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Publisher's Summary

Integrated approaches to teaching Greek and Roman history are a rarity in academia. Most scholars are historians of either Greek or Roman history and perform research solely in that specific field, an approach that author and award-winning Professor Robert Garland considers questionable.

In these 36 passionate lectures, he provides an impressive and rare opportunity to understand the two dominant cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world in relation to one another - a relationship that has virtually no parallel in world history. He shows you how these two very different cultures intersected, coincided, and at times, collided.

You'll discover the extraordinary culture that we call Greco-Roman: a unique fusion of civilizations that encompasses statecraft, mythology, language, philosophy, fine arts, architecture, science, and much else. Who were the Greeks and the Romans? How did they organize their societies? How did they interact?

In this unique integrated historical approach, you'll see how Greece and Rome's relationship resembled a marriage: two distinct personalities competing in some areas, sharing in others, and sometimes creating a new synthesis of the two civilizations. And you'll consider their more substantive cultural differences, including religion, their views of foreigners, and their ways of thinking.

You'll delight in the variety of sources - literature, archaeology, the visual arts, coinage, inscriptions - that Professor Garland draws upon to assemble a fascinating and complex picture of these two great civilizations. And you'll appreciate how he keeps Greece and Rome focused on how this material affects us today.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

©2008 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2008 The Great Courses

What listeners say about Greece and Rome: An Integrated History of the Ancient Mediterranean

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Terrific

This is the second great course I have listened to by Professor Robert Garland. Extremely knowledgeable and wonderful delivery. I commute three hours a day, listening to this course makes the commute worth it.

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Utterly delightful!

Anything by Robert Garland is a delight to listen to and learn from. This is a beautiful narrative on a complex and intertwined history that has shaped us all.

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fascinating

a thorough and fascinating review of how Ancient Rome and Greece interacted. I had to stop and read a bit on Ancient Rome before I could fully appreciate the depth of the information in this course.
Robert Garland loves his topic and is both entertaining and informative. I love every course he has presented.

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  • Mountain K9iner
  • 12-08-2014

Excellent content with some caveats

Any additional comments?

Prof. Garland makes clear from several perspectives why we cannot understand or appreciate ancient Rome apart from its relationship to ancient Greece. I now appreciate more than ever the concept "Greco-Roman." This course is excellent, but there are some shortcomings the listener should be aware of.

1. Garland occasionally argues from etymologies to support some of his interpretations. This method of argumentation has been discredited for over 50 years. His conclusions may be correct, but when he etymologizes his methodology is suspect.

2. Garland, in spite of his protestations against it, seems unable to resist playing the role of a long-distance armchair psychologist analyzing the interior motives of long-dead ancient persons about whom we know very little.

3. Garland's presentation of the relationship between Christianity and Greco-Roman culture is superficial at best and just plain wrong at worst. He fails to present (or understand?) the essentially Jewish nature of primitive (including Pauline) Christianity. Further, while he argues that Christianity is essentially an amalgamation of elements derived from contemporaneous Mediterranean religions, he also argues that Christianity thoroughly overhauled the ideology and worldview of the Greco-Roman world. How what was essentially a patchwork of existing religious beliefs could have had such a thoroughgoing transformational effect he does not even address or question. He does not appear to be aware of this apparent contradiction.

That being said, the course is well worth it and I will listen to some of Prof. Garland's other presentations.

88 people found this helpful

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  • Julia
  • 06-09-2013

Totally Fascinating

Any additional comments?

Apart from Professor Garland's jerky manner of speech, which grew on me, this audiobook series is absolutely fascinating. I appreciated the integrated history of Greece and Rome from all angles, including other groups like the Etruscans and some mention of other tribes and the Egyptians. I had a fuzzy picture of what these cultures were like and how they fit together, but did not understand the big picture until I listened to these excellent and well researched lectures. The biggest aspect I appreciate by Professor Garland is his storytelling ability and charm. I love how he organizes the courses. Highly recommended for history fans!

16 people found this helpful

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  • SJ
  • 29-09-2016

Robert Garland Rocks!

