are those faceless folks who lived and died in some of the most formative times of human history.These lectures are spawned from thoughts and informed conclusions about the lives of those not fortunate enough to be 1 educated enough to record lifetime events, 2 wealthy enough to have the free time to spend in reflection and 3 aware enough to recognize that their lives, thoughts and feelings might ever matter Mostly, for me, the lectures caused me to think about all those fellow humans that have lived throughout those ancient, classical and medieval times that tried desperately just to survive It made me think about how the homeless might be remembered in 5000 years What will our future historians say about the average laborer who provided for his family, or the single mom making ends meet, or the immigrant used car salesman who drives for Uber in his spare time All these faces will never be the subject of an epic poem, or grace the ceiling of a grand cathedral or the floor with a heroic mosaic In much the same way, Dr Garland has gently introduced us to those nobodies of yesteryear and has breathed new life into themaccording to them the recognition due them, and perhaps giving them just a little of the immortality afforded heretofore only to the likes of Achilles like famous characters.I found the lectures well paced, clear and well organized The good Professor has a pleasing voice and dry sense of humor These lectures took a long time, but it was time well spent The lectures made me think.Highly recommended for the serious student of ancient, classical and medieval historyespecially when the series is on sale, and you have a coupon handy. I found these lectures interesting because they were the product of a lecturer who has given a lot of research time to collecting information about what life was like for ordinary people in the ancient world When I read history I often try to image what everyday life was like, but my thoughts are imaginings based on few clues or evidence Here s a lecturer who s done the work for me.There are forty eight lectures in this collection, and they cover history from the Paleolithic, through the ancient Mediterranean civilizations, and then on through Medieval times I thought they were well done, and I enjoyed them very much The following is a list of lecture titles which can give an idea of the various civilizations discussed.1 Taking on the Other Side of History2 Being Paleolithic3 Living in Mesopotamia4 Being Egyptian5 Belonging to an Egyptian Family6 Practicing Egyptian Religion7 Being a Dead Egyptian8 Being an Egyptian Worker9 Being Minoan and Mycenaean10 Being Greek11 Growing Up Greek12 Being a Greek Slave13 Being a Greek Soldier or Sailor14 Being a Greek Woman15 Relaxing Greek Style16 Being a Greek Refugee17 Being a Sick or Disabled Greek18 Practicing Greek Religion19 Being an Old Greek20 Being a Dead Greek21 Being Persian22 Living in Hellenistic Egypt23 Being Roman24 Being a Roman Slave25 Being a Roman Soldier26 Being a Roman Woman27 Being a Poor Roman28 Being a Rich Roman29 Being a Roman Celebrity30 Being a Roman Criminal31 Relaxing Roman Style32 Practicing Roman Religion33 Being Jewish under Roman Rule34 Being Christian under Roman Rule35 Being a Celt in Ancient Britain36 Being a Roman Briton37 Being Anglo Saxon38 Being a Viking Raider39 Living under Norman Rule40 Being Medieval41 Being Poor in the Middle Ages42 Being a Medieval Woman43 Being a Medieval Christian or Heretic44 Being a Medieval Knight45 Being a Crusader46 Being a Pilgrim 47 Relaxing Medieval Style48 Daily Life Matters Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be an ancient Egyptian farmer How about a Roman gladiator, or maybe a geriatric Athenian The 48 lectures by Robert Garland in The Other Side of History Daily Life in the Ancient World will help you put yourself in the place of countless people in the ancient world who did not happen to be famous generals, statesmen, kings, or philosophers the ordinary folk of history I happen to greatly enjoy books which invite the reader to enter into the lives of people from the past Books like Sketches of Jewish Social Life in the Time of Christ by Alfred Edersheim or Daily Life in Ancient Egypt by Barbara Metz offer interesting ways to explore and understand history Books like The Brendan Voyage by Tim Severin that take an experimental archaeology approach are also great fun If these approaches to history interest you, then Garland s 48 lectures in this course will be like pure mental candy That being said, the course was a bit uneven, but I ll get to that in a moment.First off, Garland is at his best when breaking down ancient Greek and Roman culture Just on the basis of this series, I m planning on listening to his Integrated History of the Ancient Mediterranean Every lecture about the Greeks or Romans was stellar and fantastic Although I have a pretty strong timeline of ancient history in my head, this course helped me fill in the gaps with ideas about how the common people who were not senators, emperors, or generals lived their lives I will probably go back and listen to some of them again before teaching ancient history to my students in the fall.However, there were also some weaknesses in the course The lectures on living in ancient Mesopotamia were rather sparse and perfunctory It also seemed like Garland didn t totally get the Jews either They are skimmed over rather quickly, but the powder keg that was 1st century Judea could have afforded at least a few lectures given the widely diverse groups living there at the time.Finally, Garland admits in the course to not being a medievalist but rather an ancient historian It shows Throughout his discussion of the medieval period, it never seems like he manages to convey to his listeners what the medieval worldview is all about He does a great job of being very sympathetic to the ancient Roman religion and society, making sure that we don t judge them too harshly for things like slavery and their many superstitions and the like However, rather than trying to get the listeners to feel the same sympathy for medieval Christianity, he often frankly expresses bewilderment about such things as how the Catholic Church could have ever wanted to persecute Cathars, and he presents it as a fairly