Friday, April 25, 2008

World history outside the European box

There are several things great about UC San Diego's history podcasts, the ones I recently discovered. MMW 3, The Making of the Modern World, section Medieval Heritage contains two versions of World History in the period 100 BCE - 1200 CE, the second of which I will write separately soon; the first of which is being taught by Professor Matthew Herbst.

Since history podcasts are a focus on Anne is a Man!, I can compare to many, many other versions of World History. By all means, Herbst's series is very good; splendid lectures with great many details and delivered in a comprehensive framework. However, it is yet another great quality I would like to pick out here. Not only does Herbst dig into the main stream World History, the direct roots of the Western World, that is, Christianity and the Classics with a touch of Byzantium and Muslim world.

As of this week, he has begun to take on the history of China and India and I understand Buddhism will also feature in the course. Thus the history is broadened and with the extensive attention to China in the latest lectures, he stands rather alone in the history podcast world. There is the podfaded David Kalivas' World History and there are some old issues of History according to Bob that are only available on pay per CD, which have paid attention to the history of China. Therefore Herbst addresses a great need, especially in the light of modern geopolitical shifts.

Other areas in the world Herbst has touched upon were Armenia and Ethiopia. By this he filled a gap in my knowledge and possibly for the large majority of us. And what he taught about Persia, I would not have known anything about, had I not listened to In Our Time on the Sassanid Empire.

In short, UC San Diego's MMW courses are an outstanding addition to the history podcast world.

More about MMW 3 and UC San Diego's lectures on podcast:
Making of the Modern World - UCSD,
UC San Diego's podcast courses.

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