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Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Ancient Greeks by Wesleyan University

1,895 ratings

About the Course

This is a survey of ancient Greek history from the Bronze Age to the death of Socrates in 399 BCE. Along with studying the most important events and personalities, we will consider broader issues such as political and cultural values and methods of historical interpretation....

Top reviews


Apr 22, 2018

This has been an enthralling course which introduces you to the world of the Ancient Greek. Thank you Prof. Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, and all the course creators and mentors, for this excellent course.


Oct 15, 2015

Well presented, wonderful insight into the world of the ancient Greeks. I learnt a lot, and it has whetted my appetite for more. I really loved this course, and enjoyed it very much indeed

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26 - 50 of 549 Reviews for The Ancient Greeks

By Shashwat D

Jul 13, 2020

Best course I have ever had. Enjoyed it throughout and Andrew Szegedy-Maszak sir was just great , thanks for the course.

By Luís M G d S A

Oct 11, 2020

Very clear and helpful lectures. Increased my knowledge related to this period of Ancient Greek History.

By Lautaro j s

Oct 9, 2020

Excelente curso, muy didactico, completo por demas, para los que nos gusta la historia griega !!

By Rodrigo G M

Nov 6, 2020

Excellent course: rich materials, informative lectures, a perfect environment for thinking.

By Svetlana O

Nov 1, 2020

I did not do the quizzes but found the videos really enriching. Thank you.

By Alessandro R d N

Nov 1, 2020

Wonderful course for lovers about Ancent Greek and historians.

By Rick W

Oct 23, 2020

Excellent and detailed course.


Nov 9, 2020

Thank you :)

By Poliane m a

Nov 3, 2020

Thank you.

By Sarah P

Nov 2, 2020

Really great course, the reading materials are great and the videos are very engaging. Totally recommend if you're looking for a detailed analysis into the becoming of one of the greatest and oldest civilizations of this world.

By Richard M H

Oct 30, 2020

Really great course. A lot of interesting topics and aspects covered, and done so in considerable depth.

By Andrew M

Sep 1, 2015

Ancient Greeks is brief overview of Greek civilization from about 1800 to 320 BC, starting with the Minoans of Crete and ending with the death of Alexander the Great. Prof. Andrew Szegedy-Maszak demonstrates great knowledge about the subjects, covering literature, government, and philosophy.

Yet the course has two setbacks: 1) The professor stutters through the lectures, displaying his obvious discomfort being on camera; and 2) the overview is very expansive, so there isn't great study in any single theater of Greek civilization.

There is, however, solid coverage. I also felt the chapter on the 4th cent. BC, done to address complaints about no coverage of Alexander and Macedon, feels tacked on. It's a long, but somehow hurried lecture.

That said, I liked this course. I gained greater knowledge of important political and literary figures, such as Solon and Alcibiades, than I did when I studied the subject back in college.

By Julie C

Apr 12, 2016

The professor certainly knows a lot about this subject, but his delivery is stiff and dry. If he shared his passion for the subject with us it would be more enjoyable. On the plus side, I admire how he shares the Greek language with us so capably and combines art with his lectures.

By Robert G

Jun 14, 2017

Rather dry delivery of material. Teacher knows the material, just do not get enthusiastic. Will unenroll during first week sadly.

By Parker

Nov 30, 2015

Poor visual aids, course content and format.

By Anadela V Y

Jun 7, 2020

The Ancient Greeks course is challenging and fulfilling enough upon completion. I've always wanted to learn more about Greek History and Civilization, and this course truly did not disappoint. The instructor, Prof. Andrew Szegedy-Maszak, is very knowledgeable about the topics. Lectures are engaging and concepts are thought-provoking. He also offered a lot of significant insights on the various important events and personalities of the periods covered, as well as insights on how one should approach the study of Greek history.

The study of Ancient Greeks -- which involves analysis on the causes and effects of different events and the individual actions and ways of thinking of the personalities involved -- will always have its relevance in the study of society, economics, politics, and literature. I agree when the Professor said: "The Greeks are good to think with."

I love the study of history in general, and I'm happy I took this course as it has been an enriching experience for me. I've specifically learned more about the Greek Dark Ages, Homer and his works Iliad and Odyssey, the Archaic Age, and the city-states of Sparta and Athens. I've been very interested in the discussions on the Persian Wars and Peloponnesian War; the strategies of Peisistratos, Themistocles, and Pericles; the differing styles of historians Herodotus and Thucydides; and the rule of Philip II and Alexander.

Knowledge of Ancient Greece is just a step towards learning more about Ancient History and World History. I love the idea of how everything could be connected and that it's also about continuous learning by reading more. Indeed, as the Professor remarked at the end of the course: "What is left out, you find for yourselves."

Thank you for this learning opportunity, Wesleyan University and Coursera!

By Juan S W B

Aug 2, 2020

I think the course was very good. The materials given are usefull and very interesting. I recommend doing all the lectures on the Cousera page and those the professor either suggests or references during the lectures. I think this will give you a better experience during the course. It took me more than three months to complete the course since as soon as he mentioned a book (say Antingone, the Odyssey, Lysistrata) I inmediately looked for it and read it.