capricious thing He equates being a medieval peasant with being a Roman slave Seriously He talks about how you, an innocent person, could have been condemned as a witch by the Inquisition and put to death In reality, most killing of witches was an act of the secular authority alone Through most of the middle ages, belief in witchcraft was condemned as superstition, and even during the late middle ages, it was the inquisition in Spain that ended witch trials because they didn t measure up to the inquisitors standards for evidence Likewise, his misconceptions about the Crusades are numerous I ve seen several reviews of Rodney Stark s God s Battalions The Case for the Crusades which make the point that, while Stark s information is not false per se, the view of the Crusades he is reacting against is a mere straw man as no actual historians still propagate the myths he is attacking Well, Gardner trots out many of those very myths as historical fact and talks of the Crusades as one aspect of history that none of us as moderns could possibly identify with at all.I m not, by the way, trying to dissuade you from listening to this lecture series They were still wonderful The middle ages don t make up a huge part of the series I m just warning you that if you want to learn about life in the middle ages, you would be better off reading some books by Frances and Joseph Gies or even watching Terry Jones s television series Medieval Lives.So overall this is a fun series of 48 lectures for those who want a clearer picture of what it would be like to live in the past While some parts are better than others, there is much to learn and enjoy, and Robert Garland clearly has a great love for his subject matter. I finished it All 48 lectures The author is informative, entertaining, and deeply compassionate about the other side of history the history of women, slaves, soldiers, peasants, servants, artisans, farmers, townspeople, and other ordinary people who weren t rich or powerful One of his other books is about celebrities in the ancient world, so he devotes some time to that topic in this series Some people were celebrities because of their titles or money, but others became famous because they were unusually brave, beautiful, or controversial including gladiators, acrobats, and philosophers.I actually wish this had been longer Garland confines himself to ancient and medieval Europe and Southwest Asia I wish he had devoted some attention to the Americas, Asia, and Australia, but those are not his areas of expertise. A comprehensive and rare study of an ordinary human experience through the ages It s sometimes surprisingly pretty e.g ancient romans greeks in the upper echelons of society seems to have had it quite nice , but most often shockingly not so much. Look Beyond The Abstract Dates And Figures, Kings And Queens, And Battles And Wars That Make Up So Many Historical Accounts Over The Course Of Richly Detailed Lectures, Professor Garland Covers The Breadth And Depth Of Human History From The Perspective Of The So Called Ordinary People, From Its Earliest Beginnings Through The Middle AgesThe Past Truly Comes Alive As You Take A Series Of Imaginative Leaps Into The World Of History S Anonymous Citizens, People Such As A Greek Soldier Marching Into Battle In The Front Row Of A Phalanx An Egyptian Woman Putting On Makeup Before Attending An Evening Party With Her Husband A Greek Citizen Relaxing At A Drinking Party With The Likes Of Socrates A Roman Slave Captured In War And Sent To Work In The Mines And A Celtic Monk Scurrying Away With The Book Of Kells During A Viking InvasionPut Yourself In The Sandals Of Ordinary People And Discover What It Was Like To Be Among History S % What Did These Everyday People Do For A Living What Was Their Home Like What Did They Eat What Did They Wear What Did They Do To Relax What Were Their Beliefs About Marriage Religion The Afterlife This Extraordinary Journey Takes You Across Space And Time In An Effort To Be Another Person Someone With Whom You Might Not Think You Have Anything At All In Common And Come Away With An Incredible Sense Of Interconnectedness You Ll See The Range Of Possibilities Of What It Means To Be Human, Making This A Journey Very Much Worth Taking Another good lecture series from Great Courses Prof Garland is an interesting lecturer and seems to love his subject I especially loved some of the information about daily life of pre historic humans and in Ancient Egypt I also enjoyed the survey he did of the days leading up to the Battle of Hastings in 1066 However, this series wasn t without a few minor flaws First, I was rather surprised that he repeated the trope that Christmas is actually based on a pagan Roman holiday Made me pause and think, Did he really just say that The other one was he only uses Chaucer s Canterbury Tales as his source for his lecture on religious pilgrimages There was no mention of Egeria s diary of her pilgrimage to the Holy Land written in the 5th century Not only is The Diary of a Pilgrimage a first person account but I suspect that most westerners don t know about her It was an opportunity lost by Prof Garland And finally, the series is decidedly Western, Christian, and English by the time we get to the 800 900s I love this period of English history, but it would have been nice to hear about other cultures as well As you may have guessed the title is misleading It should be Daily Life in the Ancient and Medieval English World But, those are minor annoyances Everything else was quite interesting and enlightening. , VS , audible guidebook. Trigger warning

Dr Robert S.J Garland is the Roy D and Margaret B Wooster Professor of the Classics at Colgate University He earned his B.A in Classics from Manchester University, his M.A in Classics from McMaster University, and his Ph.D in Ancient History from University College London.A former Fulbright Scholar and recipient of the George Grote Ancient History Prize, Professor Garland has educated stud

[BOOKS] ⚦ The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World Author Robert Garland –
  • Audio CD
  • The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
  • Robert Garland
  • English
  • 11 July 2018
  • 9781598038620

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