Myth in Human History [TTC Video]
08 July 2015, 00:32
Course No 2332 | AVI, XviD, 855 kbps, 640x480 | English, MP3, 128 kbps | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 7.81 GB
A warrior embarks on a voyage to retrieve a mysterious fleece. A man lassoes the sun to lengthen the day. A giant boar raises the earth from the sea with its enormous tusks.
These are just a few of the thousands of myths from around the world. They are tales of powerful gods, fearless heroes, frightening monsters, ingenious tricks, and epic battles.
But more important: These stories are the keys to truly grasping the ways that principles, rituals, codes, and taboos are woven into the fabric of a particular society or civilization. It's through myths that we can answer these and other fundamental questions:
- How was the universe created, and why?
- What is the purpose of evil?
- Why is society organized the way it is?
- How did natural features like rivers, mountains, and oceans emerge?
Grasping the deep-seeded truths behind myths is an illuminating and rewarding journey that reveals provocative new insights into the ways that beliefs are passed on from generation to generation.
And it's a journey you can experience and own with Myth in Human History. This entertaining and illuminating course, delivered by engaging storyteller and award-winning Professor Grant L. Voth of Monterey Peninsula College, plunges you into the world's greatest myths. Taking you from ancient Greece and Japan to North America and Africa to New Zealand and Great Britain, these 36 lectures survey some of the world's most enduring myths and the cultures behind them. By the close of the final lecture, you'll find yourself looking at and understanding world mythology in startling new ways.
Explore Hundreds of Captivating Stories ...
Surveying the greatest myths may seem like an impossible task. So to make learning about world mythology all the more accessible, Myth in Human History is structured into five units.
- Myths about creation and destruction
- Myths about gods and goddesses
- Myths about heroes
- Myths about tricksters
- Myths about sacred places
By approaching myths in this way, you'll be better able to understand mythology's profound importance in shaping nearly every aspect of culture. You'll also discover the hidden connections between them-a comparative approach that emphasizes the universality of myths across cultures.
... and Meet a Wealth of Fascinating Characters
Along with the stories themselves, you'll encounter fascinating characters, including
- Herakles, the ancient Greek hero whose life illustrates the idea that all heroic stories have a similar structure;
- Loki, the shape-shifting trickster who introduces the concept of time into the Norse realm of Asgard; and
- King Arthur, the Celtic lord and founder of the Knights of the Round Table.
An Engaging Tour, a Master Storyteller
A veteran Great Courses instructor, Professor Voth draws you into each myth, and, in doing so, celebrates the same enchanting oral tradition that helped to spread so many of them. With almost every myth in the course, he first tells it as a story to be listened to and savored. Then he explains how different readings and interpretations shed meaning on the myth's role in larger culture. And finally, he invites you to develop your own interpretations of these age-old tales, as well as to ponder the role that myths-both ancient and everyday-play in your own life.
Myths, according to Professor Voth, are "gifts from the ancestors to be cherished." Myth in Human History is the perfect way for you to celebrate these cherished gifts, to learn more about them than you ever thought possible, and to discover how mythology has the power to shape human history.
- Myth and Meaning
- The Continuing Importance of Myth
- Creation Myths
- Mesopotamian Creation—Enuma Elish
- Hebrew Creation Myths
- Emergence and World-Parent Creation Myths
- Cosmic Egg and Ex Nihilo Creation Myths
- Earth-Diver and Dismembered God Creation Myths
- Mesopotamian and Hebrew Flood Myths
- Other Flood Myths
- Myths of Cosmic Destruction
- Greek and Norse Pantheons
- The Great Goddess Remembered?
- The Goddess—Inanna and Dumuzi
- The Goddess—Isis and Osiris
- The Eclipse of the Goddess
- Shamans and Vegetation Gods
- Sky Gods and Earth Goddesses
- Creator Gods
- Gods and Goddesses of India
- Hero Myths
- Mythic Heroes—Gilgamesh
- Mythic Heroes—King Arthur
- Mythic Heroes—Jason and the Argonauts
- The Monomyths of Rank and Campbell
- Mythic Heroes—Mwindo
- Female Heroes—Demeter and Hester Prynne
- Female Heroes—Psyche and Beauty
- The Trickster in Mythology
- Tricksters from around the World
- Native American Tricksters
- African Tricksters
- Mythic Tricksters—Eshu and Legba
- The Places of Myth—Rocks and Lakes
- The Places of Myth—Mountains
- The Places of Myth—Sacred Trees
An Introduction to Infectious Diseases [TTC Video]
06 July 2015, 13:22
Course No 1511 | M4V, AVC, 2000 kbps, 640x360 | English, AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 11.39 GB
Infectious diseases touch the lives of everyone on the planet. On a worldwide scale, infectious diseases account for 26% of all deaths, second only to cardiovascular diseases. And unlike chronic diseases, infectious diseases are unique in their potential for explosive global impacts.
