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  • The Modern Scholar

  • History of Ancient Greece
  • By: Eric H. Cline
  • Narrated by: Eric H. Cline
  • Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
  • 3.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

In this intriguing series of lectures, prolific researcher, author, and George Washington University professor Eric H. Cline delves into the history of ancient Greece, frequently considered to be the founding nation of democracy in Western civilization. From the Minoans to the Mycenaeans to the Trojan War and the first Olympics, the history of this remarkable civilization abounds with momentous events and cultural landmarks that resonate through the millennia.

Ancient Greece, indeed, lives on in modern culture, evidenced by an ever-present fascination with the tales of Homer, Greek drama, and the spectacular stories associated with Greek mythology. In the rise of Sparta and Athens, and the origins of democracy in Greek society, people today find a wealth of relevant material for understanding not only ancient Greece, but the modern world. And there is no greater fount of learning than that supplied by the immortal philosophers of Greece: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

©2007 Eric H. Cline (P)2007 Recorded Books, LLC

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  • David
  • 14-09-2011

Excellent survey

This is a perfectly-pitched survey of Ancient Greece. If you're like me, you know the vague outlines of Greek history, but wanted to know more of the details. If so, this will be an excellent series of lectures for you: the lecturer gives you a solid outline of the historical facts, covering a bit of social history and philosophy along with the stories of the kings and warrriors, and he organizes it well, with summaries at the end to remind you of what you've learned. He never condescends, speaking briskly and packing lots of information into each short lecture.

By the way, the reviewer who says there is 'too much Christianity' in these lectures must be reviewing some other audiobook by mistake - there is no mention of Christianity at all in this one.

22 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nathan
  • 05-10-2008

Extremely informative

This series of lectures is extremely informative and enjoyable. A detailed overview of Greek history it is a very good introduction to the ancient Greeks. If you already have a working knowledge of Greek history it's a pretty good review if you don't it's an even better place to start. Well worth the time and money. I'd buy it again.

22 people found this helpful

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  • antonio
  • 08-09-2014

A good survey : listenable , but a bit light...

If you've a vague or no idea of the ancient Greek history and you'd like to know the big picture , this book is for you. The history is presented with clarity and it is easy to follow. However for more knowledgeable readers this is far too light , i.e more an high school book than a source for more academic information. The author goes trough smoothly major events and anecdotes without really trying to raise and discuss more interesting issues that go behind battles and kings.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Tod
  • 31-08-2015

Great content, clunky lecture

This is a solid overview of Ancient Greece. The lecturer is a bit awkward, but in a harmless, even endearing way. If you know little or nothing about Greek history, I recommend this course highly.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • T. R. Hummer
  • 20-01-2017

Greek History

I listened to the lectures happily enough. They are affably and intelligently presented, though not particularly incisive. As an introduction to the Greeks, they do fine.

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  • John
  • 11-08-2016

Easy to understand

What about Eric H. Cline’s performance did you like?

Clearly explained in nontechnical terms. Easy to understand and comprehend.

Any additional comments?

A clearly explained account of Greek history from the ancient times to the death of Alexander the Great. I am no historian but I do enjoy reading history and Mr. Cline's course cleared up a lot of areas of confusion for me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Eugene
  • 15-01-2015

Great overview

After listening to this course I feel that I have a pretty good understanding of the names, times and places related to the history of the Ancient Greece. It would be true to say that my knowledge remains shallow but then there are other books and courses to go deep. This course was the first on the subject and I think it was a good start.

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  • SARKIS
  • 28-08-2013

Well summarized history of Ancient Greece.

This audio book may serve as an introduction or review of the titled topic. Professor Cline is very easy to follow. I highly recommend this audiobook.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jim Davis
  • 05-08-2019

Great Course. Great Professor.

