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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:
4.51 out of 5
4.5
 out of 
5
(98 Reviews) 91
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (98 reviews)
5 stars
73
4 stars
12
3 stars
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"86 of 98(88%)reviewers would recommend the course to a friend."
Customer Questions & Answers:
5 Questions | 10 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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2 out of 5
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2 out of 5
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1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Location:Hollywood, CA
Superficial facts without understanding
Date:March 26, 2015
" I love the Great Courses and have reviewed many. This course is the first that has been a discouragement from beginning to end. This is the most superficial presentation of bias facts without understanding. It is pompous wit without wisdom. It is dilettante academics without depp knowledge. It may be that Robert tried to cover too much that was too similar with the politics of envy trying to hook the uninitiate. Even so, it needs to be completely revised. "
 
My Product Recommendations
 
+3points
8out of 13found this review helpful.
Response from The Teaching Company:By Customer CareMarch 27, 2015
Thank you for sharing your feedback. This is indeed a different approach vs. many other courses. As a longtime customer, I'm sure you are familiar with The Great Courses 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. I hope you will call us at 800-832-2412, and one of our associates will recommend a replacement or offer a full refund. Thanks again.
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Review 2 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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5 out of 5
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4 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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Life in the Ancient World
Date:March 24, 2015
" I enjoyed the course immensely and would recommend it to anyone interested in the ancient world. But I have one complaint that applies to many of the DVDs I get. "Why am I watching a DVD that mainly consists of watching a professor walking around talking." The course should be mostly pictures or videos, not a person talking. I could just get it as an audio. If you are going to make a course a DVD then make it mostly visual. "
+15points
15out of 15found 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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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Sharon, PA
Excellent course!
Date:March 10, 2015
" I am enjoying The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World. You can't just watch one lecture, you find yourself watching 2 or 3 in one sitting. I also appreciate the Course Guidebook being included. The professor's presentation makes it seem like you're right there. I look forward to more courses by professor Robert Garland. He is 5 star in my book! Thank you Great Courses for these wonderful offerings in lifelong learning.. "
+3points
3out of 3found 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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5 out of 5
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Inspirational
Date:March 5, 2015
" I am very moved to express my deepest appreciation of Dr. Garland's wit and wisdom that I experienced during his 48 lectures video recorded by The Great Courses entitled "The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World".
While my particular interest lies in the American Adventure of 1820-1870, I enjoy embracing all matters of human history with great appetite. I have enjoyed many purchases of these courses, and have experienced the shear rapture of expanding my knowledge base by the expertise of many outstanding professors.
This course is exemplary among this elite. He made the lives of The Common Folk actually come undeniably alive. I am so grateful for this experience, and will most definitely view our ancestors with a keener appreciation.
I was truly sorry that it was over, and will view it over and over.
Thank you. Well done. "
+5points
5out of 5found 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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4 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Location:California
The Common People
Date:February 28, 2015
" Prof Garland does a great job of presenting the life of the ordinary people in the ancient world. How they were born, lived, worked and died with family friends and state. Those who produced the food and artifacts, but who did not get their names placed on the great works. "
+4points
4out of 4found 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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Great
Date:February 12, 2015
" I have really enjoyed this course. Would strongly recommend it to others "
0points
0out of 0found 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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5 out of 5
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Fantastic DVD
Date:February 12, 2015
" An excellent presenter, knowledgable and engaging. A true educator. Not boring at all. The presenter puts his audience into the shoes of those he is describing, e.g. the Roman woman or the Greek poor. I also appreciated his witty sidebars. "
+1point
1out of 1found 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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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Sharon, PA
Wonderful course!
