The Ancient Greeks

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9/10 stars
based on  16 reviews
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FREE

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Coursera online courses
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with yo...
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with your coursework. Coursera also partners with the US State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world. Students can get internet access, take courses, and participate in weekly in-person study groups to make learning even more collaborative. Begin your journey into the mysteries of the human brain by taking courses in neuroscience. Learn how to navigate the data infrastructures that multinational corporations use when you discover the world of data analysis. Follow one of Coursera’s “Skill Tracks”. Or try any one of its more than 560 available courses to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4715 reviews

Course Description

This course is a survey of ancient Greek history, covering the roughly 13 centuries that extended from the Minoan / Mycenaean Bronze Age (ca. 1800-1200 BCE) down to the death of Socrates in 399 BCE.  Along with studying the most important events and personalities, we will consider broader issues such as political and cultural values and methods of historical interpretation.
Some of the topics we will cover include: relations between the Greeks and their neighbors to the East; Homer and the heroic ideal; the development of the type of community called the "polis"; the diffusion of Greek civilization from Southern Italy to the shores of the Black Sea; gods and mortals in myth, religion and ritual; the roles of women; Athenian drama; the treatment of slaves and foreigners; and the birth and evolution of democracy. We will strive to get as full an understanding as we can of this extraordinary, and extraordinarily influential, society.

A...
This course is a survey of ancient Greek history, covering the roughly 13 centuries that extended from the Minoan / Mycenaean Bronze Age (ca. 1800-1200 BCE) down to the death of Socrates in 399 BCE.  Along with studying the most important events and personalities, we will consider broader issues such as political and cultural values and methods of historical interpretation.
Some of the topics we will cover include: relations between the Greeks and their neighbors to the East; Homer and the heroic ideal; the development of the type of community called the "polis"; the diffusion of Greek civilization from Southern Italy to the shores of the Black Sea; gods and mortals in myth, religion and ritual; the roles of women; Athenian drama; the treatment of slaves and foreigners; and the birth and evolution of democracy. We will strive to get as full an understanding as we can of this extraordinary, and extraordinarily influential, society.

Almost all the reading assignments are from ancient sources in translation. No previous knowledge of ancient history is assumed.
Reviews 9/10 stars
16 Reviews for The Ancient Greeks