One of the best professors I've ever heard. If you get the two main suggested textbooks and take some notes, you'd be able to test out in at least one greek history course. The money I spent on college, wow. And I'll tell you a secret. You can still get financial aid if you are granted "Independent Study" with a department head. This course provides all the information needed to not just pass a course but trump any bell curve. Between the lecture, and two books, Lecture One about 14 pages of notes. This course provides the framework for you to be able each period of Ancient Greek History in depth. I really feel that you should have added more on Alexandria professor but to be within the time limit many of these courses seem to have then considered doing a course on the History of Alexandria. The Rise and Fall of Alexandria is a great book but you approach subjects archaeologically, and that's way more interesting than any history course I had in school. Also got 1177 BC. I know it might be hard to do the recording to read a book, but I'd rather hear you than some professional voice over person. My advice to everyone is to ditch TV and learn something today. I got rid of cable in 2015 and my free time is now well spent. I only paused my membership because a few of these courses, I'm actually taking in-depth with other sources. I bought about 24 books in a little over a year. I spent 5 months, watching no TV at all, even downloaded stuff. I feel so much better. Only 2 of those titles I didn't like and one didn't have chapter info for 300+ chapters in it, which seems unfinished. Cline's voice isn't annoying so this one you can listen to over and over. I also agree that London needs to give Athens back all the stuff they took but I'm not that way 100% across the board on similar situations. I've seen how ugly the world can be and when it comes to this time in which we live, some things, for now, should stay in the West. Get Modern Scholar Archaeology and the Illiad. I listened to that repeatedly while working so many times I can't count. Get 1177 BC and also Cline's Course on History of Israel. Even listening to these courses once, you will know the basics and you'll see where events like Exodus & Book of Joshua would have fallen, the Collapse of the Late Bronze Age but these are academic and not religious courses. I'm religious but not fundamentalist so I can admit that events in early history may have been telescoped, combining events and metaphors for natural events. Audible is the price of Netflix or Hulu, I think. I ditched those too. I even bought 3 more 2 or 3 times. I got more than I need now and I bought also kindle books to supports key courses I listen to again and again. This is one of them. I hope you do more, Professor.

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  • El Man
  • 22-01-2019

Good but basic

It seemed more for a high school student. I was hoping for a more in depth book.

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  • Ben
  • 22-07-2014

Disappointing

I was very disappointed with this lecture series.
Firstly, the presentation is very dull; Cline does not speak with any enthusiasm, droning on as if he's bored by his own script. He includes quotations from sources which are too long; if you're going to be quoting for more than a minute, in a lecture format you're better off summarising. The quotes, in addition, were not always well-chosen - for example, when you're attempting to cover so much in 8 hours, why read a long description of the symptoms of the Athenian plague?
This brings me onto my gripe with the overall selection of material in the course. 8 hours go from prehistory to the Hellenistic period results in a course which completely lacks in depth, and Cline does not use his time effectively - for example, he spends the same amount of time on the Trojan War, an event shrouded in myth, as he does on the vastly better-documented Peloponnesian War. The reason Cline does this is obvious: by training, he is an archaeologist, and is therefore very familiar with the excavations at Troy. Now, whilst it may seem foolish of me to cast doubt on Cline's credentials to teach this course, I am so dissatisfied that I must do so.
Cline's area of expertise does not extend to Greek History beyond the 'dark age', and indeed he does not have a record of publication on Classical or Hellenistic Greece. This shows throughout the course, as he has a very shallow understanding of events. For example, he states that Pericles deliberately tried to bring on the Peloponnesian War - definitely a matter of interpretation which should not be stated as fact. He speaks at length about the stories of Cyrus's childhood and Solon's meeting with Croesus, presenting them as if they are part of the historical narrative when they are legendary stories (Solon and Croesus don't even overlap chronologically, for instance). Further, he does not use this extended exposition of these stories to make a point about the development of historiography, making them even more questionable inclusions in the course. Several times, Cline suggests that Spartan society might reasonably be called Communistic or Socialistic - completely inappropriate and anachronistic concepts. Repeatedly, Cline seems to miss the point, or deliver information which he fails to relate to the subject at hand. He even discusses the Roman Emperor Nero's participation in the Olympics and some of the events of his reign - it's as if his mind has completely wandered off on a tangent!
If I recommended this course to any newcomer to Greek history, I would not feel that I was putting them in a safe scholarly pair of hands. This is my first Modern Scholar course, but it has disappointed me in comparison to the Great Courses lectures I have previously seen. I will perhaps try a different Modern Scholar course after checking that the lecturer is working with his specific area of expertise.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Philip
  • 09-03-2013

easier than I thought

I haven't always enjoyed the lecture format of 'modern scholar'- usually they have been good on content but rather difficult listening.



Eric Cline, however was very easy listening- but this was possibly because I knew the topic- or did a few years ago- and downloaded this series as a revision course before a trip to Greece. For that purpose it was excellent.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Andyjn
  • 29-05-2016

Informative

This set of lectures is a very good way to learn about Ancient Greece. The lecturer is good.

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  • jeremy
  • 09-07-2013

Very listenable and great content

One of the better Modern Scholar presentations. Not only an interesting subject (no prior knowledge required) but well read too.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jim
  • 27-04-2013

Widescreen history

This is a great series isn't it? I've yet to find one of the Modern Scholar releases that doesn't show the spoken word format off at its best. Once again we have a deeply informed academic with an engaging and enthusiastic style offering a gripping overview of a subject which I thought I knew something about but on which it turns out I was pretty ignorant. This is big picture history spanning hundreds of years and huge swathes of the ancient world but Prof Cline keeps the story clipping along with a nice mixture of fine detail and broader analysis.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • alicia marchant
  • 14-01-2012

Informative and fun

A brilliant introduction to ancient greek history. Cline manages to make something so distant from modern life relateable.

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