In fact, infectious diseases have shaped the course of human events numerous times:
- The fall of the Roman Empire: Malaria may have contributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. Romans were used to the non-fatal strain of vivax malaria, but later encountered a new mosquito species that brought the deadly falciparum malaria form.
- World War I: Tuberculosis was so rampant in the French army that 150,000 troops were sent home. In total, the countries involved in WWI lost over a million citizens to TB.
- World War II: Many battles in the South Pacific between U.S. and Japanese armies were solely for the purpose of securing islands that supported the growth of quinine—the first and most important antimalarial compound at the time. More soldiers died in the South Pacific from malaria than actual combat!
Now, in the 24 engaging lectures of An Introduction to Infectious Diseases, you can get a comprehensive overview of diseases from the mundane to the fatal with renowned physician and award-winning professor Dr. Barry Fox of the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health. Stepping into Dr. Fox’s classroom will give you unparalleled access to a physician who has dedicated his career to this topic, providing the most reliable, clear, in-depth and up-to-date information.
Zoom in to the Microscopic World
First and foremost, understanding infectious disease requires an overview of the microscopic particles responsible for them: bacteria, viruses, hybrid germs, and fungi. You will:
- see how various types of infectious diseases invade the body;
- look through the microscope at pathogens to identify their inner components;
- follow germs through to different body systems and see what effects they have; and
- learn why we may be losing the battle against some germs.
One particularly fascinating facet of this course is its focus on history. Step back in time and experience the world as the scientists and doctors of the day saw it.
- Hippocrates Defies Tradition: The ancient Greeks believed that disease was caused either by miasma (bad air) or a punishment meted out by the gods. Hippocrates was imprisoned for daring to postulate his own theories. During his 20 years in prison, he wrote The Complicated Body, which set a course for the future of modern medicine.
- Fathers of Microbiology: Anton van Leeuwenhoek, who started his career examining fabric in a dry goods store, honed the power of magnifying lenses and eventually discovered bacteria in 1674. Robert Hooke improved upon the design of the microscope, confirmed van Leeuwenhoek’s discoveries, and coined the word “cell.”
- Germ Theory of Disease: The miasma theory of disease held sway for centuries, until scientists like Robert Koch and Louis Pasteur were able to prove that microorganisms were responsible for infectious disease. Koch’s four postulates set the standard for proof of infectivity up to the present day, and Pasteur’s contributions to science were so monumental that he was declared a national hero.
- Technological Discoveries: With each discovery, from the electron microscope to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostic technology, witness the progress that scientists are making in the field of infectious diseases every decade.
Dr. Fox’s enthusiasm for teaching science comes through in the stories he tells about each of the major discoveries—and stumbling blocks—in the study and treatment of infectious disease.
Preventing Infectious Disease in Your Daily Life
When it comes to preventing infectious disease, knowledge is power. In the popular media, the subjects of infectious disease, vaccinations, and medications are fraught with misinformation and hyperbole. Dr. Fox cuts through the myths and provides a solidly scientific guide to keeping yourself and your loved ones as protected as possible from pathogens.
- Vaccinations: Vaccines are the single safest medical procedure for you, your children, and your grandchildren. Dr. Fox devotes an entire lecture to explaining how vaccines work, debunking popular myths, and explaining how herd immunity works—and when it doesn’t.
- Healthy Habits: Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 24 seconds eliminates the vast majority of harmful organisms. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer is also effective, but not against norovirus (so if you’re on a cruise, wash your hands!). Other simple habits like leaving your shoes at the door and putting the lid down on the toilet before you flush can help keep your home healthy.
- Travel Preparations: Your primary care physician is actually not the best person to consult before you travel abroad. A travel clinic can help you determine which medications to pack, any precautions you need to take regarding food and drink, and any boosters or new vaccines you may need.
