Chevron Left
Back to Organising an Empire: The Assyrian Way

Learner Reviews & Feedback for Organising an Empire: The Assyrian Way by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München (LMU)

4.8
stars
565 ratings
224 reviews

About the Course

Discover the mighty kingdom of Assyria, which came to be the world’s first great empire three thousand years ago. From the 9th to the 7th centuries BC, during the imperial phase of Assyria’s long history, modern day northern Iraq was the central region of a state reaching from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf, and incorporating what is now Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, as well as half of Israel, and wide parts of south-eastern Turkey, and Western Iran. In its geographical extent, this state was unprecedentedly large, and the distinct geography of the Middle East, with deserts and high mountain ranges, posed challenges to communication and cohesion. What were the mechanisms that kept the Empire running? This course explores the methods the Assyrian government employed to ensure unity and maintain loyalty across vast distances, using traditional as well as innovative strategies. Some of these imperial techniques have marked parallels in the ways modern multi-national corporations are operating, others will strike you as profoundly alien. This course focusses on how the Assyrians organised their empire by analysing key aspects, namely: · The CEO – the king, a religious, political and military leader, who is charged to govern by his master, the god Assur; · Home Office – the royal palace in the central region and the royal court that form the administrative centre of the state; · The Regional Managers – the governors and client-rulers to whom local power is delegated; · Human Resources – the Empire’s people are its most precious assets, its consumers and its key product, as the goal of the imperial project was to create “Assyrians”; an approach with lasting repercussions that still reverberate in the Middle East today; and finally · The Fruits of Empire – it takes a lot of effort, so what are the rewards? When we explore these topics we will contextualise them with information about the lives led by ordinary Assyrian families. Taking this course will provide you with an overview of the political, social, religious, and military history of the world’s first superpower. It will give you insight into the geography and climatic conditions of the Middle East and contribute to your understanding of the opportunities and challenges of that region. It will present you with a vision of the Middle East at a time when its political and religious structures were very different from today....

Top reviews

SS
Jan 15, 2021

This was my first MOOC and I fully enjoyed every aspect. The knowledge level of the instructors was evident as was their commitment to their students and the varied formats were consistently engaging.

LF
Jan 27, 2021

The variety of presentations of a vast amount of knowledge made it engaging. Dr. Radner herself was engaging! The course provided a deep look into a civilization that is a bedrock to the modern world.

Filter by:

1 - 25 of 226 Reviews for Organising an Empire: The Assyrian Way

By Iris X

May 15, 2018

This is such an amazing course! Prof.Radner has done an excellent job at presenting topics and organizing materials. Highly recommend this course to anyone who's interested in ancient civilizations.

By M. S

Jun 27, 2020

I loved the course, it is interesting and very well explained. Karen does an excellent job and her enthusiasm for the subject is visible. The idea of using playmobil to illustrate historical events is very good and make it so much easier to remember.

My only suggestion for improving the course is to incorporate more images, maps of the progress of the empire and talk more about the worship of other gods apart from Assur.

I WOULD LOVE MORE COURSES OF ASSYRIA !!

By Naomi W

Nov 26, 2018

So Far I am Loving this Course, So much Info,

I have always wanted to do a course on the Assyrian Empire.

Fab way of learning too, with tests at each stage rather than a mighty one at the end.

By S

Aug 7, 2021

T​his was my first MOOC, and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I am generally very interested in ancient history and culture, particularly in that of the ancient near east, and this is a very informative and engaging introduction, professional yet easy to understand, even if one does not have much background knowledge. Especially the different styles of the videos as well as the use of other material make the course very interesting. Moreover, the quizzes motivate one to reflect on the content; it is often surprising to find out how much one has actually learned. It is a delight to listen to Prof. Dr. Radner, as she not only obviously has a profound knowledge about this topic, but also clearly enjoys talking about it. Thank you for providing this knwoledge for free!

By Kayla M

May 12, 2020

Thank you, Professor Radner. I thoroughly enjoyed this course!

I recently had the pleasure of spending the first year of my MA program at the University of Toronto with Professor Heather Baker. She introduced the Mesopotamian and Assyrian history in such a remarkable way; I was truly captivated. Your course was a fantastic review of the Assyrian Empire. I appreciated the Q and A videos as well as "Ask the Experts". Thank you for an amazing course and I have benefitted greatly from the content you presented.

