TTC - Foundations of Western Civilization
48 lectures of 30 minutes - 460 mb - mp3
by Thomas Noble
You can discover the essential nature, evolution, and perceptions of Western civilization from its humble beginnings in the great river valleys of Iraq and Egypt to the dawn of the modern world. Grasp History over Thousands of Years
From the late stages of the Agricultural Revolution to the doorstep of the Scientific Revolution, this course will cover roughly 3000 BCE to AD 1600, when the "foundations" of the modern West come into view. Cover vast amounts of territory
Discover a Treasure of Rich Historical Detail
- Begin in the ancient Near East and move to Greece, then to Rome
- Explore the shape and impact of ancient empires, including Persia, Alexander the Great, and Rome
- Consider Western Europe to watch Europe gradually expand physically and culturally
- Examine the globalization of Western civilization with the Portuguese and Spanish voyages of exploration and discovery.
This course rewards the desire for useful generalization and theory. But it also highlights the telling detail on which history can turn. Professor Noble's guidance allows you to comprehend the ongoing presence of the Roman Empire, the ceaseless influence of a 20-year golden age in Athens, the living struggle between Abraham's three great religions, and much more.
Professor Noble seeks to delight the mind with the "Aha!" experience: "That's why we do that!" "That's where that word came from!" "That's why those people won!" (In the last revelation, metals and horses figure more prominently than social virtues.) A lavish treasure of rich detail.
* The Greek Dark Ages (c. 1100 to 700 B.C.) went "dark," at least in part, because the Greeks forgot how to write—the only people in human history known to have lost literacy after having once attained it.
* The architects of the Parthenon, to achieve the optical illusion of perfect straightness, subtly angled the building's columns so that, if extended, they would meet a mile and a quarter above the temple's roof—over its exact center.
* Although fewer than 200 books (including classical texts) survive from before the year 800, the 9th century—meaning the literate monastic establishment fostered by Charlemagne—has left us more than 6,000.
* The city of Florence, at the height of the Renaissance, had no university, but this was compensated somewhat by Lorenzo de'Medici, who was spending 50 percent of the city's annual budget on books for his Medicean Academy's library.
* Christopher Columbus, in what was perhaps a bit of "spin" from a practiced self-promoter, based his plan for reaching the East Indies by sailing west partly on suppositions about the Earth's size that had been known to be false since Hellenistic times. Course Lecture Titles
1. “Western,” “Civilization,” and “Foundations”
2. History Begins at Sumer
3. Egypt—The Gift of the Nile
4. The Hebrews—Small States and Big Ideas
5. A Succession of Empires
6. Wide-Ruling Agamemnon
7. Dark Age and Archaic Greece
8. The Greek Polis—Sparta
9. The Greek Polis—Athens
10. Civic Culture—Architecture and Drama
11. The Birth of History
12. From Greek Religion to Socratic Philosophy
13. Plato and Aristotle
14. The Failure of the Polis and the Rise of Alexander
15. The Hellenistic World
16. The Rise of Rome
17. The Roman Republic—Government and Politics
18. Roman Imperialism
19. The Culture of the Roman Republic
20. Rome—From Republic to Empire
21. The Pax Romana
22. Rome's Golden and Silver Ages
23. Jesus and the New Testament
24. The Emergence of a Christian Church
25. Late Antiquity—Crisis and Response
26. Barbarians and Emperors
27. The Emergence of the Catholic Church
28. Christian Culture in Late Antiquity
29. Muhammad and Islam
30. The Birth of Byzantium
31. Barbarian Kingdoms in the West
32. The World of Charlemagne
33. The Carolingian Renaissance
34. The Expansion of Europe
35. The Chivalrous Society
36. Medieval Political Traditions, I
37. Medieval Political Traditions, II
38. Scholastic Culture
39. Vernacular Culture
40. The Crisis of Renaissance Europe
41. The Renaissance Problem
42. Renaissance Portraits
43. The Northern Renaissance
44. The Protestant Reformation—Martin Luther
45. The Protestant Reformation—John Calvin
46. Catholic Reforms and "Confessionalization"
47. Exploration and Empire
48. What Challenges Remain?