Famous Greeks : The Great Courses: Ancient History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor J. Rufus Fears
  • Series: The Great Courses: Ancient History
  • 12 hrs and 25 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Join Professor Fears for this riveting 24-lecture examination of fascinating figures who shaped the story of Greece from the Trojan War through the rise of Rome. What do their lives, studied in the context of their times, tell us about virtue and vice, folly and wisdom, success and failure?
Inspired and informed by the monumental works of Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, and Plutarch, these lectures allow you to do exactly that, guided by a truly great teacher. From the heroes of the Trojan War to Alexander the Great and Cleopatra, Professor Fears ushers you into the lives, achievements, and influence of many of the figures who made Greek history.
Among these are great warriors such as Achilles, Agamemnon, Hector, Odysseus, and Alexander the Great; masterful statesmen including Lycurgus, Solon, and Philip of Macedonia; profound thinkers like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle; and artists and writers such as Homer, Herodotus, Sophocles, Thucydides, and Plutarch. These lectures are informed by a fine moral awareness and a deep familiarity with the times these famous lives were lived. By exploring these famous Greek lives in this context, you'll also discover new ways to read familiar classics by Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides, Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Xenophon, and Plato. And in keeping with that historical spirit, Professor Fears draws lessons from each life studied in this course, charting with you the intellectual and artistic currents of one of the most creative civilizations in world history.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Often pompous and inaccurate

What did you like best about Famous Greeks? What did you like least?

Many of the stories are interesting of course, but the lecturer is hard to bear. He comes across as the kind of old fashioned academic who equates wisdom with large words and unusual pronunciations, and who thinks his credentials as a classicist gives him the authority to make strained comparisons between the Greek world and his conservative take on american politics.

He is also often inaccurate. He makes no distinction between reliable and unreliable sources and gives the listen no indication that he is sometimes drawing from contemporary sources and sometimes from a myth that appeared hundreds of years later. I only recognised this for the figures I did know, but it meant I couldn't trust what he said about the figures I did not know. I stopped about three quarters of the way through.


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- DS

Fantastic Fears

I have been listening to lectures for a long time and The Teaching Company/ The Great Courses are generally very good but Professor Fears is their best lecturer, funny, succint, a great actor.

History in his hands is fascinating, clear and compelling, even casting light on some of Socrates impenetrable musings. Famous Greeks, Famous Romans and Churchill are superb. I cant reccommend enough
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- piers

Book Details

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