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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Zbyněk Zajíc profile image
Zbyněk Zajíc profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 18 reviews
  • 18 completed
3 years, 11 months ago
Good introduction into the history, art and life of antient Greeks - through the video lecture and recommended additive reading materials (despite of my averse to the reading in the video-course this vas very helpful).
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Charles Clark profile image
Charles Clark profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 6 reviews
  • 6 completed
5 years, 1 month ago
Ready to visit Greece after taking this course. The Greeks were very busy creating the base for Western civilization, and this course will introduce you to them and leave you wanting to learn a lot more.  Thoughtfully prepared lectures and carefully selected readings make this a worthwhile experience. Invest in this course and be rewarded. Thanks to Dr. Szegedy-Maszak for sharing his expertise and passion for the subject. Backed by a fine support staff.   Well worth the investment of time and effort.
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Ricardo Teixeira profile image
Ricardo Teixeira profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 86 reviews
  • 77 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
Wonderful small course on Greek History. It covers the period from Homer to Alexander - so it is by no means comprehensive. Most philosophical schools are only briefly mentioned, and there's practically no discussion of Plato and Aristotle - as many of you could expect. But seven weeks aren't enough to accommodate everything. Professor Andy is a delightful storyteller and carries so much knowledge and meaning in his stories, and as such classes are very engaging. I particularly liked the references to alternative theories and the non-biased description of events. It is a very light course, regarding assignments, but totally worth it. You'll learn a great deal. Recommended!
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Anthony R profile image
Anthony R profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 11 reviews
  • 10 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
I am glad that I completed this course. For the first several weeks I was unsure as to whether or not to pursue the course, but "Prof. Andy" provided a curious and informative set of lectures and readings that won over my commitment. Most of the content was new for me. With careful notetaking, the weekly examinations provided a good set of challenges for retention and comprehension of the material. I was surprised by some of the strong opinions voiced in the Discussion Forums, but for the most part the forums were useful and informative. Since the end of the course, I have added a more detailed textbook on the domain to my library shelves, one that I would not otherwise have considered otherwise.
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Melissa Flora profile image
Melissa Flora profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
5 years, 8 months ago
I very much enjoyed taking this class. Very interesting and the professor obviously enjoys the subject.
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Julia Cook profile image
Julia Cook profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 5 reviews
  • 5 completed
5 years, 9 months ago
I've read quite a lot of Early Greek philosophy and literature but knew little about its specific historical context. I enjoyed the course and found it a good way of gaining an overview of Early Greek society, important historical figures and events, which has enriched my understanding of the philosophy and literature I've studied before. There was quite a bit of reading, especially if you want to read more than just the texts that were set, but that's up to you. The videos stand alone, however, and were informative and easy to understand regardless of the reading, and the short tests weren't too taxing. I would definitely recommend this course as a general introduction to anyone interested in the Ancient Greeks or planning a visit to the Mediterranean.
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Cassandra Blank profile image
Cassandra Blank profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 completed
5 years, 9 months ago
I really enjoyed this course as it filled a gap in my knowledge - I've always loved the Greek myths and stories, but I wasn't so clear on the history. The course covered a wide period, from Bronze Age civilisations in Greece up until the fall of Athens and the rise of Phillip and the Macedonians, and tied the history to different writings, poetry, historical figures and leaders, and social aspects. In a way, it was more an overview than an in depth exploration as that's a long, dense, intense slice of history to cover, but certainly a good course to act as a springboard to investigate areas of interest more deeply. Professor Andy has a quiet method of delivery, but his enthusiasm and passion for the topic still shine through. The workload is pretty light, with the readings the most onerous part. The course would suit someone happy to watch-and-learn rather than take a more hands-on approach with lots of assignments. Definitely recomm... I really enjoyed this course as it filled a gap in my knowledge - I've always loved the Greek myths and stories, but I wasn't so clear on the history. The course covered a wide period, from Bronze Age civilisations in Greece up until the fall of Athens and the rise of Phillip and the Macedonians, and tied the history to different writings, poetry, historical figures and leaders, and social aspects. In a way, it was more an overview than an in depth exploration as that's a long, dense, intense slice of history to cover, but certainly a good course to act as a springboard to investigate areas of interest more deeply. Professor Andy has a quiet method of delivery, but his enthusiasm and passion for the topic still shine through. The workload is pretty light, with the readings the most onerous part. The course would suit someone happy to watch-and-learn rather than take a more hands-on approach with lots of assignments. Definitely recommended for those with an interest in the subject.
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No one of consequence profile image
No one of consequence profile image
5/10 starsDropped
  • 30 reviews
  • 18 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
This class covered many aspects of ancient Greek life, but it didn't really answer my first and most important question: why should I care about the ancient Greeks? I found the lectures to be slow-paced, and big ideas got a bit lost in a sea of details. I'm thankful for this free course, but it didn't have as much impact on my thinking as I hoped.
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Christopher profile image
