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

<p>Take this chance to get beyond the abstract dates and figures, kings and queens, and battles and wars that make up so many historical accounts in <strong>The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World</strong>. In 48 richly detailed lectures, Professor Robert Garland of Colgate University 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 in this ambitious course, as Professor Garland takes a series of imaginative leaps to put you inside the world of history's anonymous citizens, providing you with a fuller understanding of the distant past. </p>
Average Customer Rating:
4.467 out of 5
4.5
 out of 
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(137 Reviews) 124
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (137 reviews)
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"11813786%of reviewers would recommend this series"
Customer Questions & Answers:
6 Questions | 13 Answers
Customer Reviews for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
Review 1 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Location:Chapel hill, NC
Fascinating !
Date:July 27, 2016
" I loved every session of this course. I learned so many things I had no idea about. The Professor is excellent and brings history to life. He is very skilled at teaching. "
0points
0out of 0found this review helpful.
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Review 2 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Location:Texas
A Step in Humanizing the Past
Date:July 10, 2016
" History has always been (for me) just dates, places, wars, power, no-power, rich people, not rich people, enemies, slaves, religions, empires, kingdoms, etc. This course has taken available historical information and offered a personalization of the various levels of human existence at given times/civilizations. Now I can better see the limitations confronting the "other side" of the population in history.
I am not at all sure I would have been sufficiently strong to survive the common man's societal conditions in the earlier times. Because of this I must hold my ancestors in high regard. Their survival in those tough times has allowed me to be here today.
A great course for adding human reality to historical records. "
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
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Review 3 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Location:Pacific Northwest, USA
Excellent History from View of the Common Man
Date:June 28, 2016
" I am not rich, famous, royalty, or aristocratic. I am a common man of the modern era and, to the best of my knowledge, all of my ancestors were common men in their eras. Consequently, I found this course to be very helpful in understanding the daily lives of my ancient ancestors.
Professor Garland does not excellent job of describing the other side of history. Professor Garland’s approach to teaching these lectures is to put the student in the role of the subject being taught. For example, Garland would say something like you are a Roman soldier and your daily life would be … I found this style of teaching to be quite effective as it caused me to become engaged with the topic.
Some of the practices of these ancient times still have some applicability to modern. For example, when Professor Garland is describing being a poor Roman, you would still be able to vote (maybe). Voting in Rome was done via the hierarchy of the class structure with the highest level voting first, then the next lower level, and so on. The Roman poor would be the last vote but if the issue had been decided by the time it was the turn of the Roman poor to vote, the Roman poor were not given the chance to vote because their votes were not worth anything. A similar situation exists in the US Presidential elections for those voters like me who live on the western coast. The new agencies will have announced the winner of the US Presidential election long before our votes are cast and counted which is the modern equivalent of saying our votes are not worth anything. No matter how much things change, they still stay the same.
Professor Garland also includes the little bits of humor and side remarks to keep the topic interesting. One of my favorites is that to fund the Crusades, a tax on earnings was imposed which means the Crusades were also the founders of the IRS.
The vast majority of the history courses focus on the lives and activities of the rich, famous, and leaders of the historical world. However, these individuals would not have made their achievements without the common person. I highly recommend this course to get an thorough understanding of the common people who made the world possible for the rich and famous leaders. "
 
My Product Recommendations
 
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
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Review 4 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Location:Bonita Springs, FL
Couldn't put it down!
Date:May 3, 2016
" This expression usually applies to a book, but this course certainly deserves it. We sometimes watched 2 in a row to enjoy it longer. Everyone has already said it all before me: Dr. Garland's original and fascinating way of presenting ancient history from the "I was there" perspective of the common man; his being so comfortable with performing on this one stage without appearing awkward or ill at ease, etc. But I will mostly call him one of the best storytellers of Great Courses' stable of lecturers - if not the best. With a superbly articulate diction, which makes him very easy to understand and follow, without ever missing a beat or a word because of having to reconstruct a garbled sentence or a slurred word. We just finished this, our first by Dr. Garland, and right away bought another two. Which would be enough of a recommendation, would it not? "
+9points
11out of 13found this review helpful.
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Review 5 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Location:Atlanta, GA
Liked his other course so much I took this one
Date:March 29, 2016
" I enjoyed Professor Garland's "Living History" course so much that I was excited to watch this one, and I was not disappointed.
