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

4.8
stars
339 ratings
126 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

IX

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.

NW

Nov 26, 2018

So Far I am Loving this Course, So much Info,\n\nI have always wanted to do a course on the Assyrian Empire.\n\nFab way of learning too, with tests at each stage rather than a mighty one at the end.

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26 - 50 of 127 Reviews for Organising an Empire: The Assyrian Way

By Manuel O

Jun 08, 2020

Excellent background on the management of the Assyrian Empire. This course put the scattered bits of knowledge that I had gained over the years in studies such as bible criticism and the histories of Mesopotamia, the Levant and Egypt, into a broader perspective. In the course of my studies I read quite a bit on the subject of Assyria, so I was familiar with the name Karen Radner. As soon as I discovered this course on Coursera, I signed up. The course was enlightening, enriching and enjoyable.

By Marjon V

Jun 24, 2020

Thank you so much for this fabulous course! I love the Middle East and history and Mesopotamia has a special place in my heart. I've visited Iraq several times and I've seen a destroyed Nimrud, Nineveh and Khorsabad. This course has learned me in a very appealing way more about how it all once was and how the people have been living there. Karen Radner's enthusiasm was highly contagious. Beside her video's I loved the lovely and helpful Playmobil video's best.

By Malcolm F

Jul 23, 2019

A great range of information, fascinatingly organised and interestingly presented. Just a couple of suggestions: the interviews would be better as true dialogues - at times it sounds like a question is just dropped in to allow the ongoing talk to continue. Also, it would be nice to see a real artefact or two, and to explore a small detail in greater depth - perhaps a line from the Babylonian chronicles and so on. Really pleased to have done it though.

By Nickola L

May 20, 2020

This has been such an interesting and rewarding course. Karen Radner's lectures are detailed but easy to follow and rich in information. Her delivery is excellent. Her conversational pieces with the interviewer are also informative. I learned a lot and enjoyed it so much I feel that I want to know more so I will engage in some research of my own to continue building my understanding of this extraordinary period of history.

By Veronique L

Feb 16, 2020

Fantastic course! Great teachers! I learned so much about the Assyrians, empire-building (It seems that they had the same problems as any latter empire - food, maintaining order, status building, infrastructure, communication). They seem to have had respect for new ideas and to have been innovative.

The course itself was fun, with the interviews and the animations...

Please make one about Babylon now or about Mesopotamia.....

By Stephen B

Oct 10, 2019

A nicely presented course. It has a strong focus on the culture and life in the Neo-Assyrian empire, interweaving that with the history of the empire and the kings. A student completing the course should take away a sense of what that empire was, how it fits in to the larger history, and the important ideas and systems that it contributed to our own world today..

By Marianne H

May 21, 2018

I initially enrolled on this course just because at a casual glance, I thought it 'might be interesting.' Within the first video I was absolutely hooked! The subject matter in itself is fascinating, and it is engagingly presented in a variety of ways. 'Interesting' is an understatement, and I would definitely recommend this course to anyone considering it.

By Afreen m

Aug 01, 2020

Great course! I learned a lot and appreciated the varied forms in which the information was presented. Made it much easier to digest. I can't say that I'll remember the names of all the Assyrian kings, but I'll always be interested in learning more. Thank you for igniting this latent interest and I'll keep a look out for other courses by Karen :)

By Maria E H

Jul 12, 2020

This is a great course! If anyone is planning on taking it I do recommend that you read a quick overall history of Assyria and Mesopotamia. This will provide you with the context you need to truly evaluate the information covered in this course and to make it more enjoyable. The professor is truly knowledgeable.

By Tina T

Mar 19, 2018

Neo Assyrian history made engaging and accessible! The combination of different learning methods (lectures, armchair 'chats', ask the experts, supplementary reading and resources) helped in creating a rounded, memorable learning experience. So looking forward to more from Karen Radner, Denise Bolton and team!

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 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 Ava

Oct 01, 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 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 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 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 Peter M

Nov 11, 2019

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 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 03, 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

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.