A friend asked on Twitter what my favorite courses are from The Great Courses. I have spent a lot of money on things from them because the courses are always at least good and often better than that. I have also spent a great deal of time commuting in my truck over the years and this resource has been a good way to spend the time. If you’re curious what their courses are like, imagine your typical iTunesU course, except with consistently good audio, made for the medium of audio/video instead of the classroom, and edited well. You could also liken one to a large collection of excellently produced podcasts. I am a big fan and happily recommend them.
Not a side note: my interests with TGC is primarily historical/biblical, so that will obviously be reflected in this list. At this point I have listened to almost every course they have on classical civilization, biblical studies, or the middle ages. As I run out of courses to listen to, I move closer to modern history. Without further ado, here is a short list of my favorites.
- Alexander the Great and the Macedonian Empire, The Peloponessian War, Rome and the Barbarians, and Fall of the Pagans and the Origins of Medieval Christianity by Kenneth Harl. He has more courses than this and I have enjoyed all of them. You have to resist a large number of "uh"s in his speech but I recommend that you get past this and listen to his stuff.
- Philosophy and Religion in the West, Augustine: Philosopher and Saint by Phillip Cary.
- Emperors of Rome by Garrett Fagan.
- Plato, Socrates, and the Dialogues by Michael Sugrue.
- Early Middle Ages, High Middle Ages, and Late Middle Ages by Philip Daileader.
I used to buy the CDs but now mostly pay for the audio download since they have a nice iOS app and it is the cheapest option. I have not used their Android app because I like myself too much to use Android.
As a final recommendation, never pay full price. It seems like all their courses go on sale at least once a year for 70-80% off. Be patient and wait for that.