Origins of Great Ancient Civilizations

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Origins of Great Ancient Civilizations
Professor Kenneth W. Harl

THE TEACHING COMPANY ®

Kenneth W. Harl, Ph.D.
Professor of Classical and Byzantine History, Tulane University Kenneth W. Harl is Professor of Classical and Byzantine History at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he has been teaching since 1978. He earned his Bachelor’s degree from Trinity College and went on to earn his Master’s and Ph.D. from Yale University. Dr. Harl specializes in the Mediterranean civilizations of Greece, Rome, and Byzantium and in the ancient Near East. He has published numerous articles and is the author of Civic Coins and Civic Politics of the Roman East, A.D. 180–275 and Coinage in the Roman Economy, 300 B.C. to 700 A.D. He is a scholar on ancient coins and the archaeology of Asia Minor (modern Turkey). He has served on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Archaeology and is currently on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Numismatics. Professor Harl’s skill and dedication as an instructor are attested by his many teaching awards. He has earned Tulane’s annual Student Award in Excellence nine times. He is also the recipient of Baylor University’s nationwide Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teachers.

©2005 The Teaching Company Limited Partnership

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Table of Contents Origins of Great Ancient Civilizations
Professor Biography............................................................................................i Course Scope.......................................................................................................1 Lecture One Cradles of Civilization...............................................2 Lecture Two First Cities of Sumer..................................................5 Lecture Three Mesopotamian Kings and Scribes .............................8 Lecture Four Hammurabi’s Babylon.............................................11 Lecture Five Egypt in the Pyramid Age........................................14 Lecture Six The Middle Kingdom ..............................................17 Lecture Seven Imperial Egypt .........................................................20 Lecture Eight New Peoples of the Bronze Age..............................23 Lecture Nine The Collapse of the Bronze Age..............................26 Lecture Ten From Hebrews to Jews ............................................29 Lecture Eleven Imperial Assyria.......................................................32 Lecture Twelve The Persian Empire..................................................35 Maps ..................................................................................................................38 Timeline .............................................................................................................44 Glossary.............................................................................................................48 Biographical Notes............................................................................................53 Bibliography......................................................................................................57

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©2005 The Teaching Company Limited Partnership

Origins of Great Ancient Civilizations
Scope: The early civilizations of the Near East during the Bronze Age (3500–1000 B.C.) and Early Iron Age (1100–500 B.C.) have been the preserve of archaeologists and linguists. Before the late 19th century, these civilizations were unknown, save for brief, often inaccurate biblical references. To modern readers, these civilizations are remote and forbidding, in contrast to Classical Greece and Rome. Yet each year, discoveries and scholarly publications have revealed the fundamental contributions of the ancient Near East to later Western civilization. Therefore, this course presents the main achievements and contributions of these early civilizations from Sumer to Achaemenid Persia. The first six lectures deal with the...
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