The Idler Guide to Classical Civilisation with Harry Mount

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Western Europe is built on two rocks: classical civilisation and Judeo-Christian civilisation. And much of that Judeo-Christian civilisation is rooted in the classical world.

To know classical civilisation is to know the roots of architecture, art, philosophy, comedy, tragedy, history, satire, the novel and democracy. Not to know classical civilisation is to cut yourself off at the knees, to be forever marooned in the modern age, without knowing how it was created.

In nine easy-going talks, Harry Mount – author of Odyssey and Amo, Amas, Amat and All That – takes you through Homer and Virgil, through Greek and Roman architecture, sculpture, literature, philosophy, history, geography and the gods.

A great introduction to the greatest civilisation of them all.

Course Structure

Lesson One – Greek History and Geography

Lesson Two – Homer, the Iliad and the Odyssey

Lesson Three – Greek philosophy and literature

Lesson Four – Classical Architecture and Sculpture

Lesson Five – The Greek and Roman Gods

Lesson Six – Roman History and Geography

Lesson Seven – Roman Literature and the Aeneid

Lesson Eight – The Decline of Rome and Rise of Christianity

Lesson Nine – Classical Civilisation in the Present Day


The Death of Socrates

About the tutor

Harry Mount is the editor of The Oldie magazine. A former New York correspondent and leader-writer for the Daily Telegraph, he is the author of Amo, Amas, Amat and All That, a top 10 bestseller. He has also written A Lust for Window Sills – a guide to British Buildings and his latest book, How England Made the English. He writes regularly for the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the Times, the Evening Standard, the Spectator, Country Life, the Times Literary Supplement, the New Statesman and Literary Review. He has a degree in ancient and modern history from Oxford (First Class Honours) and an MA in architectural history from the Courtauld Institute.