Between the Rivers: The History of Ancient Mesopotamia : The Great Courses: Ancient History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Alexis Q. Castor
  • Series: The Great Courses: Ancient History
  • 18 hrs and 0 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

All cultures lie in the shadow of ancient Mesopotamia-the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that is now mostly encompassed by the borders of modern Iraq. In this fascinating series of 36 lectures, an award-winning teacher leads you on a vivid journey through Mesopotamian history-from Neolithic times to the age of Alexander the Great-and into the lives of mighty emperors, struggling farmers, ambitious merchants, and palace servants to reveal why this ancient culture occupies such a foundational position in our history.
The lectures look back to the time when the first cities arose in Mesopotamia and kings created complex bureaucracies to rule their expanding territories, thus fostering the invention of writing and other technologies. You peer into the lives and fortunes of Mesopotamia's people and learn about the birth of the urban lifestyle.
Professor Castor creates a detailed image not only of larger Mesopotamian society but of life on the level of the individual Mesopotamian as well. Among the many fascinating insights into daily Mesopotamian life you examine are how they ate, worked, learned, worshiped, married, and reared children; used scientific ideas to help them order and understand the natural world; engaged with their powerful neighbors in Egypt, Syria, and Anatolia (modern-day Turkey); waged war and experienced peace; and endured the collapse of their cities.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Comprehensive, Intelligent but incomplete

Would you consider the audio edition of Between the Rivers: The History of Ancient Mesopotamia to be better than the print version?

The needlessly flamboyant music and obviously fake applause are clearly aimed at a more childish audience, hard to think why they'd do that.
The audio version was very well read apart from that and the author clearly knows her subject.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Between the Rivers: The History of Ancient Mesopotamia?

The subject was well set out and delivered as a whole.
A map or maps would have been extremely helpful though.


Have you listened to any of Professor Alexis Q. Castor’s other performances? How does this one compare?

n/a


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would want to but it's too long to do that practically.


Any additional comments?

Supplementary learning material, critical to make cohesive sense and memory of this great course is widtheld from customers. A mistake that undermines the value of the book immensely.

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- Alex

Terrible performance.

Any additional comments?

Well, I was really looking forward to listening to this. I have listened to several of the Great Courses lectures, and enjoyed them immensely. However, the performance here made it quite difficult for me to follow.
I know that with Great Courses, speakers are reading from notes, not from a completed text. Of course, one makes allowances for this, and most lecturers in the series lack fluidity to some extent. It isn't usually a big problem. However, Professor Castor is just too jarring for me. She too frequently starts sentences that she struggles to finish.
I have tried listening again, but the performance gets in the way.
I've given three stars for story. That is very arbitrary. I haven't listened to most of it. It's almost certainly a five-star story.

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- Amazon Customer "Martin"

Book Details

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