Living the french revolution

The 25 years between the onset of the French Revolution in 1789 and the Bourbon Restoration after Napoleon in 1814 is an astonishing period in world history. This era shook the foundations of the old world and marked a permanent shift for politics, religion, and society—not just for France, but for all of Europe. An account of the events alone reads like something out of a thrilling novel:

  • France’s oppressed and hungry masses rise up against their government.
  • In Paris, crowds storm the Bastille looking for bread and weaponry.
  • Rumors, panic, and fear grip the nation as it faces an uncertain future.
  • The National Assembly adopts the Declaration of the Rights of Man, the first bold step toward the invention of democratic politics and a republican state.
  • King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette try to flee the country under cover of darkness.
  • After the king’s execution, the government takes emergency measures that lead to the Terror, when thousands will be put to death by the guillotine.
  • A young Corsican named Napoleon Bonaparte stuns Europe with his military strategy and political boldness.
  • At the end of his empire, Napoleon escapes Elba to confront the Duke of Wellington at the famous Battle of Waterloo.

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Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon is your opportunity to learn the full story of this captivating period. Taught by Dr. Suzanne M. Desan, a distinguished professor of history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, these 48 exciting lectures give you a broad and comprehensive survey of one of the most important eras in modern history.

What makes this course such a rare treat is that Professor Desan introduces you to all sides of the story. A people’s revolution for liberty and equality is an exciting moment in history, and indeed the crowds that rose up against the Old Regime were infused with optimism. Yet there is a darker side of the story as well:

  • The tyranny of Robespierre and his ardent support of the Terror
  • Revolutionary tribunals and the Committee of Public Safety, which were meant to maintain the peace but which exacerbated the fear
  • The tens of thousands who were executed, many without trial

How did the French attempt to create a democratic republic?  How did such an optimistic movement, such an idealistic new government, morph into the Terror? Was an authoritarian regime an inevitable response to the Revolution? There are no easy answers to these questions; yet they speak to some of the same events in our contemporary history, from the quest for civil rights in the United States to the fall of the Berlin Wall.

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Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon introduces you to the hotly contested invention of modern politics—the oppression, the freedom, the turmoil, the violence, the passion, and the hope of the era. When you complete this course, you’ll have a new appreciation for this history, and you’ll understand how profoundly it changed the rest of Europe.

Learn about the People, the Politics, and the Culture of the Revolution

The French Revolution raised a host of questions that are still with us today: What happens when people living under a traditional monarchy try to invent a democracy and an egalitarian society? How do you wrench the modern world out of the old? How do you secure equality for everyone in society? And how do you maintain the peace and deliver on the promises of the Revolution during the transition?

You’ll study these philosophical questions through the eyes of the people—the leaders and the citizens, the famous and the infamous, the soldiers and the writers, the wealthy and the hungry—as they struggled to advance their cause and come to terms with each new development. For instance, you’ll

  • learn about the brutality of life under the Old Regime, and see how the burden of taxes, tithes to the church, and the unequal distribution of wealth affected ordinary citizens in the Third Estate;
  • examine the political parties, from the Girondins and Jacobins in the government to the sans-culottes in the streets, that jockeyed for control of the direction of France;
  • meet women such as Olympe de Gouges, who struggled for their rights and demanded  divorce and equal inheritance laws; and
  • consider the debates in the international arena, such as those between the conservative Edmund Burke, who defended the aristocracy, and the liberal Thomas Paine, who advocated the rights of man.

You’ll laugh at the absurd hedgehog hairstyles of the aristocratic elites; you’ll marvel at Louis and Marie-Antoinette’s escape coach as they tried to flee France; and you’ll be amazed by Napoleon’s dramatic escape from Elba. From the machinations of the highest officers to the violence of the hungry crowds; from the battles and international treaties to the bedrooms of Versailles and jail cells of the Bastille; Professor Desan takes you into this era from every angle.

A Deep, Immersive Study

Living the French Revolution and the Age of Napoleon covers an impressive amount of ground. You’ll investigate the causes of the Revolution—a perfect storm of famine, war debt, social inequality, and economic downturn; you’ll trace the era’s major events, from the storming of the Bastille in 1789 to the execution of King Louis XVI to Napoleon’s major campaigns; and you’ll learn about the many governments the French people experienced in such a short period—the monarchy, the republic, the empire, and more.