I watched it through my subscription to The Great Courses Plus, and I liked it so much that I bought it. "
+7points
8out of 9found this review helpful.
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Review 6 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Location:Gig Harbor, WA
Zard review of The Other Side of History
Date:March 16, 2016
" This was a fantastic course. I have taken other courses that covers this time period but never from Garland's perspective. This is history from the common man point of view. The poor, sick, disabled, criminals, women, etc. and it was fascinating. The course was helped tremendously by the way Professor Robert Garland presented it. it was almost like he was there and relating the story of their lives as they had just told it to him. This course was not dry and academic. And when he read Chaucer using the words as they were written and using the accent that was probable at that time it was totally fascinating. Just from those parts of the series you could see how our English language has changed and a bit of the thought process of that time.
His wrap up, the final chapter, was exquisite. He somehow managed to highlight the key points of the 48 lectures and got you remembering all of the things he had covered and then talking about where they were like us and different from us. The 48th chapter was like a great dinner where all of the courses comprising the meal were delightful.
If you want to get a sense of how the ordinary people lived in Ancient Times (Paleolithic, Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Medieval) then check this course out. As far as I am concerned five stars is not enough. "
+14points
15out of 16found this review helpful.
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Review 7 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Location:Americus, GA
Wonderful experience
Date:March 1, 2016
" I own quite a number of Great Courses, and I would rank this course in the top 1%. First, the content is not what one usually gets in a history course. I should know; I taught history at the college level for about 35 years. All history teachers know that they typically ignore the great mass of humanity when they focus on kings, generals, presidents, titans of industry, military conflicts, intellectual currents, architecture, and on and on. Of course, the problem is the dearth of evidence about "common folk" the further one retreats into the past. So, from the viewpoint of content/topics covered, I found the course excellent.
Second, I found Prof. Garland's presentation superb. Some have criticized his walking back and forth as he lectures. This is almost surely the Teaching Company's call. All the the courses that I have that were produced in the last several years make use of two cameras and have the lecturers reading from teleprompters. My experience is that some have not been able to accommodate themselves to this format in that they are very awkward in moving from one spot to another and in lecturing from a teleprompter. Prof. Garland has mastered this on both accounts. He casually strolls from one position to another, as he likely does in his classroom. Moreover, it is not obvious that he is looking at the teleprompter. Prof. Garland also has a unique delivery which immediately betrays his British origins, which I found delightful. His cadence is also rather unique, a factor which at least one reviewer criticized. I found it, once again, delightful.
Finally, I experienced with Prof. Garland, what I had not experienced with any other lecturer that I have engaged in a Great Course presentation. By, say, the third lecture, I felt that he and I were friends, and I was glad to see him again.
I am glad to give this course my highest endorsement. "
+13points
13out of 13found this review helpful.
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Review 8 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Location:Indianapolis, IN
One of the best Great Courses I've listened to.
Date:February 25, 2016
" This series has set the bar for me about how good the Great Courses lectures can be. An engaging insight into how normal folks lived while Socrates walked the Plaza or Caesar crossed the Rubicon. It isn't pretty. The lot of normal people and especially women has been tough through the ages. It really lends an appreciation to the era we live in today. "
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
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Review 9 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Location:Washington State
Like the course, however......
Date:February 5, 2016
" I have a few Great Courses downloaded and have had no problem with those. This one however...skips and then repeats the prior 5 seconds in the recording, increases and decreases in volume and also stops during presentation for up to 27 seconds before resuming and therefore is very frustrating to listen/watch. Doubt if I will continue this course and I really wanted to :-( "
0points
1out of 2found this review helpful.
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Review 10 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Location:Baltimore
The Good Old Days - Not!
Date:February 1, 2016
" It's taken me months to get to this series of lectures but, once I dove in, I found it to be a fascinating look at every day life in the ancient world. I'm not going to quibble over some minor inconsistencies in the course, but I offer the following as constructive criticism, both to the Great Courses staff and potential purchasers of this course.
First of all, it is entirely Eurasian-centric. The course moves quickly, in chronological order, from the fist civilizations in Mesopotamia, to Egypt, then Greece, Rome, ending with life in the Middle Ages up to roughly 1400 A.D. There is no mention of life in the ancient worlds of Mesoamerica, the Far East, or Pan-Pacific cultures.
