From Out of the Mesopotamian Mud

The Great Courses
Show More

Comments (1)

Anonymous picture
Anonymous

Lots of information, but he garbles some of the finer points, e.g., calling the Roman alphabet "syllabic."

Related videos

China: Born in Isolation
Part of the Series: The Big History of Civilizations
Although contemporaneous with civilizations emerging in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and South Asia, East Asia's geographic isolation allowed for the development of unique ideas about government, society, and the individual. Find out about East Asian culture by exploring the rise and fall of the Shang and Zhou dynasties.
Innovations of Mesopotamia
Part of the Series: The Big History of Civilizations
Gain new insights into civilization by looking at one of the first: the Sumerians of Mesopotamia. Here, use techniques from linguistics, genetics, archeology, climatology, and more to see how this society unfolded - and what lessons it has to offer us today. The approach in this lecture is "Big History"…
Pharaohs, Tombs, and Gods
Discover how Egyptian views of death and tombs changed with the kingdom's occupation by: and eventual expulsion of: the Hyksos, including an examination of how the stark differences between the Egyptian and Mesopotamian environments may have influenced their visions of the afterlife.
Greece in Its Golden Age
Part of the Series: The Big History of Civilizations
Geography plays one of the most important roles in a civilization's development, and this holds true for the ancient Greeks. But it is the Greek experiments in government that drove much of their success. Tour the ancient Greek city-states of Athens, Sparta, and more to find out how they were…
Ancient Egypt: The Gift of the Nile
Your introduction to Egypt reveals a civilization irrevocably shaped by geography. You learn how the Nile's predictable annual flooding of its banks, though creating a fertile strip amounting to only 3% of Egypt, permitted civilization to thrive in what was otherwise an uninhabitable desert.
Digging for the History of Man
A voyage of discovery into man's earliest civilizations, those which developed in the countries we know today as Turkey, Iran and Iraq. The special merit of this film is that works of art scattered throughout the great collections and museums of the world have been brought back to be shown…
The Rise and Flourishing of Islam
Grasp how the tribes of the Arabian peninsula: within only 100 years of their conversion to Islam: were able to conquer half the Mediterranean world, shattering its unity, spinning its parts onto divergent paths, and establishing religious, linguistic, and cultural boundaries that persist to this day.
The Downfall of Sumer
Part of the Series: The Big History of Civilizations
Wars and rumors of war abound in this next lecture on Mesopotamia. Survey the rise and fall of empires in the 1,000 years after the collapse of the Sumerians. See how laws and language barriers impacted the Babylonians, the Hittites, and the Assyrians, and how the changing environment inevitably had…
The Vedic Age of Ancient India
In an ironic reversal of the Indus legacy, the next great era of Indian history is known through an enormous bounty of texts, but relatively little archaeological or material evidence. Grasp what the thousands of verses we have tell us about Vedic culture and religion.
African Kingdoms and Trade
Part of the Series: The Big History of Civilizations
Sub-Saharan Africa has often been overlooked by outside historians who are considering the rise of human civilization, yet nations such as Mali and Ghana and the Bantu and Swahili civilizations all have a rich and fascinating history. Survey the story of Africa with a special focus on sub-Saharan geography, people,…
People of the Toga: Etruscans, Early Rome
In this first of five episodes tracing the rise of Roman civilization, you begin with Rome's geography, its traditional origin story, and the formative scars left by the experience of being ruled by a foreign power, and especially by a king holding supreme authority.
Oxus Civilization and Powerful Persia
Part of the Series: The Big History of Civilizations
Pastoral nomads weren't the only early settlers of Central Asia. The recently discovered Oxus civilization and the Persians reveal a number of key themes for Big History, including the role of climate and geography, intensified social complexity, innovations in warfare and farming, and more.