But the true joy of this course lies in the unique insights Professor Desan provides. Fascinating nuggets, small details, and little-known ironies of history bring this era to life:

  • The original ending to “Little Red Riding Hood” provides a bleak look at many people’s constant struggle to survive.
  • The revolutionaries tried hard to remake society after overthrowing the old system—even trying to de-Christianize the nation and create a new calendar.
  • The Revolution shaped events in the rest of the world—including America, which eventually benefited from the Louisiana Purchase.
  • We think of Robespierre as the face of the Terror, but he was a complex figure who argued against the death penalty two years before he called for the king’s head.
  • The Directory is a less-studied yet intriguing wedge between the Terror and Napoleon.
  • Napoleon was thrown from his horse just days before he seized power—nearly putting a halt to the empire before it even existed.

Professor Desan notes that there have been more studies written about Napoleon than there have been days since he died. An examination of this period would not be complete without a thorough look at this engaging figure, the man who paid his soldiers in cash and inspired a wave of “Egypto-mania” after his expedition in Egypt. You’ll explore in detail what made him such a powerful leader—how he was able to combine repression with conciliation at home, and diplomacy with military might abroad.

You’ll be surprised to learn that this man who crowned himself emperor and led France into war against every other major European power also was a child of the Revolution. He kept many of the reforms enacted by the revolutionaries. Despite Napoleon’s reputation as a powerful, nearly invincible figure, Professor Desan presents him as a flesh-and-blood human being with all the requisite contradictions.

You’ll also enjoy learning about the impact of the Revolution beyond the borders of France—particularly in the colony of Saint-Domingue, now known as Haiti. Did the struggle for human rights apply to the slaves in the colonies? You’ll meet such figures as Vincent Ogé and Toussaint Louverture who led uprisings that eventually resulted in a free and independent Haiti.

A Dynamic and Engaging Professor

These are powerful lectures indeed, both for their content and for their presentation. Professor Desan has had a lifelong passion for the subject, and she brings a deeply personal enthusiasm to each lecture. No wooden speaker behind a podium, she has a dynamic stage presence that draws you into the powerful story.

Additionally, for video customers, her lectures are enhanced by an array of maps and illustrations, cartoons, battle movement plans, and other visual elements that help bring the period to life.

This is the very human, very emotional side of the Revolution. You’ll feel the swell of the crowds again and again as they chant and protest. You’ll react to the cauldron of crisis and fear in the months leading up to the Terror. And you’ll come away with a new viewpoint—not just on this era, but on our own.

The next time you open any newspaper, you’ll see headlines that echo the struggles of France between 1789 and 1814. That dramatic period has reverberated through the ages. Freedom, equality, revolution, political factionalism—the hopes and questions of this gripping story have profound implications for us today.

Enjoy the lectures

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Cosmos, una odisea de tiempo y espacio

Os traigo la serie finalizada hace poco por Neil DeGrasse

1 – En pie en la Via Lactea

https://www.firedrive.com/file/1160A6482FB52F87

2 – Algunas cosas que las moleculas pueden hacer

https://www.firedrive.com/file/F18DA373F4BAACE3

3 – Cuando el conocimiento conquistó el miedo

https://www.firedrive.com/file/DB8F3EC6E4C2401D

4 – Un cielo lleno de fantasmas

https://www.firedrive.com/file/684AC30CBC28BDC2

5 – Ocultandose en la luz

https://www.firedrive.com/file/DD7DD4473E18F547

6 – Más profundo, más profundo, aún más profundo

https://www.firedrive.com/file/41A9E9E1A2A70BAB

7 – La habitación limpia

https://www.firedrive.com/file/08C16242F1F0A974

8 – Hermanas del Sol

https://www.firedrive.com/file/9B704615D66DDF6B

9 – Los mundos perdidos del Planeta Tierra

https://www.firedrive.com/file/08EEB06F0C3BD10A

10 – El chico electrico

https://www.firedrive.com/file/14CE7E6805F65E9C

11 – Los inmortales

https://www.firedrive.com/file/B53F0C288CA24DE4

12 – El mundo se libera

https://www.firedrive.com/file/5AE97062D2CA7556

13 – Sin miedo de la oscuridad

https://www.firedrive.com/file/6A30995905DFCB75

Esta excelente serie es un remake de la original de Carl Sagan que podeis localizar facil en Youtube y la cual recomiendo.

