Making history come alive is a difficult task to pull off, but one that this professor makes seem easy, even expected.

The Great Courses has found another academic jewel in Gregory S. Aldrete. His teaching style is so enthusiastic that beyond becoming interested in the story of ancient history, you may even forget yourself, and find that you are smiling big and goofy, cheering for the actor being presented by Professor Aldrete, on the stage of time.

Greg Aldrete is not only notorious for his engaging teaching style, but also for his research and contribution to our current understanding of military history and everyday life in the ancient world, especially that of the Greeks and Romans. He headed a long but FUN project with students at the University of Wisconsin at Green Bay, where he has taught since 1995.
The Linothorax Project, described in the video below, recreated the cloth armor used by Alexander the Great. Since no examples of this armor survived to be excavated by modern archaeologists — due to being made of cloth rather than metal — the research team had to rely on texts written by ancient authors, and depictions of the armor in ancient art.


Here’s a screenshot from the Phaeton Group, a nice tribute to Greg Aldrete:

History students at the University of Wisconsin in Green Bay may have something like THIS to look forward to, lol:


Of course, I know Professor Aldrete through streaming media and The Great Courses:


It seems I have always known about the audio portion of The Great Courses, but I only just became familiar with their streaming video courses in 2016. I remember the GLEE I had (and still have!) when I found that Amazon offered a subscription called The Great Courses Signature Collection — for only $8 per month! I was blown away, because I had paid $3 for each individual lecture before that — and had only purchased a few of those, due to the cost involved. To put this in perspective, each lecture is roughly 30 minutes long, and there are typically 24 to 36 lectures in each course. The Amazon subscription allows you to watch an unlimited number of lectures — from an unlimited number of the close to 100 different courses they offer!

Greg Aldrete’s History of the Ancient World course was one of the first video Great Courses I began through Amazon, and I was about a quarter of the way through it when I found The Great Courses Plus, and branched off into dozens of other courses, in a variety of other topics such as Geometry, Photography, and “The Meaning of Life”. Since the latter site provides so many MORE courses that the Amazon subscription does not, and since I was by then watching a few lectures every day, I decided it was worth it to pay the $20/month to migrate my subscription there.
I say all this to make one point: Professor Aldrete’s History of the Ancient World is so well done, so interesting, and so unique in its scope and presentation, that I went BACK to the Amazon subscription although that was the one and only course I found that is offered in full on Amazon but NOT on GC Plus! LOL 😀

March 2017 Update: Great Courses Plus now has all 48 lectures — WOOT! 😀

Gregory S. Aldrete online:
University of Wisconsin – Green Bay – Bio
UW-Green Bay News
Phaeton Group   |   Wikipedia
YouTube: 1 hour presentation on the Linothorax


— I am not affiliated with Gregory Aldrete or with The Great Courses and I have received no compensation for this post — I just sincerely enjoy spreading the word about awesome people and helpful resources! —



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