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Learner Reviews & Feedback for The Ancient Greeks by Wesleyan University

1,708 ratings
488 reviews

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 486 Reviews for The Ancient Greeks

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 Zafira B

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 Dale C

Oct 20, 2020

Very informative. Great images of places and objects related to the course. There are, however, several broken links is the supplementary material.

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 Fedor v R

Feb 9, 2021

This is a useful and well-explained overview of the Archaic and Classical ages of Greek society, with a short introduction of what came before. It seemed to be rather limited in scope though and could have been extended with more lectures about the Hellenistic age, the Greeks under the Romans, the Byzantines, a focus on the Greeks in relationship to other peoples. The choice of ending with the death of Socrates but not really including Plato or Aristotle or spending more time on the continuation of history seemed a bit random though. Didactically, the choice of teaching methods was a little limited as well, with most lectures being just that, the teacher speaking in front of a projector screen. Other teaching methods, including more tools available in the digital age, might improve the delivery and reach of the course.

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 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 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

By Janice C

Nov 25, 2020

I really enjoyed this course. I learned so much and realize how so much I have to learn. I love to study and this course has stimulated me to study more. I used the notes and lectures several times, but could repeat again as there is so much to retain. My one concern is the notes. There were many errors in spelling and grammar. This became an issue for me especially with proper names since I was unfamiliar with the names and the different spelling in the same set of notes caused some confusion.

THANK YOU for making these courses available to someone who simply enjoys learning. This has also been a wonderful pass time during this covid epidemic.

By Pippa

Feb 19, 2021

Outstanding! Although I studied Classical History at university (years ago!), I wanted to revise Ancient Greek History as a way into beginning Classical Greek studies. Dr. Szegedy-Maszak's style of lecture and approach to the subject made it much more accessible than my previous studies. I loved how he pieces together the history through those 'disparate forms" of evidence and I particularly appreciated an introduction to Greek literature with the inclusion of Aristophanes and Sophocles among the readings. This course has, above all, shown me that "the Greeks are good to think with." Thank you Dr. S-M and Coursera for making this possible.

By Jorge P F

Feb 1, 2021

Un curso muy interesante que se centra en el estudio de la historia griega a través de las fuentes, literatura y el arte. Me ha resultado muy interesante y felicito al profesor por sus explicaciones y por su manera de enfocar el curso, muchísimas gracias por este curso tan apasionante sobre la historia antigua de Grecia. /// A very interesting course that focuses on the study of Greek history through sources, literature and art. It has been very interesting to me and I congratulate the teacher for his explanations and for his way of approaching the course, thank you very much for this exciting course on the ancient history of Greece.

By Nina P

Nov 2, 2015

This is an absolutely 5-star course. Educational, interesting, right-paced... It is very clear that the professor has a passion for the subject and is deeply knowledgeable. There are two questions after every video lecture, which focus on the most important parts of the lecture and also helps the student see if they understood the content. Reading assignments are relevant and interesting. End-of-the week quizzes are challenging, but can be completed very successfully if the student paid close attention to the subject. I would recommend this course to everyone who likes history or ancient cultures. I hope for a sequel, too!

By Marcy H

Sep 17, 2015

Excellent overview of Ancient Greek history. Very much enjoyed the lectures with clear explanations of different aspects of Greek political, military and social structure and the differences between the different polis. Reading material was enjoyable as well -- appreciated the opportunity to read, or reread in many cases, Herodotus, Thucydides and Plutarch. The mixtures of readings also gave the opportunity to view different persons and events from different perspectives which was refreshing. I highly recommend this course to anyone with an interest in Ancient Greece or the beginnings of facets of Western culture.