The Great Teachers of the Axial Age: Confucius, Buddha, Socrates

Podcast-style audio course - 15 Topics
Length: 5 hrs and 36 mins
Loyola Marymount University
(1 customer review)
Audio Download + Subscription
$0.00
Audio Download + Subscription
$0.00

The Great Teachers of the Axial Age: Confucius, Buddha, Socrates

Podcast-style audio course - 15 Topics
Length: 5 hrs and 36 mins
Loyola Marymount University
(1 customer review)
Audio Download + Subscription
$0.00
Audio Sample:


Tour the most formative period for religion and philosophy in world history. Join award-winning classics professor Matthew Dillon and explore the myriad developments of the Axial Age.

Axial Age refers to the era (800–200 BCE) when five Eurasian civilizations experienced an unprecedented period of development in philosophy, religion, and art. In this compelling audio course, Professor Matthew Dillon argues that the schools of thought that emerged in this period are integral to how we think about the big questions of existence today.

In 15 eye-opening lectures, Prof. Dillon makes the compelling case that the Axial Age was an ancient age of Enlightenment that has no parallel in world history. As you travel through the ancient cultures of China, India, Persia, Israel and Greece, you’ll learn how each region’s great thinkers developed an astonishing variety of ways of understanding the world and our place in it.

While you explore the contributions of Confucius, Socrates and the Buddha; examine works of Taoism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism; survey Homerian epics; and explore concurrent political and economic forces shaping the region, you’ll attempt to answer a central question: W

Tour the most formative period for religion and philosophy in world history. Join award-winning classics professor Matthew Dillon and explore the myriad developments of the Axial Age.

Axial Age refers to the era (800–200 BCE) when five Eurasian civilizations experienced an unprecedented period of development in philosophy, religion, and art. In this compelling audio course, Professor Matthew Dillon argues that the schools of thought that emerged in this period are integral to how we think about the big questions of existence today.

In 15 eye-opening lectures, Prof. Dillon makes the compelling case that the Axial Age was an ancient age of Enlightenment that has no parallel in world history. As you travel through the ancient cultures of China, India, Persia, Israel and Greece, you’ll learn how each region’s great thinkers developed an astonishing variety of ways of understanding the world and our place in it.

While you explore the contributions of Confucius, Socrates and the Buddha; examine works of Taoism, Hinduism, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism; survey Homerian epics; and explore concurrent political and economic forces shaping the region, you’ll attempt to answer a central question: Why was so much happening at Eurasia at this time? In these captivating lectures, you’ll find Prof. Dillon’s enthusiasm for this under-explored period in world history infectious.

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Prof. Matthew Dillon is Professor Emeritus at Loyola Marymount University, where he taught for over 30 years in the Department of Classics and Archaeology. He received his Ph.D. in classical languages and literature from Yale University. Much of Prof. Dillon’s research has focused on the Axial Age, a period of astonishing breakthroughs in religion, philosophy and art across Eurasia around 500 BCE.

Praise for Prof. Matthew Dillon

“Dr. Matt Dillion is a meticulous researcher and a superb translator of ancient texts. What sets him above other scholars is his ability to communicate complex ideas in ordinary language. This is part of what makes him a great teacher, and the ideal person to do this course on the Axial Age. Anyone listening to this course will learn not only about the connections between different religions in the ancient world, but how those connections continue to impact our current religious traditions.”
–Amir Hussain, Chair and Professor of Theological Studies, Loyola Marymount University

“Having devoted his entire career to World Mythology, Philosophy, and Religion, Professor Dillon brings a unique perspective to the discussion of the Axial Age. His command of the languages, the ancient texts, and the scholarly literature enables him to decipher nuance and to draw connections otherwise invisible to the lay reader. With this podcast Dillon provides a compelling explanation to the philosophical roots of modern thought.”
­–Nicholas K. Rauh, Professor of Classics, School of Languages and Cultures, Purdue University

  • What is the Axial Age?
  • Confucius
  • The Hundred Schools of China
  • Daoism
  • Early India
  • Buddhism
  • Persia and Zoroastrianism
  • Early Israel
  • The Hebrew Bible
  • Early Greece and the Homeric Epics
  • The Birth of History
  • The Birth of Drama
  • From Mythos to Logos
  • Later Greek Philosophy
  • Tentative Conclusions

1 review for The Great Teachers of the Axial Age: Confucius, Buddha, Socrates

  1. sergio zenere (verified owner)

    this is not the first course on the Axial Age I listen to, but I appreciated this one. Personally, I am a skeptic as to whether there was an axial age mostly because it all depends on the date we set for this or that character. There are Buddhist denominations that preach how Buddha lived around 1000 BCE…most regard Lao-Tzu as a mere literary character who never lived in history (the “mascot” of a philosophical school) and some are now doubting whether even Buddha or Confucius were historical characters.

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