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 Kelly W•
Phenomenal course! The different types of formats used to present the information was outstanding (lectures, discussions, visual representations/drawings, interviews with experts, and reading) and very well rounded! I wish there was a more in depth lecture to follow this one, to allow me to get to know these incredible historical figures and their culture better. It took me forever to finish it, I'm not the best at remembering to log in on a regular basis, so the class took longer than 6 weeks for me to finish -- but I still remember a great deal of the information presented. This is due NOT to my memory, but to the absolutely amazing way this course was set up and the information was presented. Thank you for your dedication and hard work!
by Robert G•
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•
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•
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.
by Jeff R•
Very good overview. I have always been interested in history but did not know much about the near east. I am looking to improve my knowledge of all ancient history - Roman, Greek, etc. I thought this would be a good look into the civilizations of the near east, I was right. The presenter is very enthusiastic about the subject matter which make a massive difference. I want to know more about the Assyrian civilization so I think I might purchase Karen Radner's book on the subject. This has raised my interest in near east civilizations so I think I would like to know more about them, as well as the classical civilizations.
by Ashwitha M U•
I had a wonderful time learning about ancient Assyria and Mesopotamia. I especially appreciate the glimpse into what it takes for historians, archeologists and other scholars to understand a civilization (through the how do we know sessions). I deeply appreciate Professor Radner and all the scholars I came across through the course. I'm only slightly cognizant of the difficulty encountered in studying an ancient culture, its traditions and language. But thank you for doing it and seeking out and translating the knowledge that these cultures have left behind for us. It adds meaning and context to our world!
by Kay ( B•
Very informative and presented in an engaging way. Especially loved the whiteboard summaries; very entertaining. Found the videos with the experts less helpful. Had some frustrations with certain questions for which there appeared to be no correct answer and no way to figure out what the correct one was..these were particularly those that said 'select all that apply' and then there always being one incorrectly selected or not selected but no way to get it correct. Someone should take a look at these or provide the correct answer if the student has completed the course.
by David W•
My preconceptions of the roots of civilization were challenged in this course - the instructor and interviews with other experts broadened my mind and left me wanting to learn more. I recommend this course as a way to organize a further investigation into this exciting period in the origins of what it means to be human. I went from no knowledge of this period in time to a new understanding of the framework of historical events - a framework from which I can start filling in the details of what interests me most - language and culture of ancient Mesopotamia.
by ellie r e•
Many thanks to Professor Dr. Karen Radner whose dedication, commitment and understanding of her subject shows in every video, and in all the study material she has so carefully prepared for us. Thanks also to all those other archaeologists who kindly gave their time and shared their ideas and experiences with us. It was more like being at a summer school, really it was. And particular thanks to Denise Bolton, whose conversations with Dr Radner added another, very valuable dimension to the study program. I've enjoyed every moment. Thank you all so very much!
by William N•
An excellent course ! Organized and presented in an interesting and very informative manner. It provided a good introduction to a fascinating topic which I knew very little about. Professor Radner presents the material through a variety of teaching methods that helps maintain interest throughout the course. She never presumes pre-knowledge of this subject or related subject areas by the students and utilizes language easily understood by non-practitioners. Thank you for such an enjoyable and rewarding experience !
by Steven M J•
I realize that a course like this and ancient subject matter are not for everyone, but I enjoyed it and appreciate the rare opportunity to learn about one of the great empires of the ancient world. I had learned about Assyria previously only as it related to the Old Testament of the Bible, but now I have so much more background and context, and indeed some of my previous assumptions and "learnings" have been challenged in a very good way. I hope there are more courses like this on Coursera! Thank you Dr. Radner!
by Henrique P•
I think people will be enchanted in many ways with this course: the knowledge of Ms. Radner, the organizition of the videos, the varied approaches in lessons, the integration with a lot of experts all around the world been asked about "daily" subjects (if they were an Assyrian haha), the company of Ms. Bolton, but mainly the excitement of Ms. Radner with everything on those topics! That makes you feel glad about accompaining this course studying this interesting People and sad about leaving it.
by Manuel O•
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 Gerald H•
It was an amazing course and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Karen presented brilliantly with a sharp sense of humor and kept my interest throughout. I knew nothing of the Assyrian empire, and the way the course was structured made me feel as if section by section that I was observing and witnessing life in ancient times. Not through dates or events, but through what life might have been like. It is one of my favorite online courses I have taken and thank you all so much for making it available.
by David G•
This course is outstanding for learning more about the Assyrian empire and about the Ancient Near East in general. Professor Radner does an excellent job of enthusiastically presenting the course material, which has been so refreshing. She also enlists many fellow experts in the field to provide their perspectives of the Assyrian history and culture as well. I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in learning more about Assyria. Thanks so much, Professor Radner.
by Izzah Z B A•
I finished this Course in just a day (1.5x speed)
What an innovative course!
I love love love the Q&A session especially with the experts- they were having fun answering questions so casual yet so informative! By using maps, colourful dolls and drawing pictures, Prof Radner helped a lot in envisaging the scenes of what had happened during particular times . After covid ends, I wish to fly to the old ruins and cities mentioned to get the feel of
being an Assyrian!
by Marjon V•
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•
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 Adriano M•
Thank you very much for letting me study with you. It is a real privilege because of all the stimulating ideas I got. It made me rebuild all my ideas about this part of Antiquity. My perception of history, religion and life was very much improved. It was great to listen to so many interesting and agreable voices from the experts. Great idea of teaching in dialogue/interview form. It makes the course all the more interesting. Thank you all again.
by Vanessa K•
The very first course I participated in upon joining coursera and a overall fantastic experience. The Proffessor and Experts really gleamed with enthusiasm about the topic and it was therefore always fun to listen to the information presented. I also especially loved the details the course brings about the everyday citizen while also making sure that the big historical information about kings and the general timeline wasn't neglected
by Nickola L•
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•
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 Abed D•
I will take the opportunity to show admiration of the hard work put into this course and it's contents. I am a mid age banker, but this course showed me well how history gives me a thirst for knowledge and I would want to thank Dr. Radner to her passionate way of lecturing knowledge.
In general, the Assyrian civilization is a rich dish with culture and history that keeps you want to study and acquire more knowledge about.
by David H•
I found this course very interesting and full of detail. I never knew that much about Assyria and wish I would've looked into this history before. The lessons were well presented and followed a very logical and rewarding end. I would recommend this course for anyone with the interest.
Professor Radner was very knowledgeable and got the main points across in plain ordinary language and she was a delight to listen to.
by Mike L•
I really enjoyed this course. There were a lot of unique tool used to help promote learning, including links to podcasts, whiteboard sketches and visual aids, and links to digital reconstructions of palaces. This really helps to engage all kinds of learners and learning styles, and I definitely appreciated the creativity that was used to help enrich the learning experience.