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
Building a Better Vocabulary [TTC Video]
03 July 2015, 11:31
Course No 9373 | M4V, AVC, 2000 kbps, 640x360 | English, AAC, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 36x30 mins | + PDF Guidebook | 17.3GB
What does the word bombast have to do with cushion stuffing? What is the difference between specious and spurious? Would you want someone to call you a snollygoster?
The hallmark of a powerful vocabulary is not simply knowing many words; rather, it’s knowing the exact word to use in a specific context or situation. A great vocabulary can enhance your speaking, writing, and even thinking skills. This course will boost your vocabulary, whether you want to enhance your personal lexicon, write or speak more articulately in professional settings, or advance your knowledge of the English language. For anyone who has ever grasped for the perfect word at a particular moment, this course provides a research-based and enjoyable method for improving your vocabulary.
Building a Better Vocabulary,taught by Professor Kevin Flanigan of West Chester University of Pennsylvania, offers an intriguing look at the nuts and bolts of English, teaches you the etymology (history) and morphology (structure) of words, and delves into the cognitive science behind committing new words to long-term memory.
Any lifelong learner can build a better vocabulary with these engaging lectures, but they will be particularly useful for:
- readers who want a greater appreciation of literature;
- writers or speakers seeking the “just right” word;
- those who are intellectually curious about language and linguistics;
- students studying for college entrance exams; and
- anyone looking to boost their working vocabulary.
By the end of the course, you will have a practical framework for continuing to build your vocabulary by discovering new words and fully mastering the nuances of familiar ones.
Harness the Way Your Brain Learns Language
Research in cognitive psychology informs Professor Flanigan’s methods for teaching vocabulary. These methods apply whether the student is a new reader, a struggling student, a person learning English as a second language, or an intellectual looking to expand his or her vocabulary.
In particular, you will learn about the five core principles of effective vocabulary learning, as illustrated here with the word factotum.
- Clear definitions: A factotum is someone hired to do a variety of jobs, someone who has many different responsibilities, or a jack-of-all-trades.
- Rich context: Batman’s butler, Alfred, is a factotum. He keeps the affairs of the Wayne estate in order, maintains and repairs the Batmobile, and even offers his employer sage advice.
- Personal connections: Think of a person in your life who is a jack-of-all-trades. When you think of the word factotum, attach it to a memory of this person.
- Exploring the morphology: The root fac is from the Latin verb facio, meaning “to make or do” and the Latin word totum means “all.” Thus, a factotum is literally someone who can do it all.
- Semantic chunking: Schema are your brain’s “file folders” which link your newly-learned word to things you already know. Connect your new word, factotum, with familiar people, as well as words that share the fac root, such as factory and manufacture.
To aid in providing clear definitions, rich context, personal connections, morphology, and schema development, Professor Flanigan organizes these lectures by theme. This allows you to fully understand the differences between closely related synonyms and gives your brain the opportunity to create connections and file new words in long-term memory.
You’ll learn a vast array of words about:
- love and hate,
- trustworthy people and liars,
- war and peace,
- praise and criticism,
- breaking and joining, and much more.
You will supplement the robust information included in the course guidebook with your own vocabulary notebook, where you can jot down personal connections to each word to further cement your knowledge.
Go Beyond the Dictionary
Cognitive scientists have proven that the brain is hard-wired to remember stories. We find it easier to remember information presented as a story than as a list of facts. Learning etymological narratives—or stories about the history of words—leverages this powerful vocabulary learning tool.
- Fighting words: Donnybrook, Ireland was known for its annual fair... and the drunken, riotous brawls that occurred there each year. When you want to describe a raucous and violent confrontation, donnybrook is the perfect word.
- From literal to figurative: In the 16th century, bombast referred to cotton stuffing for cushions. Today, the word refers to “fluffy” speech or writing that doesn’t offer any substance.
- Footlong words: Sesquipedalian, an adjective that means “given to the overuse of long words,” was inspired by the Roman poet, Horace, who often criticized others for using long, pompous-sounding words. He used the phrase sesquipedalia verba—literally “words a foot and a half long.”
A large part of a word’s etymology is its morphology, including the Latin or Greek roots from which it sprang. Approximately 70% of English vocabulary is derived from Latin or Greek affixes or roots, and the number increases to over 90% for scientific jargon. These fascinating lectures delve into affixes and roots from Latin and Greek, as well as words that English borrowed from other languages, including German, Yiddish, Japanese, Gaelic, the romance languages, and more.
If you are an avid reader, you may have previously encountered some of the words in this course. But even the most voracious reader will be surprised and delighted by these eye-opening lectures, which delve into the building blocks of the English language and reveal intriguing new nuances to words you thought you knew well.