I'm a big fan of Robert Garland. He's very passionate about his interests and conveys that with joy when he shares it. Greece and Rome: An Ingegrated History is unlike all the other lecture series' i've listened to from Teaching Company/Great Courses. It plumbs the depths of the well-known Greco-Roman story from a higher altitude than most, offering true glimpses of fresh perspective. And that is quite an accomplishment.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Ark1836
  • 10-10-2017

Interesting Comparative History

This is fundamentally a comparative history of Ancient Greece and Rome. I think the title is a little misleading because the course does not tell a comprehensive history of either civilization. Instead, the course compares the differences between the two groups and discusses how they interacted. The course assumes a basic understanding of Greek and Roman history, though you do not have to be an expert to enjoy this course. Overall, this course was enjoyable and educational. The professor raised numerous thought-provoking ideas.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Katherine
  • 17-12-2016

I didn't want it to end

But alas it has. ☹️ They always do... ugh. I need to learn greek. I need to learn more about Epicureans....more more more!

6 people found this helpful

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  • jason k ryan
  • 21-08-2016

Most intelligent

I was almost sad when it ended..it reiterated many points of history that I already knew.. And introduced me to so many other factors that I will have to study now. I most definitely will listen to this entire lecture again because I couldn't possibly gather all the information in one listen. I have a new found respect for Greek and Roman history and for the professor Robert Garland. I will actually search for more of his lectures, it was brilliantly put together and very intellectually and passionately presented..A definite and must listen if you are in anyway interested in Roman and Greek history best listen so far

4 people found this helpful

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  • BVerité
  • 28-05-2014

Phenomenal listen!!! A superior audiobook!

I have enjoyed most of the Great Courses I've bought. This lecture is one of the best, with a great depth of information and excellent analysis and synthesis of ancient societies of Greece and Rome. It has been my experience to read and study Greek and Roman civilizations quite separately, making it seem that they are many centuries apart. But in truth, the "classic" age of Greece takes place during the early life of Rome. The Hellenistic period is during Rome's rise to power. Professor Garland provides excellent synthesis of the material in the proper context, demonstrating the interplay of the two cultures. He explores both cultures and governments, with an emphasis on the differences, similarities, and strengths of each society, and how each influenced the other. I have recently finished listening to a half dozen books about ancient civilizations, including the histories of Rome and Greece. This lecture is an excellent find for me- bringing it all together for a better understanding. The approach taken by Professor Garland reshapes the study of these two great societies, giving the listener a new perspective and a fuller and more complex world view.

But the biggest reason I recommend this lecture series is that it's just a really interesting and fun listen!! The teacher is excellent the material is fascinating, and it's just a truly enjoyable experience! Each lecture is engaging and compelling. I kept thinking- ok just one more lecture before bed... That kept happening well into the night, so that I was up early into the next morning, fighting sleep just to hear a little bit more.

This audiobook/lecture is a complete success, and I'm forever grateful that the Great Courses series is available through Audible!! If you are interested in the time period or in the history of either Rome or Greece, you will enjoy this audiobook!! It is one of the best, and the professor is a joy. Don't pass it up! If you are interested enough to read this review, then you should get this audiobook now!! :)

19 people found this helpful

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  • E. Smyth
  • 09-06-2017

Fantastic!

This course is a great follow-up to the basic courses on Greece and Rome offered by The Learning Company. The integrated history explored here takes it all to another and very satisfying level. The professor is entertaining as well as informative. Highly recommended for anyone who already has some basic knowledge of ancient Greece and Rome and wants to know much more.

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  • Bob
  • 08-04-2017

I blame the Romans

All of modern society's greatest and darkest moments can be traced to the marriage of these two cultures, these two peoples. This course was essential for me to understand the intricacies of the birth and demise of the Roman empire and its export of what modern society believes what it means to be human.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jim
  • 10-05-2020

Useful, Infomative, scholarly--It Needed a Map

Despite its length, this is one of the best lecture series I have bought. As a university professor I was not knowledgeable about the relationship between Greece and Rome. I am now. Only two criticisms: 1) Audible should provide a download with maps and timeline, and 2) Mr. Garland has a habit of dropping the last word in his concluding sentences. Obviously this lecture is not for everyday readers. It's for those wanting specialized knowledge, somewhat in depth, delivered with energy. With that in mind I recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Iain G.
  • 01-02-2019

Good but hard as a pure audio book

As this does not follow a timeline it can be hard to follow and I think is far better if you already have a solid foundation in the history of both Rome and Greece.

4 people found this helpful

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  • P. Caetano
  • 21-05-2018

Classic Greece and Rome entangled and alive!