Date:February 10, 2015
" The course is so interesting that you can't stop watching it. Professor Garland is excellent ! His presentation style is first class! He makes you forget you are learning. Please have him present more courses. Thank you for offering this course. I'm sure I will be purchasing courses for years to come. "
+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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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Rochester, NY
Best Great Course on history in history
Date:January 26, 2015
" Amazing. Every lecture is packed with the kind of insights and discoveries that make you want to sit down and listen again. And I'd listen to Prof. Garland read the phone book - love is style and his sense of humor. "
+8points
8out of 8found 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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5 out of 5
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Location:Sterling Heights, MI
Very Enlightening Course
Date:January 20, 2015
" I am enjoying this course immensely. I am interested in every aspect of history and am delighted to see this kind of course being offered. Professor Garland knows the subject well and presents it well. "
+4points
4out of 4found 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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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Seattle, WA
Great Look at Alternative History
Date:January 4, 2015
" My wife and I both thoroughly enjoyed this look at the "other side of history", which explores what life was like for ordinary people in the ancient and medieval worlds, with particular focus on the ancestors of modern Britons. The lectures give fascinating new insights even into civilizations that I thought I knew well, giving much information that one will not find in standard books. I was particularly intrigued by the personal anecdotes the lecturer told about archeological objects he had seen and his impressions of the people who made them. "
+7points
7out of 7found 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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5 out of 5
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Location:Sioux City Iowa
Daily life in the ancient world comes to life!
Date:January 1, 2015
" This professor is OUTSTANDING- his presentation, knowledge and methods of making one "feel" part of the story of the regular people of the ancients is amazing. He is fabulous, I think- love the slips of British humor as well Super course.... "
+8points
8out of 8found 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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5 out of 5
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4 out of 5
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5 out of 5
Location:A small midwestern city
Fascinating perspective, tales well told
Date:December 28, 2014
" I listen in bits and pieces, mostly on weekend drives to an outdoor volunteer job an hour from home. I can just about do 2 lectures each way, and I thoroughly enjoy them. Each stands alone nicely, which is helpful when there is a week or more between sessions, but the sequence works. The information is clear, interesting, clearly connected to artifacts/documents/sources, general but with enough specific examples and parallels to today to be vivid. Lecturer's voice is clear, strong, well enunciated, well paced. I have not yet finished this course, but the perspectives of "daily life" seem to reflect a broad sample, sensitive to gender and class differences, accommodating fairly the fact that "ordinary people" left fewer artifacts and documents than did the rich and famous...I understand that we can't cover everything, but my only quibble is that "ancient world" doesn't include at least a small detour into other ancient cultures for comparison, perhaps Mexico, China, or North America. But it's a good read. Highly recommended. "
+7points
7out of 7found 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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5 out of 5
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Location:Los Angeles, CA
My favorite.
Date:December 15, 2014
" All of the lectures I've purchased to this date are excellent. However this one is my favorite. The professor is passionate, full of information and simply very insightful. As an art history professor myself I must admit I am in awe of how articulate and engaging this lecturer is - a real conjurer of sorts. The lectures made history seem alive and relevant without the moralizing tendencies we so often see in Hollywood movies dealing with ancient history. I highly recommend this series. "
+9points
9out of 9found 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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4 out of 5
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4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Location:east amherst ny
The Other Side of History - interesting insights
Date:December 15, 2014
" This course is exactly as described, a chronological glimpse of daily life in various ancient and medieval societies. The professor's presentation is well-paced and comprehensive. His thorough knowledge of the subject is apparent. "
+3points
3out of 3found this review helpful.
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Review 16 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:Joplin, MO
An interesting and different focus on history
Date:October 24, 2014
" Having a number of Great Courses on the ancient world I was not sure how much I would get out of this course but I found it quite enjoyable. The presenter has an interesting manner of presentation (I had already watched his course on the Integrated History of Greece and Rome) and he managed to hold my attention well. From the earliest days of mankind (and its predecessors) through the middle ages he looks at history from the eyes of the ordinary person rather than historical figures and while I had my doubts about the approach I did find the course very worthwhile. One aspect I thought of particular interest was how and why Christianity spread through the polytheistic pagan world. I thought he made a persuasive case. While the course focuses not on the great figures of history they are not ignored, nor can they be as they affected the daily life of the average (or above or below average) person. So in one sense this course is something of an overview of western civilization through the middle ages. And it is western civilization that is the focus of the course, not the far east although the middle east comes in for its share of discussion. Whether you have watched a number of the Great Courses on the ancient world or this is one of your first this course and its approach is very worthwhile and I can recommend it.