Activities to Test Your Knowledge
Professor Flanigan’s expert instruction helps you build vocabulary knowledge that is broad, deep, and flexible. By the end of these 36 fascinating lectures, you should:
- be familiar with more words,
- know the differences between similar words for the same concept,
- be able to make connections between new words and familiar ones,
- be better able to infer a word’s meanings from its morphology and context, and
- apply new words confidently when you speak or write.
Vocabulary games can help achieve these goals—and they are fun whether you are testing your knowledge alone or competing with friends or family members. They are particularly helpful with creating a flexible vocabulary, as they provide opportunities to use and think about words in novel and creative ways.
- Riddles: Learn a clever game that pairs a rhyming answer comprised of familiar words to a question full of sophisticated—perhaps even sesquipedalian—ones.
- Clue Review: Sit in the “hot seat” and test your knowledge with a partner. The hard part? Both of you must know the word and its definition to win!
- Taboo: This popular game has a lot in common with effective strategies for vocabulary learners. Taboo will have you thinking flexibly, making connections, using synonyms, antonyms, and related words—and improving your vocabulary while having fun.
Experience the Joy of Words
In the words of the Greek historian Plutarch, “The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.” The goal of Building a Better Vocabulary, then, is not to cram your mind with new words, but to kindle a passion for the process by which words are created and the beauty of the words you read, speak, and hear every day. These 36 lectures will certainly set your mind ablaze and change the way you experience the world.
Professor Flanigan’s approach to learning vocabulary makes each lecture a joy to experience. As a former reading specialist and literacy coach, he understands the cognitive science behind language acquisition and is able to present each new word in a way that makes it immediately memorable.
But more importantly, he teaches you these tips and strategies so you can apply them whenever you learn a new word. By the end of the course, you’ll have a vocabulary notebook filled with valuable notes, sketches, stories, and strategies—and you’ll be eager to start reading and update it with new words you encounter.
As you may have already guessed, you would not want to be called a snollygoster; it is an antiquated term of contempt for a shrewd, unscrupulous person.
- Five Principles for Learning Vocabulary
- The Spelling-Meaning Connection
- Words for Lying, Swindling, and Conniving
- Words That Express Annoyance and Disgust
- Fighting Words and Peaceful Words
- Going beyond Dictionary Meanings
- Wicked Words
- Words for Beginnings and Endings
- Words Expressing Fear, Love, and Hatred
- Words for the Everyday and the Elite
- Words from Gods and Heroes
- Humble Words and Prideful Words
- High-Frequency Greek and Latin Roots
- Words Relating to Belief and Trust
- Words for the Way We Talk
- Words for Praise, Criticism, and Nonsense
- Eponyms from Literature and History
- Thinking, Teaching, and Learning Words
- Words for the Diligent and the Lazy
- Words That Break and Words That Join
- Some High-Utility Greek and Latin Affixes
- Cranky Words and Cool Words
- Words for Courage and Cowardice
- Reviewing Vocabulary through Literature
- Words for Killing and Cutting
- A Vocabulary Grab Bag
- Words for Words
- Specialty Words for Language
- Nasty Words and Nice Words
- Words for the Really Big and the Very Small
- Spelling as a Vocabulary Tool
- A Medley of New Words
- Building Vocabulary through Games
- Words English Borrowed and Never Returned
- More Foreign Loan Words
- Forgotten Words and Neologisms
An Introduction to Number Theory [TTC Video]
02 July 2015, 10:04
Course No 1495 | AVI, XviD, 1206 kbps, 624x480 | English, MP3, 128 kbps, 2 Ch | 24x30 mins | 6.63GB
How could an ancient king be tricked into giving his servant more than 671 billion tons of rice? It's all due to a simple but powerful calculation involving the sum of geometric progression -- an important concept in number theory and just one of the fascinating concepts you'll encounter in An Introduction to Number Theory. Taught by veteran Teaching Company instructor Edward B. Burger, this 24-lecture course offers an exciting adventure into the world of numbers.
An Introduction to Number Theory is a great introduction to the field for anyone who loves numbers, is fascinated by math, and wants to go further into the relationships among these mysterious objects.
What Is Number Theory?
Called "the queen of mathematics" by the legendary mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss, number theory is one of the oldest and largest branches of pure mathematics. Practitioners of number theory delve deep into the structure and nature of numbers, and explore the remarkable, often beautiful relationships among them.