By anais r

Aug 15, 2019

So grateful that I came across this course ! I first discovered the Assyrian empire when I visited the British Museum and the Louvre. I was fascinated by the details in the frescoes, the huge sculptures and " Lamassu " but never took the time to learn more about their History. Now, thanks to this course, I have learnt so many things that I want to go back straight away to the museums and take my time to look closer at all the beautiful and well preserved works they left us. Thank you!

By Zakaria N

Jul 8, 2020

Brilliant course, easily my favourite MOOC I've ever completed (even though I've only ever finished two). Professor Radner's energy and enthusiasm for the subject is truly infectious, and I couldn't help but be fascinated by the subject matter and the excellent presentation. I hope to see more in the future!

By Yomukoto

Jun 1, 2020

Thank you sooo so much for this course! I enjoyed it a lot! I had no idea about the Assyrian empire, and now I am even considering taking some course in uni about it. I hope someday you'll make a MOOC teaching acadian haha

By Tasneem H A

Sep 21, 2020

I love learning about the empires and the people of the past. It gives an idea of how much progression and achievement have been acquired by these ancient ancestors to make our lives what they are.

By James H

Jul 7, 2020

Very good learning material to start learning about the history of Mesopotamia, although they didn't include a learning module of how to read the Cunieform Tablet

By Fernanda A B

May 20, 2020

I loved this trip around the Assyrian Empire, I recommend this course so much!!! Thank you, Karen!!

By ammar a

Jun 1, 2020

Der Kurs gefällt mir sehr. Ich danke mich Ihnen für die Informationen der alten Zivilisation.

By Ewa P

Jun 3, 2020

Very informative, interesting way of portraying the information. I enjoyed it a lot :)

By Mark D

Jun 30, 2020

Excellent course and so approachable for first time learners of this subject.

By Ofri M

Jul 3, 2020

Interesting use of many media to teach. Easy to stay motivated.

By Daniel H

May 28, 2020

Really fun, enjoyable and informative. Well done guys!

By Rodney H

Jun 26, 2020

Very well designed course and fascinating material.

By James B

Jul 8, 2020

Great course! So fascinating and informative.

By Yelyzaveta T

May 25, 2020

It was awesome. Than you very much.

By Harsha I

May 30, 2020

Loved learning it!

By David B

May 31, 2020

Excelente curso

By Diana L

Nov 7, 2020

This course was outstanding! Dr. Radner was clear, concise and fluent in communicating every aspect of the course material. She was even able to make the complex and confusing names memorable. I much appreciated her use of multiple presentations: lecture; Q&A; interviews; graphics. What made her teaching most exceptional, though, was her ability to explain many basic building blocks of a society, how and why choices were made, the innovations, consequences, purposes and pitfalls. And, it was all supported by concrete evidence. This was a very rich learning experience and in some important ways provided me, at least, with a valuable template for investigating other societies in other times and places. Thank you, Dr. Radner and friends!

By Robert G

Feb 2, 2021

A solid course which covers Assyrian Ancient History from a unique perspective of Empire organization.

I like the emphasis on HOW the historians and archeologists know what they know--the methodology of history and archeology. The material covers what they know best---the governance of the Assyrian empire as revealed by the cuneiform tablets that have endured over time.

The use of maps adds to the understanding of the story. In addition, there is discussion of the Assyrian contribution to organizations---first postal service, cavalry, and more. The class is engaging on a number of levels with plenty of materials for additional study.

Dr. Radner's brilliance, together with her colleagues, shines through all of the material

I loved it.

By Katharina H

Jan 5, 2019

I really enjoyed this course. It provided a great overview of the Assyrian Empire. The various modules were interesting and engaging. Karen Radner enthusiasm about the topic really kept me captivated and I always enjoyed the expert opinions. The only thing that I think would have been good to go in to in more detail would have been warfare. There wasn't a lot of information on how the Assyrians actually expanded their empire. It is briefly mentioned in one of the modules how they perfected siege warfare, but then it is never further explored. I found this a bit disappointing and wished that there was one more module that would have looked at the military aspect in more detail. Apart from that I really recommend the course.

By Erin C

Apr 17, 2021

Highly enjoyable course which covers the historical events and kings of Assyria but also goes into depth on other, less well-known or well-covered topics like what could be considered a luxurious good; what role did women play in the empire etc. I felt that it went into enough detail without being overwhelming to a new student of Assyriology. I like that it mixed historical background with the cultural background each week rather than just focusing on one per week as this way, I felt it was easier to get through the topics I wasn't as interested in. Overall, the course was well put together, accessible and led by enthusiastic and highly knowledgeable lecturers.