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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:
4.455 out of 5
4.5
 out of 
5
(134 Reviews) 121
Open Ratings Snapshot
Rating Snapshot (134 reviews)
5 stars
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"11513486%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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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: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? "
+5points
5out of 5found 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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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: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. "
+3points
4out of 5found 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
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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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. "
+11points
12out of 13found 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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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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. "
+9points
9out of 9found 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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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: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 6 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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3 out of 5
3 out of 5
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4 out of 5
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4 out of 5
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4 out of 5
4 out of 5
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 7 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
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4 out of 5
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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." "
+10points
10out of 10found 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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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 9 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
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4 out of 5
4 out of 5
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 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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5 out of 5
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5 out of 5
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 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
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5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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 12 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
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2 out of 5
2 out of 5
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3 out of 5
3 out of 5
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3 out of 5
3 out of 5
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2 out of 5
2 out of 5
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. "
-11points
0out of 11found 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 13 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: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 14 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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4 out of 5
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: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 15 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: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 16 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: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 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
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: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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Review 18 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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3 out of 5
3 out of 5
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3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Location:Toodyay, Western Australia
Sedentary in style, bordering on boring
Date:December 12, 2015
" One reviewer described Prof Garland's presentation style as 'didactic' and 'dry'. I have to agree. His pedantry is exacerbated by long.....drawn.....out....... punctuated.......at......each......word....sentences, as if you are dim-witted or slow on the up-take. The first half-a-dozen lectures are entirely missable, while the rest seem to be overly extended. Even when he cracks a joke, his mouth and eyes rarely admit to the fact.
All in all, this is a course which could well have been improved by reducing it to 36, or even 24 lectures. Certainly, the Teaching Company has MANY other courses which cover history in more dynamic ways. "
+3points
10out of 17found this review helpful.
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Review 19 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:Berkeley, California
History Made Interesting +Very Engaging Prof =YES!
Date:December 10, 2015
" So, you always fancied having a Time Machine? Why? Le me guess... maybe because you're curious about "what would daily life be like" in a particular historical period? Well - this is EXACTLY what this course is about!
And it's taught superbly: a well-researched course by a very engaging professor.
What more could you want?? Well, maybe a chocolate cake served to you by a bellydancer, but let's not digress!
Growing up, I didn't like History... I found it to be far too much about this and that battle, some king or other king, yawn! I wished I had been born 1,000 years earlier, so they would have been a lot less History for me to deal with LOL
However, in the years since graduate school, I've become a fan of History...
I feel that History, like some other subjects (Math, my grad-school major, comes to mind!), is a fascinating subject that sadly can easily come across as "mind-numbingly dull" if taught the wrong way.
Superb courses like this one are the epitome of presenting History the Interesting way - which (to my mind) is about People, Ideas, Society, Lifestyle... what the world is like, what it transforms into, and how it came to become what is now.
Much the same way I like character-driven movies, in order for the "plot" of History (dates, details, kings, battles, etc.) to become interesting to me, I must first be engaged in the "characters" (once again, People, Ideas, Society, Lifestyle.)
The main focus of the course is ancient societies, which suits me just fine. But, buyer beware, If your primary interest is everyday life in, say, the Renaissance, you will NOT find it covered here. When you reaches the Middle Ages, it's the "end of the line: everyone get off the bus!"
But, of course, we have vastly more knowledge about recent times; the professor takes on the difficult task of understanding more remote times... AND much-less documented groups of people : lots of historians over the eons have written about kings, etc., but how much has been documented about the life of poor people, slaves, sick people, women, etc.?
I hugely recommend this course to the following groups of people:
1) EVERYONE (lol!)
2) Anyone who loves knowledge in other fields but has never found studying History in school very captivating - hey, I'm writing my Autobiography here :)
3) Young people who say "History is boring", "why do I care?", or "so what?" Hey, great way to turn on to History your younglings or students!
4) People particularly interested in ancient societies (up to the Middle Ages), and especially in the Greek/Roman civilizations.
PS: if this course whets your appetite for life in the ancient world - as presented by an engaging, passionate teacher - check out the documentaries by the fantabulous historian Bettany Hughes, whom I'm (not-so) secretly in love with! "
+10points
11out of 12found this review helpful.
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Review 20 for The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World
Overall Rating
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Course Content
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Professor Presentation
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
Course Value
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Location:Stamford, CT
A People's History of the Ancient World
Date:September 21, 2015
" What got me into studying history was how people like myself lived and went about their daily lives. This course is a warts and all approach to how people lived their lives hundreds, if not thousands of years go. It is a very in depth examination into the lives of the other 98% of ancient civilizations and cultures.
Most college courses on ancient and Medieval history are about political, social, religious, and economic forces and personalities in a specific period. Very little attention is paid to the people whom the kings, pharaohs, emperors, and popes ruled over. This course aims to fill in the gaps of the history and does a good job of it.
Professor Garland's lectures made me want to live the lives over several of these people, particularly what it must have been like to live in Alexandria, the New York of the Ancient Mediterranean. This is the kind of history that students want to know about. How their distant ancestors lived, worked, raised families, and died.
After finishing the course, I felt a greater appreciation for how those who came before us labored and loved to bring our world into existence. "
 
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+28points
28out of 28found this review helpful.
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