Christopher profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 7 reviews
  • 6 completed
5 years, 12 months ago
Frankly I didn't expect to enjoy the course as much as I did. Good topics, I appreciated how it was organized more thematically than linearly. Quizes seem easier than they are; I missed the deadline on the last one and average wasn't high enough for completion. But I enjoyed the time and coursework. Great for those without a lot of knowledge about ancient greek history or society.
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William Mcavoy profile image
William Mcavoy profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 1 completed
6 years ago
i start with the professor wonderful teacher laid back approach course complete with maps loved that studying the birthplace of democracy to all take this course and enjoy yourself highest marks indeed tx prof. and staff
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Peter Bandelow profile image
Peter Bandelow profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 completed
6 years, 1 month ago
Nicely done intro to the subject, and as background to the course on Greek and Roman Mythology. All readings are on-line.
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deicidereigns profile image
deicidereigns profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 16 reviews
  • 16 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
It's a nice course. The professor has a somewhat geeky humor encased in his interest for his subject. I like how he taught the material like a story, sometimes finding interesting/fun side-stories to put into the larger picture. I also really liked how the professor seemed to be keeping us up-to-date with the recent understanding(s) of historical events and would often talk about how the views on certain aspects changed between scholars over time. I learned exactly what I hope I would from the course, and then a few additional surprises. Recommended.
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Kelebek profile image
Kelebek profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 15 reviews
  • 13 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
Delightful course! Highly recommended. Fair workload and I've walked away with new knowledge and a thirst for more Greek culture and history. What I figured would be a dry, refresher course for me turned out to be fun, engaging and full of new insights. Professor Andrew Szegedy-Maszak ("Professor Andy") has a fantastic presentation style and is obviously knowledgeable and passionate about the subject of the Ancient Greeks. His passion is indeed contagious. Pros: *Presented in easy-to-grasp segments *Reading material added depth *Professor Andy's insights into the subject and willingness to point out controversies and separate fables from truth *Professor's subtle sense of humor *Great slides ~ the pictures of the area as well as the art brought Greece to life and the printed words helped me to solidify the concepts in my head. Cons: *Reading material could be lengthy (but we're talking Greek epicness here so it's to be expected, righ... Delightful course! Highly recommended. Fair workload and I've walked away with new knowledge and a thirst for more Greek culture and history. What I figured would be a dry, refresher course for me turned out to be fun, engaging and full of new insights. Professor Andrew Szegedy-Maszak ("Professor Andy") has a fantastic presentation style and is obviously knowledgeable and passionate about the subject of the Ancient Greeks. His passion is indeed contagious. Pros: *Presented in easy-to-grasp segments *Reading material added depth *Professor Andy's insights into the subject and willingness to point out controversies and separate fables from truth *Professor's subtle sense of humor *Great slides ~ the pictures of the area as well as the art brought Greece to life and the printed words helped me to solidify the concepts in my head. Cons: *Reading material could be lengthy (but we're talking Greek epicness here so it's to be expected, right?) *I actually would have liked a longer course *While Professor Andy did a fair job including historical accounts of women as much as possible, it would have been nice to have more women represented. But overall, great job with what we have to work with and he did point students seeking more information regarding Ancient Greek Women to helpful sources. I sincerely hope to see Professor Szegedy-Maszak present another course through Coursera. I'm thoroughly enjoying the courses I've taken through Wesleyan, good material and professors.
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Dennis Horne profile image
Dennis Horne profile image
9/10 starsCompleted
  • 24 reviews
  • 23 completed
6 years, 2 months ago
Having no previous experience of this subject, this was a journey into the unknown. I did it to check it out for a relative who will do this in school in September. The previous reviewers comments about the style and delivery of the material are all valid. It is accessible to a novice in the field and exceedingly well done. It has a 'light touch' approach to assessments, just in-video and end of week quizzes; no stress of a peer reviewed essay to overcome. Each week has a set of background reading to accompany it, it is to the individual how deeply you go into this. I found the course forums the most pleasant I have encountered to date, full of people with a genuine interest in the subject. This may well ignite a real interest in this subject for my little friend next time it runs.
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Gary profile image
Gary profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 7 reviews
  • 6 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
Very well taught course. I agree with the points made in the previous reviews, and I would add that my only complaint is the brevity of the course.
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BM profile image
BM profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 4 reviews
  • 3 completed
6 years, 3 months ago
I agree with both the other 2 reviewers before me, so I won't repeat their comments. I found this fitted in nicely with the Greek and Roman Mythology course I did before Christmas ( and the reading I had done for that helped greatly). The Professor has a very disarming and almost humble style of delivery and as was said above a great sense of humour,which sneaked in at various points! I found myself remembering a lot more of his lectures than I realised I had and even spouted some newly acquired knowledge to friends when we were going round the Pompeii and Herculaneum exhibition in London recently. (There were some Greek references/analogies to be made). I would really liked this to have been a longer course, or perhaps Professor Andy could be persuaded to cover some other topics in future offerings.
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