Neil DeGrasse Tyson es un gran admirador de Carl Sagan ademas de un buenisimo divulgador. Ademas de esta serie, participa regularmente en el podcast StarTalk radio

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The Decisive battles of world history

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Nothing changes the world as quickly and inexorably as war. In warfare, the future course of entire civilizations, regions, and continents can be determined in as little as a few hours.
Throughout history, specific individual battles have turned the tide of historical events, triggering changes that have given us the world we know:

The 7th-century battle of Badr transformed the prophet Mohammad into a major political force, establishing Islam firmly as a legitimate religion that could not be suppressed.
The 1066 Battle of Hastings impacted world history by creating a new fusion of peoples and cultures in England and orienting the country permanently toward Europe.
The 1759 Battle of Quebec determined the future of North America, shifting power such that the English language and British culture would predominate.
In addition to causing changes on a global scale, military engagements have often produced monumental effects within individual cultures:

The outcome of the 4th-century battle of the Frigidus River established Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire.
The 16th-century battles of Panipat established Mughal domination over the Indian subcontinent that would last for centuries.
In 1836, a battle that lasted a mere 18 minutes resulted in the U.S. acquisition of nearly one-third of its continental land mass.
In these battles and many others, if it were not for the particular outcome that transpired, history might have turned out very differently. As such, looking closely at military engagements provides a vital key to historical causation—showing us how and why events unfolded and civilizations developed as they have.

A penetrating look at military conflicts also acts as a corrective, allowing for a more accurate view of major events and the forces underlying them. As a case in point, the Battle of Waterloo is commonly thought of as the downfall of Napoleon; yet his losses at the earlier Battle of Leipzig unquestionably doomed his ambitions and were the true marker and determinant of his fall. Similarly, a 1939 battle in Mongolia that is all but forgotten played an extremely significant role in both the outbreak and the outcome of World War II.

For these reasons and more, the study of pivotal battles is a highly revealing analytical tool and a key component for understanding world history. Offering eye-opening insights into humanity’s past, a knowledge of mankind’s most critical military engagements enriches and deepens any view into civilizations and their evolution.

In the dynamic lectures of The Decisive Battles of World History, Professor Gregory S. Aldrete of the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay guides you in a discovery of the military conflicts that have had the greatest impact in shifting the direction of historical events and shaping our world. Covering nearly 4,000 years of history, this course explores more than three dozen history-making military engagements, from the landmark battles of the Western world to their counterparts across Asia, India, and the Middle East. These 36 lectures feature vital historical background, vivid accounts of the campaigns themselves, and a thorough look at their influence on the unfolding of history.

Military Encounters that Changed the World

In a grand tour of the battlefields of history, you’ll relive extraordinary conflicts such as these:

Actium, 31 B.C.: Witness the drama of this massive naval battle, played out against the tragic love affair of Antony and Cleopatra. Actium marked the birth of the Roman Empire and its centuries-long domination of the Western world.
Yarmouk and al-Qadisiyyah, 636: Follow the exploits of the Islamic Rashidun armies as they vanquish the Byzantine and Sassanid forces in two milestone battles, establishing the religious and linguistic orientation of the Middle East that persists to this day.
Tenochtitlán, 1521: A pivotal event in global history; learn about the astounding defeat of the powerful Aztec Empire by fewer than 1,000 Spaniards, which set the model for the era of European colonization that would transform the world.
Sekigahara, 1600: In this huge confrontation of the samurai era involving 160,000 combatants, study the political intrigue and battlefield events that forged the nation of Japan, inaugurating a lineage of shoguns that would rule until the modern era.
Trenton, 1776: Trace the daring maneuvers undertaken by George Washington at the darkest hour of the American Revolution to outwit the British and save the revolutionary movement, events that were essential in turning the tide of the war and bringing the United States into being.
Trafalgar, 1805: Envision the British naval forces under Admiral Horatio Nelson as they face Napoleon’s combined fleets in the greatest battle of the age, and the titanic engagement that marked the beginning of Napoleon’s decline.
Complex Causes, Galvanizing Effects

As a central and outstanding feature of these lectures, you’ll look in depth at layers of causation in the evolution of civilizations, as well as in the conflicts between cultures and nations. For example, you learn that the consequence of the Greek victory over the Persians at Plataea in 479 B.C. was Greek independence and freedom, which allowed for the era we know as the cultural Golden Age of Greece. A Persian victory at Plataea might have left us without the ideas of Socrates and Plato or the scientific thought of Aristotle, which achieved their influence on Western civilization through the spread of Greek culture that resulted from Alexander’s victory at Gaugamela in 331 B.C.

The Science and Art of Warfare

Through detailed study of the campaigns themselves, you’ll grasp how the historic outcomes of the battles were achieved militarily. In doing so, you’ll learn about military systems, from the war chariots of ancient Egypt and the Roman “manipular” armies to the battle tactics of the Mongols, the siege warfare of the Ottoman Turks, the armies of the Napoleonic wars, and the tank combat of World War II. You’ll witness the evolution of naval technology, from the ancient triremes of Actium to the galleys of the Renaissance, and from the Age of Sail’s mammoth “ships of the line” to the battleships and aircraft carriers of the modern era.

