We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.co.uk/access.
 >   > 
The Ottoman Empire Lecture

The Ottoman Empire

Regular Price:£40.69
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • £7.99/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

By understanding the dramatic story of the Ottoman Empire - from its early years as a collection of raiders and conquerors to its undeniable power in the 15th and 16th centuries to its catastrophic collapse in the wreckage of the First World War - one can better grasp the current complexities of the Middle East.

Over the course of these 36 enlightening lectures, investigate over 600 years of history that covers the nature of Ottoman identity, the achievements of the Sultan's court, and stories of confrontation and cooperation with the West.

Befitting a story of such epic scope and grandeur, every lecture is a treasure trove of historical insights into the people, events, themes, and locales responsible for shaping the story of this often-overlooked empire. You'll cover everything from Rumi, the whirling dervishes, and the importance of the sultan's grand viziers to the wars of Sultan Suleiman I, the shadowy politics of the Committee of Union and Progress, and the birth of the Turkish Republic under Kemal Atatürk.

Welcome to a fascinating story of the triumph and tragedy, war and peace, intellectual progress and civil insurrection of a great empire that, for all its glory and grandeur, has left an important legacy that will shape the future of the Balkan nation-states, the Turkish Republic, and the Arab world - and those of us in the West as well.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

©2017 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2017 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (9 )
5 star
 (6)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.6 (9 )
5 star
 (6)
4 star
 (2)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.3 (9 )
5 star
 (6)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Sort by:
  • Nick
    01/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Surprisingly biased"

    I enjoyed every other series Professor Harl has made, but this one was sub-par. I found myself wondering why he was really hitting hard on the positive stuff about the Ottomans and downplaying the negative, when what I'd admired about his other lectures was the relatively unbiased approach. They weren't apologies but they weren't condemnations either, it was simply history. This series really felt like an op ed piece at times, and Harl often exhibits doublethink (ex: denies that the Armenian genocide occurred because it doesn't fit the UN definition of genocide, but then dismisses the German govt's acknowledgement of the genocide since he "doesn't think politics should play a role in deciding what actually happened"). Once he said he has a Turkish wife though, it started to make sense. There's still some good information in the course, if you don't mind that he glosses over some of the more gruesome aspects of Ottoman society, like how the Janissaries were kidnapped and forcibly circumcized, or the fact that he never really explains that whole silk cord thing or any of the cultural background in which such practices emerged.

    That being said, I don't think this course is worth purchasing, you could get all this information on wikipedia and you wouldn't be missing out on any thing really. The most interesting part of the narrative is whenever Europeans enter the scene and Harl has plenty of other quality courses on those subjects, like The Era of the Crusades, World of Byzantium, and Great Ancient Civilizations of Asia Minor.

    19 of 22 people found this review helpful
  • Justin
    New Glasgow, Nova Scotia
    04/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A+ Course by an A+ Professor"

    Harl is one the greatest professors with the Great Courses. I enjoyed every second of this largely unexplored area of world history.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  • Floris Weston
    21/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good clear sum-up of the history for anyone who wants understand this period in time."

    A good distinction is made about why this empire was not "Turkish" or Arabic, but Muslim.
    Also, provides good background about the modern day conflicts between Serbia and Bosnia.



    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Mike R.
    Pennsylvania
    09/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another A++ series from Prof. Harl!!!"

    I’d give it 7 of 5 stars if possible. It is superbly organized. It’s terrific to see history unfold from the Ottoman viewpoint. I think it corrects for conceptions of the modern Muslim-majority nation state that is too frequently projected into the past. The course is very helpful in thinking about the Balkans and the lead up to WW1.

    I appreciate Prof. Harl most when he’s focused on Antiquity through the Middle Ages, where his style is to tell us what the literary sources say – what the archaeological record (so far) tells us – the relevant ancient anecdotes and excerpts (from Herodotus, Plutarch, Livy) that make history interesting – a few jokes of his own – and then maybe a few comments on the current “state of scholarly debate,” or where he has a bias with which other history profs may disagree.

    To contrast, some very good lecturers get too bogged down in what various historical “schools of thought” say about a subject (Fagan, others). Others get too cute in trying to weave a continuous narrative and leave out too many details (Fears, Garland). A few bad apples start with a sociological point of view, and try to read that back into time by cherry picking incidents that support it (Dise).