A Global Responsibility
Globalization has added yet another factor to the study and prevention of infectious disease. Before the advent of accessible world travel, an epidemic could only spread locally—but now, one could spread worldwide in a matter of days. We saw this firsthand when the Ebola outbreak in West Africa was carried to the United States via air travel.
Dr. Fox acknowledges the gravity of such an outbreak and reviews probable scenarios in the final lecture, inviting you to apply your knowledge and help him predict the next pandemic.
About 50% of prescribed antibiotics are used incorrectly or unnecessarily. Dr. Fox identifies exactly which infections will benefit from antibiotics and which will resolve with other treatments. Responsible antibiotic use today ensures that the next generation can benefit from these indispensable drugs.
A Trusted Professional Resource
Throughout these 24 information-packed lectures, Dr. Fox delivers clear and up-to-date information on dozens of infectious diseases. As a practicing physician in the field of infectious diseases, he is the ultimate authority on this topic—and you will have him “on demand” as a personal resource in this engaging course.
Whether you have a love for biology, a curiosity about the world’s many infectious diseases, or a certain amount of trepidation about what the future holds, you will enjoy Dr. Fox’s impeccable bedside manner, insider knowledge, and humorous personal stories. And most importantly, you will be empowered to make the best choices for yourself, your loved ones, and future generations.
- The Dynamic World of Infectious Disease
- Bacteria: Heroes and Villains
- Viruses: Hijackers of Your Body's Cells
- Moldy Menaces and Fungal Diseases
- Milestones in Infectious Disease History
- Antibiotics: A Modern Miracle Lost?
- Which Germs in Your Daily Life Matter?
- Six Decades of Infectious Disease Challenges
- Vaccines Save Lives
- The Immune System: Our Great Protector
- Zoonosis: Germs Leap from Animals to Humans
- Tick-Borne Diseases: A Public Health Menace
- Food-Borne Illness: What's Your Gut Feeling?
- Respiratory and Brain Infections
- Flesh-Eating Bacteria and Blood Poisoning
- STDs and Other Infections below the Belt
- Stay Out of the Hospital!
- The Nemesis of Mankind: HIV and AIDS
- Malaria and Tuberculosis: Global Killers
- Global Travel, War, and Natural Disasters
- Influenza: Past and Future Threat
- Bioterrorism: How Worried Should We Be?
- Emerging and Reemerging Diseases
- Outbreak! Contagion! The Next Pandemic!
The Persian Empire [TTC Video]
06 July 2015, 13:03
Course No 3117 | MKV, x264, 996 kbps, 960x720 | English, AAC, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 5.47GB
What do we know about the Persian Empire? For most of the past 2,500 years, we've heard about it from the ancient Greek perspective: a decadent civilization run by despots, the villains who lost the Battle of Marathon and supplied the fodder for bad guys in literature and film. But is this image really accurate?
Recent scholarship examining the Persian Empire from the Persian perspective has discovered a major force that has had a lasting influence on the world in terms of administration, economics, religion, architecture, and more. In fact, the Persian Empire was arguably the world's first global power—a diverse, multicultural empire with flourishing businesses and people on the move. It was an empire of information, made possible by a highly advanced infrastructure that included roads, canals, bridges, and a courier system. And the kings of Persia's Achaemenid dynasty —Cyrus, Darius, Xerxes, and others—presided over an empire that created a tremendous legacy for subsequent history.
The Persian Empire is your opportunity to see one of the greatest empires in the ancient world from a fresh new perspective: its own. Over the span of 24 fascinating lectures, Professor John W. I. Lee of the University of California, Santa Barbara—a distinguished teacher and an expert on the long-buried secrets of the ancient world—takes the role of a history detective and examines Persian sources to reveal what we now know about this grand civilization. Tapping into the latest scholarship on the Persian Empire, this course is sure to fill in some critical gaps in your understanding and appreciation of the sweep of ancient history and its undeniable effect on later civilizations. Including our own.
Meet Ancient Persia's Great Leaders and Everyday Citizens
According to Professor Lee, the Achaemenid Persian Empire was enormous, comprising 25 million people—only 1 million of whom were Persian. How did such a small minority manage such a large population? Why were these imperialists so tolerant of those under their rule, leaving untouched many of the subjugated population's local customs?