Throughout this inquiry, you’ll assess the achievements of history’s most outstanding military commanders. In addition to learning about iconic leaders such as Alexander and William the Conqueror, you’ll encounter numerous other extraordinary figures who left their mark on these dramatic events, such as

Saladin, the legendary Islamic general who routed the Christian Crusaders at Hattin;
Admiral Yi Sun-shin, one of the greatest naval commanders of all time, who almost single-handedly repelled two invasions of Korea;
Simón Bolívar, the dynamic revolutionary who played a leading role in the campaigns to end Spanish rule in Latin America; and
Helmuth von Moltke, the brilliant military strategist and organizational genius who commanded the Prussian forces at Königgrätz in 1866, forging a united Germany.
Epic and Multidimensional Human Drama

Through his powerfully evocative words, aided by specially made maps and animations of the engagements, Professor Aldrete brings the battlefield events alive with gripping vividness, taking you blow-by-blow through the unfolding of each conflict. Throughout the lectures, he reveals rich historical background material that highlights the high drama, poignancy, and scope of the human experience of war.

You’ll learn about the royal intrigue underlying the medieval battle of Tannenberg and the 1571 “Holy League” of European nations formed to confront the Ottoman juggernaut, and you’ll contemplate the larger-than-life personalities of Sam Houston and Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, who clashed in the battle for Texas’s independence from Mexico.

In the heat of battle at Sacheon (1592), you’ll encounter the monstrous, armored “Turtle Ships” of the Korean navy, surmounted with great dragons’ heads spewing smoke and flames— among the most ingenious and fearsome weaponry ever devised. You’ll learn how, in the 1709 battle of Poltava, the fate of two empires hinged on a freak musket shot that wounded a king’s foot, and how four crucial minutes in the 1942 battle of Midway permanently shifted the balance of power in the Pacific from Japan to the United States.

In The Decisive Battles of World History, you’ll trace the critical pivot points where key military engagements determined the course history has taken. This enthralling learning experience provides far-reaching insights into the story of world cultures by revealing the foundational impact of military battles in human affairs.

You can either watch or download:

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Learn and enjoy

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Long shadow of ancient greek

ancient

300 Spartans guarding the pass at Thermopylae. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle engaging in a dialogue that will give birth to Western philosophy. Alexander the Great conquering nearly the entire ancient world. The military and political history of ancient Greece is famously endowed with stirring scenes such as these. But Greek history is much more than a series of gripping set pieces.
The four centuries that saw the remarkable rise of Greek civilization tell a complex story about the growth of the institutions that laid the foundations for Western civilization.

Traditions that we take for granted today—including open political debate, trial by jury, and the concept of the social contract—were born and reached a vigorous maturity during this era. Not only do the traditions of democracy, law, and empire connect the ancient world with the modern, they also tell us more about the Greeks than any other aspect of their society, including their celebrated artistic and cultural achievements.

The Long Shadow of the Ancient Greek World immerses you in this exciting crucible of innovation in 48 fascinating lectures that focus on Greek democracy, law, and empire, as well as the people who molded them during the Archaic and Classical periods. Taught by award-winning scholar and educator Ian Worthington of the University of Missouri–Columbia, this comprehensive course takes you from 750 to 323 B.C.—a span of history that contains the emergence of Greece at the end of the Dark Ages and the final disintegration of Greek autonomy through the Macedonian kings Philip II and Alexander the Great.

Hard-Fought Struggles

Concentrating on the city-states of mainland Greece, with a special focus on Athens, The Long Shadow of the Ancient Greek World takes you through some of history’s most hard-fought struggles—from armed conflicts (such as the Persian Wars, the Peloponnesian War, and the campaigns of Alexander the Great) to political and social struggles (including the late 6th-century civil war in Athens that pitted nobles against the lower classes and eventually produced the first stirrings of democracy).