    Harl’s lectures are authentic and flow naturally, without any gimmicks. His mastery of the material is obvious. I have listened to all 11 of his courses, most more than once, and he’s simply the best. I would love to see him do a deep dive on the Iranian plateau – Persians though Seleucids, Parthians, Abbasids, etc. That has yet to be covered in detail by a lecturer of Prof. Harl’s caliber.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mark F
    01/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This guy says "I'm" way way too much"

    the topic is interesting, the general presentation is ok but he is a terrible reader. he keeps saying uhm and ah all the time. it's distracting and unprofessional

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • xian
    New Mexico
    13/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A solid spoken-word history course"

    I recommend listening with a map / world atlas handy - lots of country & region names are presented.

    I found that the narrative bogged down during WWI - I was overwhelmed by the lists of battles, and lost track of the big picture. Overall, though, I enjoyed both the course structure and narration. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of technological developments in military & architecture.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • khaledalyami001
    Danabuckmir001
    24/06/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This is an magnificent set of lectures!"

    I have listened to most of Professor Harl's lectures given by the teaching company through Audible, not to mention that I have listened to some set of lecture more than one time. I can say that I am very grateful for these lectures as they are very informative, interesting, engaging, and (to use the adjective Mr. Harl uses to Süleyman the Magnificent) magnificent, which is a word I rarely use to describe something.

    I have moved to Turkey about 6 months ago, and with the help of this course on Othoman Empire (even if I don't prefer to call it so) I was able to understand people and thing s happening around me. What I really liked though is Professor's Harl great effort to combine sources from the East and West seeking understanding some of the most controversial aspects of Othoman history.

    What I also like is the organization of this set of lectures in a way that has allowed me to understand the most important dates, events, turning points, and more in Othoman history and a little beyond :)
    I highly recommend it!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • ok
    08/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Um It's in lecture format."

    It's not read like a book, which I would prefer. Learned about Roxanna from Eastern Europe and how successors killed off their own brothers as tradition.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • meredith
    04/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "great stuff"

    harl is always dynamite, would listen to him talk about anything. great info as well, crazy how little I knew of the Ottomans from a western education. so glad I listened to this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tommy D'Angelo
    North Providence, RI United States
    21/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great topic (overdue)/ content but style :-("
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Professor Harl's courses always get a mixed reaction from me. The subjects he covers and the content present in the courses blow me away but his presentation style is hard to get used to. Another reviewer termed it perfectly: he is an acquired taste. While I'm getting better at it (listening to all eight of his courses I own consecutively), I still have trouble "getting good" with it.

    "The Ottoman Empire" is no exception to my general assessment: this is a great topic (long overdue by The Great Courses in my opinion) and what you will learn in this course is immeasurable. But Professor Harl's presentation limitations/tendencies are also present.

    First the good:

    This course has some really good historical narrative on the Ottoman Empire from its origins in 1299 to its collapse at the end of World War I to its rebirth as the republic of Turkey in 1923.

    Two major themes really caught my attention and had me enthralled at times:
    o The Empire’s centuries long battles with central/eastern Europe (Hungary, the Balkans/Serbians, Venice, Romania, Austria), Safavid Iran, and Russia

    o One of the main themes of the course: how the Ottoman Empire confronted and responded to its decline in world power status when the European nations began surpassing them militarily and economically starting in the late 15th century: its reforms and transformation from a medieval autocratic empire to a modern day nation state transitioning from an absolute monarchy under the Sultan to a constitutional monarchy to a republic

    Okay now the bad:

    The course started slow and its first half in general was uninteresting (lectures 1-3, 10-17 are tough to get through): the stories of the Seljuk Turks and Byzantine Empire are already covered in other courses by the professor and lectures 10-17 on life in the high Ottoman Empire just did not keep me engaged (I had to listen twice because my mind was wandering by the minute). This could have been a 24-30 lecture course.

    Professor Harl’s general style is difficult at times: "rapid fire of facts" is the best I can term it. I wish he would stick with general themes more often.

    He also assumes the listener has previous knowledge of certain topics. I can see how he could lose alot of newer listeners. Knowledge or passion is not the issue but the weakness of his always seems to be a lack of "teaching". Perhaps he gets so much into the topics and has so much knowledge on them that it is difficult for him to take a breath and think about teaching the content vs. what at times feels like almost a stream of consciousness.

    He hops around the map in lightning speed making it hard to keep up at times if you are not familiar with ancient boundaries or natural features like river or valley names (or the ancient names of certain lands)

    You really need to pay attention when listening to Professor Harl and no multitasking! Listened to his courses always feels like hard work. But all in all I can't see how anyone wouldn't walk away with new knowledge on the topic and I keep coming back for more because of the content of his courses.

    So I will conclude with what I've said for other courses by Professor Harl: if you are interested in this subject then by all means purchase this course. All of the relevant info is presented and you will definitely learn ALOT. But be forewarned that there may be some frustration in getting used to the presentation style. Still I would recommend this course (along with most of his other ones).


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.