The course is challenging, but if one loves this topics like me, and reads all the suggested lectures, it doesn't matter. More importantly, I learned I knew nothing (thanks Socrates)

As for the professor, you feel how much he likes the topic. He also shows great knowledge about the topics lecture after lecture. He speaks very clearly so that anyone can follow his lectures without any language problem. Nevertheless, I recommend checking the transcriptions in English. There are some problems with the names of people and places

I really loved the course, and I hope a second part or a course about the Romans or Macedon.

Thanks professor Andrew. Thanks Wesleyan University

By Lisa M Y

May 10, 2022

Excellent. In so many ways! First, I need to send shoutouts to Prof Andy. His sly wit and sense of humor was very enjoyable. The content was packed and moved along very well. An excellent curriculum that kept me engaged and always looking forward to sticking with the program. It took me three months to complete, I took it at my pace and with my schedule I feel proud that I kept at it and completed it. The combination of readings, lectures and quizzes was a great teaching method. I am studying Art History and after some of those courses, I realized that there was a great big hole regarding Ancient Greece, and this course helped me connect a lot of very shadowy dots! This course has taken me so much farther that I thought I would be after only 18 months of study. I just turned 60 years old and am finally following my dream. Thank you to Prof Andy for this wonderful experience. I am going to look for my next Coursera course! Thank you so much! Lisa Yee- Georgia

By Katharina R

Jan 11, 2021

This has been an awesome course, structured well. Now I understand much more when visiting an ancient temple in Greece. Understanding how life back then was not just constantly about mythology and holy ceremonies but about situations and occurences which are very much alike to happenings and situations today. Greece is indeed the root of knowledge and the professor has presented the lectures in a natural, precise and comprehensive way. I enjoyed he talked much about the political developments in ancient Greece and how basically politics came into being. Yet still he managed to talk about the archaeological aspects and how Greek knowledge affects us till the present time. In total: the professor looked very Greek to me and I applaud him for presenting this heavy and precious subject so well. Learned so much I did not know before.

By Vladislav Z

Apr 22, 2021

A broad and sweeping history of the Greek world from the Bronze Age up until the death of Socrates with a particular focus on Athens, while the material does not go too far in depth or cover all important ground it contains a wealth of information for a free course and is structured and presented in an easily digestible manner. Video lectures are accompanied by relevant reading, and a lot of focus is given on important but often overlooked topics such as the life of slaves, women and foreigners in Greek society as well as a myriad of other topics like Athenian civic life, tragedy, architecture, lyrical poetry and of course the historical events that took place during the time period. I thoroughly enjoyed taking this course and recommend it to anyone with a passing interest in Archaic and Classical Greek history.

By Maria-Theresia D

Jan 14, 2022

This is a really excellent course. It is very well structured and provides an overview of several centuries of Greek history. I particularly appreciate the way Professor Szegedy-Maszak presents it, the rhetoric itself, its pace of speech and the lively and natural way of presenting the respective content. The well-chosen visual material accompanying the lectures conveys the high art that can be seen in the buildings, the sculptures, the vase paintings and in the mosaics. It also supports the idea of what is being said.

I find it very useful that the questions at the end of each lecture reinforce the content and that the weekly tests require a review of all the material.

I have learnt a lot from this course and wish to participate in many more such high-quality courses.

Thank you very much!

By jim h

Aug 18, 2015

Material is excellent, but new format for coursera pages is horrible. Hard to find anything, taking pdf dumps to create saved artifacts from class is completely broken, quizzes do not allow you to see your answers after you submit them even after you have finished the class so you have to remember to save the quiz answers before submission. Worst part for me is that you can only get a certificate if you agree to verified certificates which means giving coursera access to your webcam and also allowing them to save your typing patterns with to me I don't mind paying something for the courses, but will not use verified certificates as I have no need for their verification, and will only take on demand classes that use this format if they have content i really want.

By Charles G

May 3, 2017

Awesome! The professor is obviously very knowledgeable about the ancient Greece history and it's a pity that I'm done with the course; I wish I could attend the full, comprehensive version of it! On top of the basic history, I appreciated the comments on the research method, the nuances in the interpretation of different events, the presentation of additional elements (e.g., pictures, maps, artifacts) to support the lectures, etc. I was sometimes rushing a bit to go through all the reading assignments but I'm glad to know now what to read and where to search to get more information on the topic. I think it's one of the good side-effect of this course: it motivates you to learn even more about the ancient Greeks. Thanks!

By Gerald H

Jan 12, 2017

The course was fascinating. At first, I must admit Professor Andy seemed quite dry at first, but as I began to understand his wit, I waited continually for him to deliver something extremely hilarious. I still laugh when I think about the reference to "Bats whispering". His understanding of the topic was excellent and his ability to communicate such a tremendous span of critical Western history efficiently and in an organized manner made the course valuable to me. I learned enough to of course understand I knew little, though I have written down several areas I want to research on my own to expand my knowledge. Great course, great lectures, thank you for presenting it to us and helping us learn!

By Saoumitaa G

May 6, 2016

Thank you so much for conducting such a well paced course to the prelude of Greek's history!

The course was simply fascinating! Professor Andrew's teaching style was very detailed, often humorous and also engaging. It felt as if I was really present in one of his lectures in the university classroom!

The provided reading assignments also immensely helped in gaining an in-depth understanding of the course content!

The active discussion forum gave me the opportunity to fine tune my learning through Q/As and additional articles for further reading, provided by the very generous, friendly and encouraging mentors!

Looking forward to such a course in future,

With best regards,

Saoumitaa G