This course, which covers more than three centuries of rich Athenian and Greek history, is an incredibly detailed look at the birth and maturation of our modern law and democracy. As you explore innovative Athenian approaches to law and empire, you discover how these approaches served as the bedrock for ideas and practices that you live with every day. You also encounter a wealth of intriguing links to many of our own contemporary institutions and attitudes:

Democracy: Ancient democracy, like its modern form, was more than a matter of showing up at an assembly to cast a vote. The practice had a complex structure from the start, along with an ever-changing system of checks and balances.
Law: Trial by jury was an invention of Athenian lawgivers, as was arbitration and the right of appeal. According to Professor Worthington, even lawyers originated in Athens in the form of professionals who were hired to write and deliver speeches in the courts.
Empire: The age that produced Alexander the Great, whose sprawling empire disintegrated after his death, holds lessons about the danger of imperial overreach. By contrast, Alexander’s father Philip II knew how to conquer—and how to negotiate and compromise as well.
Explore a Time of Exciting Developments

The Long Shadow of the Ancient Greek World begins with a strong background on the Bronze and Dark Ages, the turbulent era that led up to the Archaic and Classical periods. In the popular imagination, the Classical period is synonymous with ancient Greek culture, thanks to its memorable achievements in drama, architecture, sculpture, history, philosophy, oratory, and other fields. The Archaic period, however, evokes something backward and unsophisticated—a misunderstanding that Professor Worthington quickly clears up for you.

The Archaic period, as you discover, was instead a time of exciting political, social, and cultural developments; the period’s Greek root, arche, means the start of something new. It was during this time that an innovative spirit began to transform the old world through developments such as new pottery styles, the first Olympic games, the composition of the Homeric poems, the Greek alphabet, the establishment of colonies, and especially the codification of laws and the institution of new forms of government, notably democracy.

Throughout these insightful lectures, you explore the contributions of many celebrated figures from this period such as these:

Pisistratus, the benevolent Athenian dictator who practiced a peaceful foreign policy and encouraged the cultivation of olives to make and export olive oil—an industry that the area surrounding Athens continues to pursue
Lycurgus, Sparta’s mysterious lawgiver who (according to legend) instituted the city-state’s rigorous and notorious system of military training
Cleisthenes, a reformer who eased Athens’s class strife through a radical reorganization of its citizen body and who is referred to by some as the father of democracy
Ephialtes, who completed the political revolution begun by the lawgiver Solon and inaugurated radical democracy in Athens
Pericles, the Athenian statesman and general who made Athens an imperial power and sparked the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War
Philip II, the king who transformed Macedonia from a backwater into the era’s foremost military power
Alexander the Great, Philip’s son and one of history’s most renowned military figures, who furthered his father’s imperial mission and conquered most of ancient Greece (and beyond) before his death
A Scholarly Detective Who Reevaluates Traditional Views

An expert in the Archaic period, Professor Worthington knows this period of history inside and out; his consummate knowledge of ancient Greece enriches every one of these in-depth lectures. What makes The Long Shadow of the Ancient Greek World such a refreshing look at this critical period in human history is that Professor Worthington is never shy about questioning received opinion. Throughout the course, he constantly pauses to reevaluate traditional views and employs the instincts of a detective to explore probing questions and issues:

Was Dracon really draconian? A Wild West style of justice prevailed in Athens before the aristocrat Dracon took the first steps toward a rational legal system by making the administration of justice uniform. This progressive measure has been overshadowed, however, by Dracon’s prescribed penalty of death for all crimes.
When exactly did the Classical period begin? Many historians date the beginning of the Classical period with the start of the Persian Wars. Professor Worthington reveals, however, that Classical Greeks looked back on their victory in the Persian Wars as part of a bygone golden age, not as the prelude to their own strife-filled era.
Was Cleon a bad strategist? The reputation of the politician and military leader Cleon has suffered at the hands of the historian Thucydides and the playwright Aristophanes. Professor Worthington argues that instead of being such a disaster for Athens during the Peloponnesian War, Cleon was correct in many of his assessments and acted in the city’s best interest.
Just what did Alexander the Great achieve? History has long viewed Alexander the Great as an icon of military skill and leadership. But Professor Worthington argues that the legends that glorify Alexander the Great obscure the truly great accomplishments of his father, King Philip II.
In addition, Professor Worthington continually questions and analyzes hallowed ancient historical sources. Comparing the historians Thucydides and Herodotus, he observes that “Thucydides never tells us his sources or his reasons for accepting or rejecting something, merely that he is right. Although Herodotus gets things wrong, he does cite his sources. … This allows us the chance to make up our own minds.”

And in presenting his alternative interpretations of history, Professor Worthington invites you to make up your own mind, as well.
What You Owe to History

An important reason to study the history of Classical and Archaic Greece is that the world the Greeks represent—and which we inherited—so clearly hung by a thread at many points during its long and thrilling evolution. By the end of Professor Worthington’s final captivating lecture, you discover that there was nothing inevitable about democracy, the Western concept of justice, or any of the other traditions and institutions that now play such central roles in the politics of the modern Western world.

