Great Courses update

I haven’t written about The Great Courses for quite some time, but I am listening to those courses as much as ever. Since I have shifted my exercise preference from the treadmill to walking outside, it’s been a while since I bought a DVD set, but I continue to listen to audio downloads on my ancient iPod while I’m out walking.

I thought I’d mention a few of the courses I’ve listened to over the past several months.

Most recently, I finished Fall of the Pagans and the Origins of Medieval Christianity. Much of this was material that I knew, but it was nonetheless an excellent review. Kenneth Harl is a great lecturer, and he gave equal treatment to the pagan perspective, which one usually doesn’t find in surveys of the period.

Myth in Human History — This was an enjoyable overview of world mythology. Grant Voth not only discusses the well-known Greek, Roman, and Scandinavian myths, but he brings in stories from North and South America, Africa, and the Pacific. He divides up the course into what he calls units (a good old pedagogical term!) covering such themes as Heroes, Gods and Goddesses, and the Trickster.

The Western Literary Canon in Context — John Bowers takes us through what he admits is his own personal set of selections for the western literary canon. A good set it is, though. He starts with The Epic of Gilgamesh, and takes us up through the The Lord of the Rings. It’s a great survey.

I do love The Great Courses. Really good stuff.

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