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Sioux Falls Scientists endorse The World Was Never the Same
for describing the major events in human history
that changed things for us even today.

The World Was Never the Same:
Events That Changed History
Lectures by Professor J. Rufus Fears

The World Was Never the Same (2010)
36 lectures, 18 hours
The World Was Never the Same  at TheGreatCourses.com

January 10, 49 B.C.: Julius Caesar crosses the Rubicon River into Rome, igniting a civil war that leads to the birth of the world's greatest ancient civilization. October 12, 1492: The Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus, weary after months at sea, finally drops anchor at the island of San Salvador and takes Europe's first steps into the New World.

September 11, 2001: On a calm Tuesday morning, a series of terrorist attacks on the United States of America ignites a global war on terrorism that continues to this day.

History is made and defined by landmark events such as these - moments that irrevocably changed the course of human civilization. While many of us are taught that anonymous social, political, and economic forces are the driving factors behind events of the past, acclaimed historian and award-winning Professor J. Rufus Fears believes that it's individuals, acting alone or together, who alter the course of history. These events have given us

  • spiritual and political ideas,
  • catastrophic battles and wars,
  • scientific and technological advances,
  • world leaders both influential and monstrous, and
  • cultural works of unparalleled beauty.

Without them, human history as we know it today would be shockingly unfamiliar. In short, because of these events, our world would never be the same again.

Such is the approach of The World Was Never the Same: Events That Changed History, a captivating new course in which Professor Fears - a master storyteller and one of the most popular instructors on our Great Courses faculty - provides you with 36 of the most important and definitive events in the history of the world. It's an intriguing and engaging tour of thousands of years of human history, from the creation of the Code of Hammurabi (1750 B.C.) to the Battle of Lexington (April 19, 1775), to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream"speech (August 28, 1963), and beyond. And it's a chance for you to learn new insights about world history at the hands of an engaging historian.

An Expert's Guide to History's Greatest Moments

So what makes a particular historical event so defining?

Guided by his decades of immersion in the study of the past, Professor Fears narrows down the massive span of human history into 36 of its most powerful events. Using his expert knowledge and his impressive ability to draw out invaluable lessons from the past, he has chosen the events for The World Was Never the Same based on these three criteria:

  • The event in itself fundamentally changed history.
  • The aftermath of the event changed history.
  • The event and its impact still resonate with us today.

The result is a comprehensive and authoritative selection of events, each of which played a crucial role in transforming human civilization. What's more: Professor Fears avoids the common pitfall of treating his subject as a mere catalog or laundry list of events - instead, he takes great care to make these lectures feel like a grand, epic narrative of human history.

Professor J. Rufus Fears, a master storyteller and celebrated professor, is the David Ross Boyd Professor of Classics at the University of Oklahoma, where he holds the G.T. and Libby Blankenship Chair in the History of Liberty. Throughout his career, Professor Fears has won 25 teaching awards, including the Medal for Excellence in College and University Teaching from the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence.

36 Lectures - 30 minutes each

1: Hammurabi Issues a Code of Law (1750 B.C.) 19: The Defeat of the Spanish Armada (1588)
2: Moses and Monotheism (1220 B.C.) 20: The Battle of Vienna (1683)
3: The Enlightenment of the Buddha (526 B.C.) 21: The Battle of Lexington (1775))
4: Confucius Instructs a Nation (553–479 B.C.) 22: General Pickett Leads a Charge (1863)
5: Solon - Democracy Begins (594 B.C.) 23: Adam Smith (1776) versus Karl Marx (1867)
6: Marathon - Democracy Triumphant (490 B.C.) 24: Charles Darwin Takes an Ocean Voyage (1831)
7: Hippocrates Takes an Oath (430 B.C.) 25: Louis Pasteur Cures a Child (1885)
8: Caesar Crosses the Rubicon (49 B.C.) 26: Two Brothers Take a Flight (1903)
9: Jesus - The Trial of a Teacher (A.D. 36) 27: The Archduke Makes a State Visit (1914)
10: Constantine I Wins a Battle (A.D. 312) 28: One Night in Petrograd (1917)
11: Muhammad Moves to Medina - The Hegira (A.D. 622) 29: The Day the Stock Market Crashed (1929)
12: Bologna Gets a University (1088) 30: Hitler Becomes Chancellor of Germany (1933)
13: Dante Sees Beatrice (1283) 31: Franklin Roosevelt Becomes President (1933)
14: Black Death - Pandemics and History (1348) 32: The Atomic Bomb Is Dropped (1945)
15: Columbus Finds a New World (1492) 33: Mao Zedong Begins His Long March (1934)
16: Michelangelo Accepts a Commission (1508) 34: John F. Kennedy Is Assassinated (1963)
17: Erasmus - A Book Sets Europe Ablaze (1516) 35: Dr. King Leads a March (1963)
18: Luther’s New Course Changes History (1517) 36: September 11, 2001


The World Was Never the Same:
Events That Changed History
Lectures by Professor J. Rufus Fears

Sioux Falls Scientists endorse The World Was Never the Same
for describing the major events in human history
that changed things for us even today.