Prof. Garland gives us a comprehensive and anthusiastic view of the many eclectic topics from public to private life where Greek and Roman civilization overlapp, inclunding a thrilling account of the war between the two civilizations, where the Romans won in terms of imperial and military power but the Greeks won in terms of culture inclunding education, philosophy, science and religion. I've seen a recent similar debate between the former mayor of London and current British equivalent to foreign affairs minister, Boris Johnson, defending the ancient Greeks (strange for a politician who was the main responsible to cut off Britain from European civilization with Brexit) and the Cambridge classics professor, Mary Beard, defending Roman superiority, and despite the two being excellent communicators and a vibrant audience and moderator, I found that the clearly vibrant and enthused monologue from Prof. Garland about the pros and cons of each culture was even more vibrant and persuasive!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Jonathan
  • 10-11-2014

An Unusual and Fascinating Perspective

This course was very interesting and informative, and also highly enjoyable. The lecturer has a very easy-to-follow, informal style while managing to impart both a lot of knowledge and also a real feeling for these ancient cultures. This course is told in a chronological order and the relevant historical framework is explained very well, but primarily it is about a comparison of Greek and Roman cultures, and the interactions between them. This makes it very unusual and by the end I felt that I understood the two cultures very much better and could view a variety of other material, both ancient history and contemporary culture, in better perspective. As for all Great Courses material, I recommend looking at the Great Courses web site for details on content and also additional reviews.I recommend this course highly.

3 people found this helpful

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  • A. Grieve
  • 27-06-2020

Fascinating history

I really enjoy Robert Garland’s course content and delivery. Full of detail and insights into how Greece and Rome became so intertwined. If you enjoy history of any era you’ll find this an enjoyable listen. I often listen repeatedly to fall asleep which is a big compliment!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-05-2020

Good, but not as good as his others

I am a big fan of Robert Garland, and thoroughly enjoyed his other courses, but not quite so much this one. I found the chronological history sections quite difficult to follow on audio, mainly because there are so many Greek 'factions' - in a book, I'd be constantly referring to a map and a glossary, but this doesn't work so well on an audiobook. Many of the other lectures reminded me of those in 'The Other Side of History' series, but possibly because the format was so 'comparative' between the two cultures, it didn't have the same humanity. I think this would be a great audiobook if you already have a reasonable knowledge of Greek and Roman history and culture, and want a 'guided comparison' to help you to think more deeply. But as someone who really doesn't have that knowledge, and wanted a '2 for 1' guide to both I did struggle. Serves me right for being cheap, I guess.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mark H
  • 04-09-2017

The backdrop to Western Civilisation

I thought 39 lectures would be hard going but I was sad when it finished. Great insight and reference points for more detailed reading. Thoroughly recommended

2 people found this helpful

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  • Louise A.
  • 16-09-2014

Fantastic overview of Ancient Greece and Rome

I have enjoyed listening to several of The Great Courses, and particularly enjoy Professor Robert Garland's engaging way of teaching you about the ancient world. He has a way of making a long listen very enjoyable and amusing at times. I was drawn to this particular course as I have always read about Greece and Rome separately and this gave a wonderful overview and explained how they worked in synergy to create the world we know today. Of course they didn't always get along and both sides of their relationship with each other, and other nations, such as Persia and Egypt came to influence the modern day world. This course is not dry in any way, and instead gives a very real human perspective of the events, and normal day to day life, as it was known in the ancient world.

3 people found this helpful

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  • philkim
  • 25-04-2021

An epic narrative expertly told

An excellent, insightful overview of the ebbs and flows of Graeco-Roman history and culture spanning more than 1,000 years.

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  • Ian1956
  • 27-01-2021

Excellent survey

The information and insights acquired over a lifetime of scholarship can be difficulty to convey, but Professor Garland does so brilliantly. There's no talking down to the general listener; instead, we are taken through all aspects of the ancient Mediterranean world with enough examples (but never too many) to prove his points, and enough analysis to put all of these into context. Those who complain that there is no simple chronological approach miss the point that in order to see long term developments, you cannot merely plod through year by year, battle by battle, ruler by ruler, and so on. I can think of no better introduction to the topic for students.

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  • Emanuele Pezzani
  • 11-11-2020

A Garland guarantee

I already listened to Robert Garland's "The Greek World" and "Living History" and in every lesson he showcases his knowledge, his enthusiasm, his intellectual honesty, his passion. This is probably a crowning achievement, a fully parallel history of Greek and Roman civilizations along their many complex interactions, from Pyrrhus to Justinian throughout philosophy, medicine, architecture, politics, entertainment. Yes, it does help if you already have a background: if you are a novice you'll probably have to listen to these lessons a few times (and also with an encyclopedia and a historical atlas) but you won't regret them either way, I just find him very engaging and inspiring!

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