In this course, you'll cover all the fundamentals of this exciting discipline and explore the many different types of numbers:
- Natural numbers
- Prime numbers
- Negative and irrational numbers
- Algebraic numbers
- Imaginary numbers
- Transcendental numbers
But in An Introduction to Number Theory, you'll also develop a deeper understanding of their nature and the relationships among them, and gain insights into the many branches of number theory, including:
- Elementary number theory, an exploration of the fundamental patterns involving the natural numbers
- Analytic number theory, which uses the techniques of calculus to establish its results, and focuses on the prime numbers and their patterns
- Algebraic number theory, which relies on arithmetic—the operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division—to find solutions to equations
- Algebraic geometry, a combination of algebra and geometry which reveals the important connection between solutions to certain equations and points on certain curves.
An Intriguing Landscape of Calculation
Using brain-teasing problems and fascinating anecdotes, Professor Burger offers deep insights into the complex and beautiful patterns that structure the world of numbers. For example, you'll encounter:
- The sieve of Eratosthenes: A simple but brilliant method for "sifting out" all the prime numbers within any sequence of natural numbers
- The golden ratio: A mysterious and powerful number that recurs throughout the natural and scientific worlds, and is believed by some to hold the key to aesthetic beauty
- The method of modular arithmetic: An alternative way of counting that focuses on remainders rather than quotients to open up new possibilities for the manipulation of numbers
- The relationship between algebra and geometry: Exactly how does an algebraic formula correspond to a line or curve? What can we understand about these two mathematical entities?
Number Theory in Everyday Life
You'll quickly see that number theory—though complex and intellectually challenging—is no "ivory tower" endeavor. Throughout the course, Professor Burger answers intriguing questions about how the work of number theorists touches our daily lives:
- How do modern computers "talk" to each other through vast remote networks?
- What technologies lay behind crucial security procedures, such as the encryption used when you pay with a credit card on an e-commerce website?
- How do the puzzling numbers found on everyday consumer products—the UPC labels, or bar codes—allow you to move quickly and easily through the check-out stand at the local market?
- Why does the chromatic musical scale include 12 notes?
- What is the meaning of the mysterious bank routing numbers on checks? How do they provide a way to identify specific bank accounts?
Mathematical Proofs: The Agony and the Ecstasy
You'll also experience the exhilarating but often heartbreaking process of mathematical proof. In creating a proof, a mathematician is at once akin to the lawyer and the artist, constructing logical structures that deduce newly discovered truths from previously accepted premises.
While some mathematical problems readily yield proofs, others prove to be more intractable. In this course, you'll hear about the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of great minds as they attempted to solve some of the most vexing "open questions" that have tickled the curiosity of mathematicians for centuries.
Consider, for example, the quest of Andrew Wiles. Since childhood, he dedicated himself to finding a proof to one of the most notorious open questions in mathematics, Fermat's last theorem. Professor Burger follows Wiles's frustrating disappointments and miraculous breakthrough in proving this elusive theorem. It's a story that demonstrates the discipline, mental acuity, and remarkable creativity required to establish new areas of knowledge.
And you'll learn about some of the open questions that remain, including the Collatz conjecture, a tricky puzzle for which the great 20th-century Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdös offered to pay $500 to anyone who could provide a solution.
Are You Ready for a Challenge?
These are the kinds of mathematical puzzles that make An Introduction to Number Theory a treat for anyone who loves numbers. While the course requires confidence with basic math concepts, Professor Burger provides clear and effective guidance for students at all levels.
With each tantalizing problem, Professor Burger begins with an overview of the high-level concepts. Next, he provides a step-by-step explanation of the formulas and calculations that lay at the heart of each conundrum. Through clear explanations, entertaining anecdotes, and enlightening demonstrations, Professor Burger makes this intriguing field of study accessible for anyone who appreciates the fascinating nature of numbers.
And while the course is demanding, you'll soon find that An Introduction to Number Theory offers rewards that are equal to its tests. Through the study of number theory, you'll experience an enlightened perspective on the world around us. As Professor Burger says of number theory: "Great secrets and structures lie close by, to be uncovered only if we open our imagination to all possibilities."
- Number Theory and Mathematical Research
- Natural Numbers and Their Personalities
- Triangular Numbers and Their Progressions
- Geometric Progressions, Exponential Growth
- Recurrence Sequences
- The Binet Formula and the Towers of Hanoi
- The Classical Theory of Prime Numbers
- Euler's Product Formula and Divisibility
- The Prime Number Theorem and Riemann
- Division Algorithm and Modular Arithmetic
- Cryptography and Fermat's Little Theorem
- The RSA Encryption Scheme
- Fermat's Method of Ascent
- Fermat's Last Theorem
- Factorization and Algebraic Number Theory
- Pythagorean Triples
- An Introduction to Algebraic Geometry
- The Complex Structure of Elliptic Curves
- The Abundance of Irrational Numbers
- Transcending the Algebraic Numbers
- Diophantine Approximation
- Writing Real Numbers as Continued Fractions
- Applications Involving Continued Fractions
- A Journey's End and the Journey Ahead