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The Great Ideas of Psychology (Transcript)

704 pages


The Great Ideas of Psychology is the companion book to the audio/video series of the same name. It contains a full transcript of the series as well as the complete course guidebook which includes lecture notes, bibliography, and more.

About this series:

When people think of the masterpieces of art, painters such as Gauguin or Picasso might spring to mind. But thousands of years before these modern masters put brush to canvas, artists from all over the ancient world, from France to Egypt to South America, created a trove of masterpieces—artwork stunning for its opulence, its
realism, its utility, and its visual drama.

Art is one of the highest forms of human expression, and studying the history of ancient art, as with studying later works, gives us a way to more fully understand ourselves today. A comparative look at the masterpieces of the ancient world reveals a marvelous diversity of styles, themes, subjects, and media, but it also offers us a glimpse of the universal truths and values of humanity across the ages. Even among radically different cultures, you still see common themes—including expressions of rulership, fertility, and religion and spirituality.

30 Masterpieces of the Ancient World offers you what few art history courses do, even in our top universities—a broad and comprehensive survey of art in the ancient world. Over the course of 36 fascinating lectures, Professor Diana Krumholz McDonald, an expert in ancient art history and an esteemed lecturer and scholar, takes you on a grand journey around the world to see some of the greatest works of art ever created and to explore the cultures that made them. Whether it’s a textbook standard or a little-known gem, this is art with a purpose, created not for art’s sake, but with a clear function in mind. You’ll delight in learning about such works as

the realistic paintings inside the caves of Chauvet, France;
the Uruk Vase and the development of narrative art in Mesopotamia;
the erotic and terrifying “Queen of the Night” relief from ancient Babylon;
the treasures from King Tut’s tomb and other Egyptian wonders;
the mesmerizing and expressive sculpture “Laocoön”;
the ancient relics and monuments to the Buddha in India and Java; and
the colossal Olmec heads with their extraordinary emotional power.

Along the way, Professor McDonald is an able guide who brings these masterpieces to life with stories, insights, and interpretations that will open an entire new world for you.

Many Cultures, Universal Truths

The beauty of 30 Masterpieces of the Ancient World is that it takes you all around the globe, from Europe and the Middle East to Asia and the Americas. You’ll revisit familiar cultural touchstones, such as the Greek Olympic Games or the Roman Republic, and you’ll encounter unfamiliar—even terrifying—rituals such as human sacrifice in the mysterious Aztec and Moche societies. The artwork these cultures produced ranges from decorative earspools to massive architectural wonders, from skillfully woven textiles and masterfully wrought pottery to stunningly expressive sculptures and paintings.

For all this variety, though, common themes emerge and connect us in our shared humanity—not merely among ancient societies, but between the ancients and our world today. In this extraordinary journey, you’ll encounter breathtaking paintings, sculptures, reliefs, textiles, and architectural triumphs from around the globe and created across thousands of years, and you’ll study what binds them together—and the lessons they offer us today.

Survival & Fertility: Nothing else matters if our basic needs are not met. It makes sense, then, that so much artistic expression in the ancient world focuses on our security. Masterpieces such as these highlight the importance of this theme throughout the ancient world:

“Ram Caught in a Thicket,” from the Royal Cemetery at Ur, highlights fertility of the land, which is necessary for human survival.
Aphrodite of Knidos, the first female nude sc

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