Monday, January 18, 2010

Podcasts on Ancient History

I have reported on so many podcasts in the realm of history that I have deemed it necessary to take my history directory and order it into subdivisions. There will be subdivisions into eras, into regions and into themes, to whatever extent the division is useful, accepting the overlap and holes that remain - just to cut up an unwieldy list of over 130 podcasts into reasonable chunks.

Here is the first subdivision: Ancient History. All history podcasts that purposely are dedicated to some era, place or theme that sit in time between the dawn of times until the early Common Era. Most of these are about Greece and Rome, but also fit into this section are podcasts about other early civilizations such as those in the Nile basin, Mesopotamia, Indus Valley and China, the early roots of World Religions as well as the pre-history of man. It needs to be noted that many podcasts that I will stick in the general category, because they cover so much more, will deliver most noteworthy content on ancient history as well.

Ancient History - Alternative Theories (review, site, feed)
Esoteric reconstruction of ancient history.

From Israelite to Jew (review, site, feed)
Bible Scholar and religious Jew Michael Satlow in a podcast series revealing the history of the Jewish people in the pivotal transitional post-exilic period in which they transformed from being a nation (Israelites) to a religious ethnic group (Jews). There is also a very loosely related episode about the Talmud in this series.

Hannibal, (review, site:Stanford on iTunes U, feed).
Stanford University delivers some phenomenal audio, but you have to have iTunes in order to get there. This lecture series about Hannibal gives insight in the history of Hannibal, his trip over the Alps and Professor Patrick Hunt's efforts to reconstruct Hannibal's route over the Alps.

Historical Jesus, (review, site:Stanford on iTunes U, feed).
The very best of Stanford is a lecture series, including syllabus and link to the central book, by theology professor Thomas Sheehan about the Historical Jesus. Sheehan carefully takes the listener through the intricacies of dissecting Scripture to the most authentic sources to Yeshua of Nazareth himself.

History 106B, (Berkeley) The Roman Empire, (review, site, feed).
Professor Isabelle Pafford deals in a few lectures with early Roman history and dedicates the bulk to the history of Rome as of the moment it becomes an Empire.

History 4A (Berkeley) The Ancient Mediterranean World, (review, site, feed).
Professor Isabelle Pafford's lecture series, rapidly taking the listener through the Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations and then landing in detail on the Greeks and Romans.

History of Rome, (review, site, feed).
This podcast is entirely dedicated to Roman History. It goes through Roman history in chronological stages, by means of weekly 20-30 minute podcasts, monologue style.

Introduction to Ancient Greek History (Yale) (review, site, no feed)
Open Course on Yale delivering the history of the Ancient Greeks tracing the development of Greek civilization as manifested in political, intellectual, and creative achievements from the Bronze Age to the end of the classical period.

Introduction to the Old Testament / the Hebrew Bible (Yale) (review, site, feed)
Excellent course about the Bible by professor Christina Hayes - now also syndicated!

MMW 1 by Tara Carter (UCSD) (review, site, feed)
Inspired course at UCSD in human evolution, anthropology and prehistory.

MMW 2 - The Great Classical Traditions, (UCSD) (review, site, feed)
History of the classical era covering not just the west. Professor Charles Chamberlain

Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean, (review, site, feed)
History of Christianity in the early apostolic phase.