In The Persian Empire, you'll discover how the Persians were able to create and control such a vast empire. And the key to that success lay in the empire's greatest rulers, each of whom played a critical role in shaping and strengthening a civilization we still remember today. Among the fascinating leaders you'll meet are
- Cyrus, ancient Persia's first Great King, whose pragmatic leadership solidified the empire;
- Cambyses, who through military prowess expanded the Persian Empire into Egypt;
- Darius I, who created Persia's imperial ideology and built up the empire's celebrated infrastructure; and
- Artaxerxes II, who held the empire together in the face of civil war and restored its power.
But while these great kings were administering justice or waging wars, everyday Persians were just as important to the success of the empire. Professor Lee expertly moves between the historical record—the story of kings and battles—and the lives of ordinary people. You'll learn about
- the empire's efficient communications network, which in some ways presaged today's globalized world;
- the Persian economy and the workers and entrepreneurs who supported it;
- the role of women in the empire, especially the power and influence of royal women;
- the relationship between the state and the popular Achaemenid religion; and
- the daily cultural exchanges between the diverse peoples of the empire.
Get at the Startling Truths about the Persian Empire
The Persians did not write histories, and no literature from ancient Persia survives; rather, the earliest historical narratives we have about this empire come from Greeks such as the historians Herodotus, Xenophon, and Ctesias. While important, these accounts detail the frequent wars between the Persians and the Greeks, and they tend to demonize the Persians as despotic barbarians.
Unfortunately, it's a stereotype that's persisted through the millennia. But The Persian Empire helps correct this misinformation by tapping into the ways that historians, within only the last 30 years, have been reconsidering this civilization. Professor Lee guides you through a wide variety of sources that finally get at the startling truths about the Persian Empire:
- Histories written by non-Greek sources, including the Hebrew Bible
- Persian administrative records and historical documents
- Inscriptions by Persia's great kings, including Darius
- Long-buried archaeological artifacts and ruins
By learning from these and other sources, you'll get to know the people and the culture of the Persian Empire on intimate terms. And, in doing so, you'll come to grasp a much fuller history of an important early empire.
For instance, despite the negative accounts of war, the Greeks and the Persians had many peaceful interactions. Many Greek doctors, craftsmen, and especially mercenary soldiers were comfortable serving under Persian rule. It was this tolerance and practical leadership, you'll learn, that allowed the Persians to maintain their powerful empire for hundreds of years.
Discover a Whole New History of the Ancient World
With The Persian Empire, and with Professor Lee, you'll discover a whole new history of the ancient world—a perspective largely unknown even by students of history. In fact, even today very few universities offer in-depth courses on ancient Persia. With these lectures, you'll find yourself on the cutting edge of historical research.
Recognized multiple times by the University of California, Santa Barbara for his teaching prowess and scholarship (including the Academic Senate Distinguished Teaching Award and the Harold Plous Award), Professor Lee is the perfect guide on your tour of this unique corner of the ancient world. With dozens of maps, animations, illustrations, and other informative graphics featured in the video versions of the course, you'll get to know the terrain of the empire, which stretched from the Mediterranean all the way to the Indus Valley in South Asia.
Spanning these thousands of miles, the Persian Empire was truly a force to be reckoned with in the ancient world. Its successes were great—and so were its failures. The empire's downfall to Alexander the Great and the Macedonians is a suspenseful tale of military cunning and historical circumstance. And while the Persian Empire ultimately fell, its legacy lives on in the areas of language, religion, and so much more.
Professor Lee's The Persian Empire captures the people, the strength, the rise, and the downfall of this great empire, revealing the complexity behind centuries of a previously one-sided history. Take this opportunity to complete your understanding of the ancient world and discover the humanity of the ancient Persians.
- Rethinking the Persian Empire
- Questioning the Sources
- The World before Cyrus
- Cyrus and Cambyses—Founders of the Empire
- Darius I—Creator of the Imperial System
- Persian Capitals and Royal Palaces
- The Great King—Images and Realities
- Royal Roads and Provinces
- East of Persepolis
- Challenges in the West, 513–494 B.C.
- Across the Bitter Sea, 493–490 B.C.
- Xerxes Becomes King
- Xerxes’s War, 480–479 B.C.
- Cultures in Contact
- Achaemenid Religion
- From Expansion to Stability, 479–405 B.C.
- The War of the Two Brothers
- Persian Gold
- City and Countryside
- Women in the Persian Empire
- Artaxerxes II—The Longest-Ruling King
- Persia and Macedon, 359–333 B.C.
- The End of an Empire, 333–323 B.C.
- Legacies of the Persian Empire