While our current political institutions continue to grow stronger with time, it is essential to recognize that at one point, they were fragile and haphazard, their fate uncertain. As with many eventful tales, The Long Shadow of the Ancient Greek World’s story of how this tentative structure transformed into the firm foundation of our contemporary world is gripping, enlightening, and immensely rewarding.

You can watch or download the lectures:

https://www.firedrive.com/share/F_B02A818C3611BB4A

Enjoy and learn

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BBC knowledge magazine collection

I attach a recopilatory collection of BBC Knowledge magazine since October 2010 to June 2014

june 2014

 

28 numbers compressed

https://www.firedrive.com/file/4CE7AB6FE652DE69

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History of ancient world: a global perspective

Even though you might never stop to think about it, the ancient world and the civilizations it produced are with you in almost everything you do. The ancient world has influenced our customs and religious beliefs, our laws, and the form of our governments. It has taught us when and how we make war or pursue peace. It has shaped the buildings we live and work in and the art we hang on our walls. It has given us the calendar that organizes our year and has left its mark on the games we play.
And even though each day finds you, in ways almost too numerous to mention, paying tribute to this ancient past, it is too often without an awareness that you are even doing so.

In what ways were these civilizations different from each other and from our own?
How were they similar?
What part did they play in making us what we have now become, so many centuries later?
These and other questions of that ancient past and its great civilizations—which helped set the stage for the world you live in today—are still relevant to almost everything you do and everything you are. And understanding these lessons helps you to better understand yourself—why you think and act as you do—as well as the effects of those same forces on the people you interact with. Grasping the full scope of your bequest from the ancient world can’t help but give you a more nuanced base from which to make decisions and choose pathways in your own life.

The 48 lectures of History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective represent a fresh and innovative way to look at history. They take you on a multidisciplinary journey that ranges across not only the traditional domains of politics and war that are normally the province of history courses, but also those of religion, philosophy, architecture and the visual arts, literature, and science and technology, to name but a few.

The course, delivered by Professor Gregory S. Aldrete of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay—a brilliant lecturer/scholar whose areas of expertise include classical history, archaeology, and philology—examines the ancient world’s greatest civilizations from the Mediterranean, Asia, and the Americas—including those of Rome, Greece, China, Persia, India, and the Maya—not in isolation but in the full context of where they came from, the cultures that flourished around them at the same time, and the civilizations that were to come from them.

Get a Startling Comparison of Ancient Cultures

Although its structure is roughly chronological, History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective is especially notable for its deliberately comparative approach, often pausing in its journey along the timeline to feature startling juxtapositions of individuals and themes from different cultures, even when their commonalities or contrasts might not be evident to a casual glance. These include

a comparison of the epic poetry of Vedic India with Homer’s Iliad;
an exploration of the explosion of intellectual questioning that seemed to occur spontaneously and simultaneously in many cultures in the 6th and 5th centuries B.C., spawning an array of new philosophies or religions, including Confucianism and Daoism in China, pre-Socratic philosophy in Greece, Buddhism and Jainism in India, and Zoroastrianism in Persia;
a four-lecture examination of five great conquerors and empire builders, including Philip of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great, Chandragupta Maurya and his grandson Asoka of India, and Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of China;
a discussion of the craft of history itself, comparing the different approaches to “inventing”the discipline that were chosen by Herodotus, Thucydides, and the great Chinese historian, Sima Qian—none of whom had the advantage enjoyed by later historians of being able to pore over and learn from the contributions of generations of predecessors;
a side-by-side examination of two of the greatest empires of all time—the Roman Empire and Han China—that compares their approaches to administration, leadership, the incorporation of newcomers, and technology and innovation;
a close look at the topic of war—including equipment, strategy, and tactics—that compares how Mayan, Roman, and Chinese military systems reflected aspects of their respective cultures through the ways in which they chose to go to battle; and
an analysis of how ancient civilizations expressed their power through art and architecture, revealing thematic similarities in monuments as varied as the tribute frieze of Persepolis, Trajan’s Column in Rome, the tomb of Shi Huangdi in China, and the reliefs of Cerro Sechin in Peru.
There’s even an insightful glimpse at how the structure of monasteries under the Rule of Saint Benedict might actually find one of its closest historical analogs in the rigid inculcation of values by the Greek city-state of Sparta.

Explore a Wealth of Major Historical Themes

Professor Aldrete’s course includes in-depth analyses of not only key individuals and historical moments, but also history’s most important themes, from the nature of rulership and the evolution of religion and philosophy to the practice of warfare and the expression of power through art and architecture.

