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

4.8
stars
521 ratings
205 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.

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51 - 75 of 205 Reviews for Organising an Empire: The Assyrian Way

By bill w

Aug 25, 2019

I loved this course. I found Professor Dr. Karen Radner extremely knowledgeable, and easy to listen to and follow. My only regret was that the course was so short. I would like (and willingly pay for) a full semester course that covered the Kings, their palaces and their campaigns in more detail.

Bill Whelan

By Kate J

Sep 18, 2020

I have taken numerous Coursera classes and this was the best. Karen Radner is an excellent presenter. The format using a combination of lecture, discussions illustrations, and meet the expert questions was highly effective. I especially liked the quizzes {20 in all} as it reinforced learning. Thank you

By Robin T B

Jan 25, 2021

Lots of detail and variety of presentation methods, very interesting introduction to the Assyrian world. I could have done without the interviews with various experts on light hearted topics, I didn't find it interesting or of any historical learning use. Thanks for a good thorough study for beginners.

By Dzina L

Jul 29, 2020

I've taken so many courses on ancient cultures, and this outranks them all! I love that this course doesn't just focus on "who did what and when", it dives deep into the cultural aspect instead and gives you a good understanding of what life may have been like for the Assyrians. I highly recommend it!

By Claudia H

Mar 30, 2021

This was a really interesting course. I had some knowledge about the Assyrians, but I was able to find out much more in-depth information. The course had a good structure, with excellent topics guiding you through the history of the great empire that once was. Absolutely great! Many thanks

By Bruna F

Sep 7, 2020

How much I enjoyed this course! Great teaching techniques, an astonishing professor, and a passionate team to make such a incredible MOOC. I love history but I confess I didn't know much about the Assyrian Empire, so this is a very welcomed and important course! Thank you to all involved!

By Ava

Oct 1, 2019

Professor Radner is fueled by passion and it truly shows in every single lecture. Her energy alone excited me for each new lesson! I took the class due to history being one of my weaker subject areas, and upon completing this course I have found a new interest and appreciation for it!

By Isidora D

Aug 11, 2020

Interesting course, it gives a lots of details and fun way of presenting historical events. The only thing that it missed was maybe a bit more about other powers in region and larger picture of Assyria. I know it takes time, but it could be given as short info with timeline.

By Pamela M

Feb 8, 2021

Thank you so muchh Professor Radner. I've gained so much knowledge about the Assyrian empire. This was the first online course and the instructor Dr. Karen Radner explained every detail in a calming, an easing manner. Thank you yet again for this magnifique course!

By Robert S H

Jul 20, 2020

Thank you for a great course. Very professionally done with so much care and thought. I appreciated the challenge of the quizzes, while never feeling overwhelmed by the material. I hope there will be a Part 2 about the Art and Culture of Assyria.

By Jouldes M D

Oct 8, 2020

A very insteresting way to teach about ancient Assyrians and their empire, with different visual resources (I loved the playmobils!), special participations ("Ask the specialists" videos), the talk sessions and the amazing and objective lectures.

By Tammy G

Apr 24, 2020

I enjoyed the journey with Prof. Radner. I was inspired, entertained, and really fascinated. My knowledge was practically zero on the subject at the start of the course. I wish we could continue. There was never a dull moment. Thank you so much!

By Leon O

Jan 30, 2021

Really good course, with an interesting subject. However, the best part to me was the various ways in which the content was shared- I really liked the "talk to the exports" section. Especially the fact that some were in the field while talking.

By Andjelovic M

May 16, 2020

The best online history course so far! The teacher is excellent and very inspiring person. I'm history teacher and this course inspired me to further explore this topic, to find other books and videos about history of Assyria and Mesopotamia.

By Marion K

Jan 24, 2019

Very interesting course, complete new material for me, I really enjoyed the script and art and will visit the British Museum as soon as possible to see the sculptures by myself. My dream: join an excavation in that area. Thank you so much.

By marri_alexander@yahoo.com

Sep 27, 2020

Brilliantly done! My first love is Ancient Egypt and so i followed the course done by Penn university. This, however, is far more interesting and captivating! So thank you. Now i have another Ancient Civilization to fall in love with!

By Susan V

Aug 8, 2020

This is an excellent course well-presented. There is a wide range of method and media is used. Prof Radner is clearly very knowledgeable: the ideal lecturer. I learned so much more about the Assyrians than dates and conquests.

By Peter M

Mar 8, 2021

This was an amazing, engaging course. It provided me with unexpected insights on the operations of an ancient empire that will inform the manner in which i organize my own affairs for the foreseeable future. Highly recommend!

By Frank J

Mar 29, 2018

An excellent, well presented and researched course which only makes us anticipate keenly further related courses on Babylonia and Mesopotamia. Something on Ancient Hittite and Persian civiisations would also be very welcome.

By Reggie W

Jan 19, 2021

The class really allowed one to be transported back in time to the Assyrian Empire. Had not realized that the Assyrians had left us so many documents which were incredibly detailed their lives. Enjoyed the class immensely!

By Montserrat A V

Oct 23, 2018

i wish to thank to Prof. Dir. Karen Radner all the work and knowledge shared through the course. Has been original, funny and so interesting. i probably i will see again many videos to memorize some things.

Thank you!

By ELLEN C

Mar 12, 2019

I throughly enjoyed this class. Ms. Radner was interesting, funny, informative and down to earth. Loved the artistic presentations she did. I would definitely take another of her classes. She made the class!

By Glen M

Jun 3, 2018

Karen Radner's lectures and the "Talking about ..." discussions were very interesting, but I especially liked the cartoon character drawings used to describe the events that happened in the Assyrian empire.

By Anthony C E

Jul 10, 2020

I have previously completed courses on the Ancient Near East, but this course filled in quite a few gaps.

I really enjoyed the presentation, and I found Karen's teaching both accessible and interesting.

By Emma B

Jul 29, 2020

Well-balanced, well-paced, good clear explanations, questions that test relevant knowledge - really enjoyed it, congratulations to all those involved, and particularly Prof Radner for great good humour