July 16 2012

The Persians as the Pyramids of Mesopotamia

Here's episode 15 of the podcast, where we let you peek your head round one of our classroom doors, here at History At Our House!

Why do we care about Mesopatamia? What's this thing out that's driving us to learn about them? In any culture or period, there's something interesting and mysterious which drives us into wanting to know more - the American Revolution makes us want to know about the European struggles that gave birth to it, the philosophy and plays left behind make us want to know more about how Greece was able to produce these works, the Pyramids make us wonder who on earth those Egyptians were and why they built them. And for Mesopotamia: it's the Persians, and in particular because when studying Greek history they seemingly come out of nowhere and decide to start smashing up the Greeks - but why? Who were they?

Don't forget, you can subscribe via iTunes here: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/history-at-our-house-ancient/id457257170

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July 10 2012

The Persian Parallel

Here's episode 14 of the History At Our House podcast, where we let you peek your head round one of our classroom doors, here at History At Our House!

One of the reasons Ancient History is so interesting is that it provides many situations which we can compare with our own. Of particular interest is the ebb and flow of empires, the conglomeration and falling apart of smaller countries or city-states. This in part because the Founding Fathers took this into account when shaping America. How can a large body of land, composed of small communities and collective identities possibly come together and unite? One of the historically great ways to do so, as the Persians and Americans discovered, has been not a matter of legislation or brute force, but technological innovation...
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July 3 2012

The Religion of the King vs the Religion of the People

Episode 13 of the podcast, where we let you peek your head round one of our classroom doors, here at History At Our House!

One of the common threads we find in history is a certain kind of conflict, between the duties and the desires of the ruler. Rather than being able to do whatever they want and be universally loved for it they often find that they are enslaved to what their people want. This our Lower Elementary class grapples with, as they look at an ancient king who wanted to follow his own religion, one different to that of his people.
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June 25 2012

The Questionable Notoriety of Nebuchadnezzar II

Episode 12 of the podcast, where we let you peek your head round one of our classroom doors, here at History At Our House!

One of the things we see a lot in history is people being called "The Great", like "Otto the Great" - but as our students learn, great doesn't necessarily mean good, it just means that particular person is significant to the period they lived in, and we have to be careful not to think of that term as evaluative.  Conversely, we have people who popularly gain a negative reputation from the people in their respective period, for doing things that might not be so significant to us. We have to be suspicious not to assume, just because someone is popularly hated by one group of people, that they must objectively deserve that notoriety. So, this week, we have a look at Nebuchadnezzar II who, as recorded in the Old Testament, was a great villain. But was he really? Let's consider some of the evidence...

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June 18 2012

Socrates vs the Mob

Episode 11 of the podcast, where we let you peak your head round one of the classroom doors, here at History At Our House!

We carry on with the high school class from last week, who were reading about Socrates trial in Plato's 'Apology'. This week they look at the wider issues involved, about democracy and the rule of law versus the wishes of the people. How does one balance the freedom and rights of the individual with the fact that a government is formed of (or by representatives of) the people, and by extension their wishes and desires? This was a question the founders of the United States grappled with, being all too aware of this moment in history themselves...

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June 11 2012

Justice and the Trial of Socrates

Episode 10 of the podcast, where we let you peak your head round one of the classroom doors, here at History At Our House!

This week it's something a little different: some Ancient Greek Philosophy! As part of our emphasis on giving a more integrated and rich history education, high school students in the program don't just learn that certain great thinkers existed - they hear what those people had to say for themselves too. One of the defining features of ancient Athens was the tension between the will of the people and the rule of law, between the mob and the individual. The founding fathers were all too aware of this, concretised in one epic moment: the trial of Socrates. Here's a sample of the students examining Socrates not-all-that-apologetic 'Apology'.

Find out more about History At Our House at http://historyatourhouse.com/?page_id=318

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June 5 2012

The Code of Hammurabi

Episode 9 of our sneak peek inside the History At Our House classroom!

This week we learn a little bit about the source of the old saying "An eye for an eye", and how it was actually a pretty radical principle at the time. It marked a shift from arbitrary rule, towards an equal, codified system of law, one which measured out objectively just what punishment should be meted out to each crime.

Find out more about History At Our House at  http://historyatourhouse.com/?page_id=318

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May 28 2012

The Nomads - and a Dark Age in Mesopotamian History

Episode 8 of our sneak peek inside the History At Our House classroom!

This week, we're peeking our heads around the door of the Lower Elementary class, where they're learning that dark ages aren't just for first millenium Europe - any peoples struck by a disruptive force can see their empire torn apart. These particular Mesopotamians learned that the hard way...

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May 21 2012

The Mesopotamian Historical Record Begins

Episode 7 of our look inside the History At Our House classroom.

This week, we look at the difference between a reliable and unreliable historical record, by looking at Mesopotamia.What do we mean by that? Have a listen and find out!

Find out more at: http://historyatourhouse.com/?page_id=318

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May 16 2012

The Emperor Meets The Pharaoh: how do we know anything about Egypt?

Just where do we get our knowledge about Ancient Egypt from? The recovery by European historians of Egyptian History is tied to a certain great Emperor. In fact, you might get a clue by looking at our podcast logo...

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