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

  • by The Great Courses, Robert Garland
  • Narrated by Professor Robert Garland
  • Series: The Great Courses: Ancient History
  • 24 hrs and 28 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

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 48 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 Ages.
The 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 invasion.
Put yourself in the sandals of ordinary people and discover what it was like to be among history's 99%. 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.
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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Audible Editor Reviews

Captivating and informative, The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World is narrated by Professor Robert Garland in association with The Great Courses. This book gives an entirely original perspective on history, told through the eyes of the ordinary citizen living in the vast and influential ancient empires that once ruled. Professor Garland narrates these historical audiobook lectures vividly. He brings to life the finer and fascinating details of ordinary life for the ordinary person during this time. In order to understand cultures and behaviours in today's societies, knowledge of those from the past is essential. Available now from Audible.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Nearest thing to time travel available

Would you consider the audio edition of The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World to be better than the print version?

Superb, loved his Greece and Rome, bought this and couldn't get enough. A natural story teller just brings the lives of ordinary people to life. Just relax and let Professor Robert Garland read the narrative to you. Got to be even better than reading it for yourself.


What did you like best about this story?

Ancient Rome


Which character – as performed by Professor Robert Garland – was your favourite?

The leader of the Roman bandits which he did with an east end accent like Fagan from Oliver Twist or an English pirate.


Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Infant mortality in the ancient and medieval world 25-30%. Starvation of the children left behind after their family were wiped out by the plague and having to beg in the streets. Throwing ones relative onto a passing plague cart from an upstairs window which for a deeply religious people must have been terrible, but they had no choice.


Any additional comments?

At 53 years of age I want to go to university and study history under Professor Garland. Along with the Time Travellers Guide to Medieval England and the Time Travellers Guide to Tudor England by Ian Mortimer this is a must for those that wish to learn about history from the viewpoint of ordinary people. Works such as these have taken a long time to appear, but now they they have I hope there is more to come.

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- JL

A great Listen. plenty of it. Slight repetition.

Entertaining and informative. Well presented by the prof. who sounds a bit of a stereotype, but his enthusiasm is evident and his empathy for ancient lives is clear.
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- richard

Book Details

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