Dr. Madden is so knowledgeable and subject matter so interesting, these six sessions just flew by. Dr. Madden presents such an interesting mixture of current photos, historical data and information, reconstructions, and anecdotes, it feels like you were visiting in many of the centuries this course covered. An absolute must if interested in history and this part of the world now.
I cannot keep count of the number of courses by Prof Madden that I've attended. Here is an unassuming guy who takes you by the hand and Takes You There, on the spot, in the seats of the Hippodrome. Forget the Room Where It Happens. How about the city, the fortified walls of Istanbul, the triple-headed snake column? Constantine to Suleiman the Magnificent parade before your eyes, crowns to towering turbans. Madden places you there, not only in locale but in time and in character. A master storyteller. If you're thinking about taking his series on Istanbul, do. And then take it again. Wow. And I thought the history of Venice was good. Istanbul is wicked fine.
Professor Madden offers a compelling narrative in a personally engaging manner that sheds a great deal of light on one of the world's most fascinating cities. Despite the vast scope of the subject matter, he skillfully weaves together key elements of the history, personalities, landscape, artifacts and architecture of Istanbul with his own personal experiences and anecdotes that bring the city to life. I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in traveling to Istanbul or in its history,
The last segment of the Istanbul Through the Ages course provided a look at the "re-creation" of Constantinople after the Ottoman Turk takeover in 1453. Thomas Madden included titillating tales of the Sultan's harem with a look at an unexpected romance.
This class was great from beginning to end. Every lecture was information packed and well illustrated. Instructor is extremely knowledgable and well organized. He explains complicated history clearly.