Many of the Great Courses work best in video and while there are graphics and maps and other visuals included in the course it would likely work well in audio only if you happen to be one who likes listening to these courses when traveling or commuting. "
+32points
32out of 32found this review helpful.
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Review 17 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:St. Louis, MO
Possibly my favorite
Date:October 17, 2014
" We really enjoyed this course. It is, of course, hard to compare this to, say, the course we took on geology which we really loved or the one on the history of architecture, since the content of each is quite different, but this course was really most interesting. Two things mark a truly great Great Course for my hub and me. One is that we find ourselves saying, "I didn't know that!" a lot and the other is a really good prof.
Dr. Garland's presentation is well organized, thorough, interesting, easy to follow and clearly reflects his passion for his subject. He has a nice sense of humor and a good "presence" in addition to a clear mastery of his topic.
There is nothing I love more in a course or a book or in our travels than the opportunity to understand how life was in other times and places. This course was perfect for me. Thank you, Dr. Garland and Great Courses! This was one of my faves. "
+16points
16out of 16found 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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5 out of 5
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Absolutely excellent.
Date:October 7, 2014
" This course is absolutely excellent.
I was hesitant to order it after reading some of the reviews on it, but decided to order it anyway. I am so glad that I did! The course is fascinating and filled with a wealth of detail about the various periods that Professor Garland covers. My only reservation about the entire experience is that there are times when the professor does stop after every word (as other reviewers have commented), but there were just a few times when it was quite distracting.
Other than that very small criticism, I would have nothing at all to complain about in this course! It was really wonderful!
"
+6points
6out of 6found this review helpful.
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Review 19 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
Overall Rating
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
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3 out of 5
3 out of 5
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1 out of 5
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3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Too many judgment calls
Date:September 3, 2014
" Though I thought the content covered in the course was decent, I didn't feel it was presented in an objective manor. Many times, the professor says things like "it must have been" or "they must have felt" when we really have no basis for any of that. How we feel about certain daily things depends greatly on the normalcy of them. For example, if I, as a western 21st century woman, were to travel back to ancient Greece, I would find it very oppressive. But there is no way to know if the women of the time felt that way.
Also, the professor can sound quite preachy at times. I'm not sure who he's preaching to, as I'm pretty sure most people who buy this course already agree that slavery is bad and women's rights are good. So rather than trying to degrade the people of the times for not agreeing with us, the professor could look at things as they were without the delusion of the superiority of modernity.
In short, the professor could have done a much better job in setting aside modern thought processes and focusing less on judging people of the past as if we in the modern age have all the answers. "
+24points
32out of 40found this review helpful.
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Comments (1)
Comments (1)
Customer Avatar
AnneBK
St. Louis, MO
Top 500 Contributor
Surprised
Posted October 19, 2014
I am actually very surprised to read this criticism. I thought the professor was absolutely clear in drawing a distinction between what was simple fact and what impressions he had or reactions he had to the nature of life in each of the cultures he discussed. I'll concede that he rather took for granted that his audience would, for example, view the life of the slaves and pretty awful, but when he described the life of the slaves, they *were* pretty awful. I had no difficulty at all understanding the difference between when he was discussing fact and when he was discussing reactions based on our modern standards. As there is no "objective" right or wrong way for humans to live, he seemed to make very clear where the differences lie and that they were judged on standards that are most assuredly subjective.
+19points
22out of 25found this comment helpful.
Comments (1)
Comments (1)
Review 20 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
Overall Rating
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Location:El Dorado Hills, CA
A different view of history
Date:September 3, 2014
" This is a remarkable course which is extremely well researched and presented by Robert Garland. The time span covered, and the fact that he focuses on the normally forgotten and unknown members of society lets us compare their lives and ours and understand the similarities and differences that exist.
All presented with panache and humor.
Highly recommended.
"
+8points
9out of 10found this review helpful.
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