That said, it was an eye opener for me to examine the everyday life of people in various cultures who did not make the history books. And yes, the rich and well-off lived lives very different from the common man or woman. The different ideas on government, religion, and cultural norms were fascinating to watch and learn.. But in the end, my biggest take-away is that I'm glad I live in the times I do. For, like the philosopher Thomas Hobbes observation in his opus Leviathan, the life of man in the ancient world was indeed "poore, nasty, brutish, and short." "
+12points
12out of 12found this review helpful.
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Review 11 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Worthwhile
Date:January 31, 2016
" This was just one of the several Video/DVDs I purchased for myself and as gifts for my son in banking and middle school granddaughter. I enjoyed viewing The Other Side of History. This is a topic not presented in classrooms generally. I am sure my granddaughter will benefit from the mental math DVD as she is quite the student. The professor covered the topic in an erudite, engaging manner. I will certainly endorse this format for your interests. You will not regret making this purchase. They make a gift that will be appreciated. "
+6points
6out of 6found this review helpful.
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Review 12 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Enjoyed The other side of history
Date:January 29, 2016
" I have always wanted to have more information on the lives of ordinary people during the ages. Survival and change is the basis for human advancement. "
0points
2out of 4found this review helpful.
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Review 13 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Well presented, interesting.
Date:January 28, 2016
" The course was ell presented, and interesting. The professor draws from a wide variety of sources. "
0points
1out of 2found this review helpful.
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Review 14 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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History's Other Side
Date:January 21, 2016
" This course answered so many questions that I have always had about the lives of regular people in the ancient world. I thoroughly enjoyed the lively and complete content as well as the supplemental text that came with this course. Thank you, Dr. Garland, for this amazing course! "
+1point
1out of 1found this review helpful.
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Review 15 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Location:NJ
The Other Side of History
Date:January 20, 2016
" Have not yet finished the course. That being said the Professor does not get into as much detail as I hoped. "
-14points
0out of 14found this review helpful.
Response from The Teaching Company:By Customer CareJanuary 21, 2016
Thank you for sharing your feedback with our community. I'm sorry that you are disappointed with the professor's approach. If the course is not meeting your expectations, please don't feel compelled to finish it! After all, this isn't college. That's why we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. I hope you will call us at 1-800-832-2412 and one of our associates will offer an alternative you are sure to enjoy, or a full refund of your purchase. Thank you for being a customer.
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Review 16 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Location:Buffalo, NY
Date:January 20, 2016
" I wasn't sure what it would be like to buy videos of people just giving lectures but I decided to go for it. So glad I did. I bought this to enhance my own teaching and to use for enjoyment of the areas I don't teach. What a great idea to show history from these points of view. My students and I are benefitting from this series enormously. Professor Garland does an excellent job of making his lectures informative and engaging. I plan to purchase other lectures by him since I enjoy his scholarship and delivery so much. "
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
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Review 17 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Location:Baltimore, MD
Interesting topic and an excellent presentation
Date:January 20, 2016
" I am a scientist, but decided to try something different for my daily commute to work. This is the first course I purchased and definitely not the last. The topic is facinating and describes a side of history beyond the conventional lists of historical facts. While the material was not completely new to me, it was full of nuance and Dr. Garland made it truly come to life. I highly recommend listening to this course. "
+4points
4out of 4found this review helpful.
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Review 18 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Location:Richardson, TX
Surprising Subject
Date:January 20, 2016
" The breadth of this course is extraordinary, but the captivating fascination for the professor and his subject matter is both surprising and delightful. I haven't stopped watching it over and over again. "
+3points
3out of 3found this review helpful.
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Review 19 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Location:Tucson, AZ
Daily Life
Date:January 20, 2016
" I own around 80 Great Courses and tend to have high expectations. This was one of the best courses that I have watched. I would recommend it to anyone interested in history. "
+5points
5out of 5found this review helpful.
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Review 20 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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Location:Los Altos, CA
Loved this course!
Date:January 16, 2016
" I put off finishing because I didn't want it to end. I then went and bought all the other Robert Garland offerings I could find. Please bring us more of him! "
+2points
2out of 2found this review helpful.
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