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Books That Have Made History


Books That Have Made History
36 lectures of 30 mins - 250Mb - MP3

In this course, Professor J. Rufus Fears presents his choices of some of the most essential writings in history. These are books that have shaped the minds of great individuals, who in turn have shaped events of historic magnitude.

What Can We Learn From The Great Books?

The point, of course, is that it is not the Great Books themselves that are important, but the values we learn from absorbing them. Professor Fears offers dramatic illustrations of choices taken and values chosen, and of the lives lived as a result.

Fundamental ideas about right and wrong reverberate through these lectures, as history's most profound thinkers ponder questions about life, death, God, and morality:

* In the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, you'll see how words written as a means of self-education by a man who knew how ephemeral Rome's empire really was became an enduring guidepost on the path to wisdom.
* In comparing the funeral orations given by Pericles in Athens and Lincoln at Gettysburg, you'll experience two of the most profound statements ever made about the necessity for just wars, as two great leaders grapple with the same questions addressed by Vergil in the Aeneid.
* In Gilgamesh, you'll see how a search for eternal life and an understanding of why we must die teaches a questing ruler the greater importance of how we should live.
* In the three plays of the Oresteia, you'll see how murder, revenge, duty, and divine intervention are used to show how the power of choice given us by free will is not, by itself, enough, and that disaster can ensue when choice is not guided by wisdom.

Course Lecture Titles
1. Bonhoeffer, Letters and Papers From Prison
2. Homer, Iliad
3. Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
4. Bhagavad Gita
5. Book of Exodus
6. Gospel of Mark
7. Koran
8. Gilgamesh
9. Beowulf
10. Book of Job
11. Aeschylus, Oresteia
12. Euripides, Bacchae
13. Plato, Phaedo
14. Dante, The Divine Comedy
15. Shakespeare, Othello, the Moor of Venice
16. Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound
17. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
18. Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
19. George Orwell, 1984
20. Vergil, Aeneid
21. Pericles, Oration; Lincoln, Gettysburg Address
22. Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
23. Confucius, The Analects
24. Machiavelli, The Prince
25. Plato, Republic
26. John Stuart Mill, On Liberty
27. Sir Thomas Malory, Morte d'Arthur
28. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part 1
29. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Faust, Part 2
30. Henry David Thoreau, Walden
31. Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
32. Lord Acton, The History of Freedom
33. Cicero, On Moral Duties (De Officiis)
34. Gandhi, An Autobiography
35. Churchill, My Early Life; Painting as a Pastime; WWII
36. Lessons from the Great Books

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Tags: about, shaped, lectures, reverberate, through, history