And you’ll also grasp how certain major themes recur throughout history, helping to shape a civilization’s present and, inevitably, its future. These include the impact of its geography and environment; key moments of change that often result when two cultures collide or intermingle, whether through invasion or peaceful migration; and the surprising frequency of major innovations or transformations happening across multiple civilizations, either simultaneously or at similar points in their development, such as the appearance of writing early on in almost all cultures.

Designed for lovers of history at every level, the course provides a solid foundational knowledge of the past, reveals new insights about the present, and is an ideal starting point for a deeper exploration into any of the civilizations and themes it discusses.

Get Extraordinary Glimpses of Cultures, Events, and People

You’ll begin with the appearance of the first cities around 3500-3000 B.C. and continue until the roughly contemporaneous 9th-century establishment of the first true European empire under Charlemagne, the Golden Age of the caliphate in Baghdad, and the Tang dynasty in China—an endpoint chosen because it allows you to perceive not only the true end of the ancient world, but the crucial formation and birth of the modern one.

Your journey to the brink of this pivotal moment in history is replete with extraordinary glimpses into civilizations, events, and individuals, all vividly conveyed through Professor Aldrete’s exceptional narrative skills, such as these:

A stunning comparison of how their respective geographical environments influenced the visions of the afterlife conceived of by the Egyptians and the Mesopotamians
The 1934 performance of a Serbian oral poet whose ability to spontaneously compose and recite for four hours a day for two weeks refuted scholarly doubt that wandering oral poets such as Homer could have existed
An insightful glimpse into how the Spartans viewed both marriage and the value of newborn girls, and how the resulting scarcity of Spartan women doomed the culture to extinction
An unexpected side of Pythagoras, the Greek mathematician whose fame as a cornerstone of geometry falls far short of illuminating the full extent of his delightful flamboyance and eccentricities
The clever trick that enabled Darius to claim the kingship of the Persian Empire over five rivals, averting civil war because of the romantic longings of his horse
A revealing look into the heart of the immortal Aeschylus, whose request for his tombstone epitaph set aside his achievements as a dramatist and asked instead that he be remembered for having fought at the Battle of Marathon
The story of the prized possession that Alexander the Great chose to store in the precious box his armies had captured—his copy of Homer’s Iliad annotated by Aristotle
The tragic story of the Han dynasty historian Sima Qian, who chose castration and humiliation over suicide so he would be able to keep a promise to his dying father
A discussion of the astounding array of inventions and technological achievements fostered at the height of the Han Empire, including the discovery of the circulation of blood, which was not realized in Europe until the 17th century
The ancestral oath and legacy left by an ancestor of Brutus, and how it would impact his decision to take action against Julius Caesar 500 years later
A comparison of two of history’s most stunning examples of the use of art and architecture to project the power of a ruler: the 400 granite slabs at the Peruvian site of Cerro Sechin and the tomb of China’s emperor Shi Huangdi, with its protective army of thousands of life-sized terra cotta warriors.
One of the most ambitious history courses The Great Courses has ever offered, History of the Ancient World: A Global Perspective is a wonderfully integrated way to look at our world’s history in context. Its mix of nuanced interpretation, vivid description, and constant attention to exploring history as a coherent whole is sure to make it one of the most informative and thought-provoking history courses you have ever taken

Lectures:

https://www.firedrive.com/share/F_E14043675EC3E52A

Enjoy and learn

Publicado en history, learning | Etiquetado , , , , , , | Deja un comentario

Money and banking course

From the invention of coins by the ancient Lydians to the 21st-century eurozone, human history tells the story of ingenious financial systems and the never-ending quest for economic solutions. Today, our global economy is both fascinating and dizzyingly complex—challenging even experts to comprehend it fully. But one thing remains clear: Money and finance play a deeply fundamental role in your life.
Money is a social contract that affects the decisions of nations and individuals. Our financial institutions drive our political systems and the growth of nations. And money and banking are indispensable in both your daily financial transactions and your most essential long-term plans. A working knowledge of money and banking systems is critically useful in several ways:

It helps you understand the complex and often bewildering world of finance.
It helps you to “read” the current economic climate, to make sense of what you see in the media, and to gauge where the economy is headed.
It gives you key insights into society and the economic issues in life.
It allows you to comprehend integral aspects of history and the way civilization developed.
Perhaps most important, it helps you to plan your own life and to make key financial decisions for yourself and your family.
Speaking to all of this in Money and Banking: What Everyone Should Know, economist and award-winning Professor Michael K. Salemi of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill leads you in a panoramic exploration of our monetary and financial systems, their inner workings, and their crucial role and presence in your world. In 36 incisive and detailed lectures, he gives you a penetrating look at the financial institutions that are fundamental to your life and well-being. Beginning with the colorful history of money, including the monetary history of the United States, you investigate pivotal topics, including

the crucial role of public confidence in the stability of our financial system;
how money is created by commercial and central banks;
how “Wall Street” and “Main Street” are inextricably intertwined, each requiring the success of the other;
the dramatic history and causes of hyperinflation;
the uses of “local” currencies and nontraditional monetary systems;
the thorny problem of financial firms that are deemed “too big to fail,” and why being named “TBTF” gives firms an incentive to engage in risky investments;
the irrational psychology of stock market “bubbles,” in which investing becomes speculative gambling; and
why the value of the dollar depends on interest rates elsewhere in the world.
Dr. Salemi reveals all of this and more as a great and rousing human story, with remarkable details of how financial systems came into being, the problems they’re designed to solve, and how they’ve evolved and changed. While those with knowledge of economics will find rich depth in these lectures, the course is also a welcoming entry for those with no background in finance.

Explore the Core Institutions of Economic Life
As a guiding theme of the course, you observe the ways in which economies require efficient and evolving financial institutions and markets to fulfill their potential. In building a full view of our financial system, you delve into these vital subjects:

Central banks and the Federal Reserve: You learn in depth about the roles and functions of central banks, how they oversee economies and control money supply, and what makes the Fed and the European Central Bank the most powerful financial institutions in the world.
Commercial banks: You study the operation of commercial banks and other depository institutions, their asset structure, the services they perform, and the important benefits they provide for depositors, savers, and borrowers.
Interest rates and interest rate policy: Five lectures are devoted to the broad subject of interest rates—the economic forces that determine them, their effects in both national and international finance, and how they impact investing and borrowing.
Bond and stock markets: You investigate what securities markets offer to investors and the issuers of securities, the ins and outs of stock pricing and bond yields, and why these markets play an essential role in economies.
Monetary policy: You study the function of monetary policy on the part of governments, central banks, and the International Monetary Fund in stabilizing economies, intervening in crises, and overseeing the world financial system.
Foreign exchange and international banking: You explore topics such as the factors governing currency exchange, how exchange rates affect international trade, and why international banking is a crucial feature of globalization.
Grasp the Workings of a Global System
Across the arc of Money and Banking, you tackle key topics that shed light on the functioning of our financial system as a whole.

Early in the lectures, you study the critical subject of inflation and its relationship to the consumer price index and to excess money growth. You also investigate the causes and implications of the federal deficit and the national debt. Economic growth, it turns out, is directly related to investment in a nation’s “capital stock”—the buildings, equipment, and human resources used in the production process.

In the international arena, you learn what happens when a nation imports more than it exports, and the implications of trade deficits in global economic relationships. You consider the important matter of how central banks steer clear of political pressures and the question of monetary policy coordination between nations, weighing the significant benefits to the global economy of cooperation between central banks.

A Dynamic and Multilayer Resource for Learning
Professor Salemi brings these lectures alive with the flair of a provocative and thoroughly engrossing storyteller. An expert in economic education, he communicates the principles of finance as compelling lessons in human ingenuity, showing you vividly how each economic innovation responds to real-life challenges and dilemmas. You engage with detailed case studies, historical incidents, and current events in understanding topics ranging from investment decisions and the regulation of financial firms to the system of “floating” currency exchange rates.

You also study the underlying logic and meaning of financial concepts and the mathematical formulas that express them if you are interested in learning more about the mathematical dimension of money and banking. In addition, Professor Salemi amplifies the lectures with diagrams, graphs, and animations that clearly illustrate the course content. These helpful visual aids are also included in the course guidebook, so audio listeners can consult and take advantage of them as well.

Essential Knowledge for Living
In Money and Banking: What Everyone Should Know, Professor Salemi offers you the rare chance to gain a grounded understanding of our monetary and financial systems in 36 content-rich lectures. This core knowledge is permanently useful, both in comprehending economic systems at home and abroad and in making informed financial choices for yourself.

Take this opportunity to grasp the vital elements of finance that directly affect our way of life, our national concerns, and your own life and future.

Lectures:

https://www.firedrive.com/share/F_D41F1BDB841C0273

You can either watch them or download them. Enjoy and learn

Publicado en economy, learning | Etiquetado | Deja un comentario