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.
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.
by M. S•
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 Iris X•
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 Naomi W•
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.
This 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•
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•
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•
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!
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•
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•
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•
I loved this trip around the Assyrian Empire, I recommend this course so much!!! Thank you, Karen!!
by ammar a•
Der Kurs gefällt mir sehr. Ich danke mich Ihnen für die Informationen der alten Zivilisation.
by Ewa P•
Very informative, interesting way of portraying the information. I enjoyed it a lot :)
by Mark D•
Excellent course and so approachable for first time learners of this subject.
by Ofri M•
Interesting use of many media to teach. Easy to stay motivated.
by Daniel H•
Really fun, enjoyable and informative. Well done guys!
by Rodney H•
Very well designed course and fascinating material.
by James B•
Great course! So fascinating and informative.
by Yelyzaveta T•
It was awesome. Than you very much.
by Harsha I•
Loved learning it!
by David B•
by David H F•
I enjoyed this course very much. Professor Radner is engaging and clearly knows her subject spectacularly well. I consider this very much a whetting of appetite: a good deal of additional independent external work would be required to firmly solidify the chronology and the relationship of the neo-assyrian empire to the rest of its time and place. The material culture and the "personalty" of Assyria in the 9th-7th c. period were very clearly conveyed (including the point that we know about the upper classes, not the majority of the populace.) I was delighted with little details like the rafts of wineskins floating down the Tigris, or the differences between Assyrian and Babylonian orthography partly due to the different ways the styli were held. I was disappointed with the "ask the experts" videos. Several of the scholars and archaeologists gave hints of being much more interesting people than they gave the superficial impressions of being, and I would have liked to have heard much more from them about the technical nature of their work, and of their opinions. Two specific examples, Mark Altaweel hinting at the political, linguistic and cultural effects of the Assyrian "population management" policies; and Poppy Tushingham mentioning that our lack of veneration for the heritage of the Assyrian Empire, less familiar and to us than the Roman and British Empires, gives us scope to concentrate on the real nature of Empire, which is the enrichment of an oligarchic class. In the context of Ashurbanipal's library a nice point was made comparing the Assyrian to the Roman Empire: two states oriented to warfare and excelling at organization, logistics, building and siege warfare, both drawing on older neighboring cultures for their literature and cultural roots. I also think more could have been done with the "Playmobil" segments: that was a charming idea for presenting the "annals" aspect. I'd have liked more, but I'd also rather wished that the figures might have been dressed in national costume, to make it easier to keep track of multiple nations, rather than in a mix of historical European dress. Those suggestions aside, the course was beautifully done, entertaining, informative, and leaving me wanting more!
by Hamdanil R•
Very enjoyable course and I learned a lot. When people talk about an ancient empire that runs efficiently many would think about Rome, but it's cool to know that there's an earlier empire in a different part of the world that's no less awesome. Professor Radner is very knowledgeable and the scope of the materials are very intersting.
by Nathan S•
a brief introduction to the Assyrian empire
The videos are well done and there is nice variety of different lecture styles: Standard lectures about history, one-on-one interview formats about daily life, question-answer sessions with a wide variety of researchers and the very helpful Playmobil props acting out the complicated succession, rebellion, move the capitol, etc., dramas that come up in Assyrian history.
What could be better
There are no essays or writing assignments, just those multiple choice "video comprehension" quizzes.
There is relatively little reading material assigned, only a few web articles. No translations of primary documents were assigned.
We get to see some Assyrian art and artifacts, but not nearly as many as I had hoped.
It's too brief and doesn't cover connections with the larger world in much depth. For example, a learner new to the area might need some background differentiating nearby or preceding civilizations, such as the Hittites, Sumer, Akkadia, etc., and explaining that the Assyrian culture and language was not uniquely "Assyrian". Also, some further discussion of Assyria's relations with Egypt and the ancient Hebrews would be a nice connection to elaborate, since that's probably where most people in the West first hear about Assyria.
by Diana L•
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!