What people are saying about
A First History for Adults:

It's would be a steal at twice the price!
--Mike M., San Diego

It keeps me more thrilled than any movie!
--Petter S., Norway

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Welcome to the only history program for especially designed for adults! By joining Powell History you can use the premier history teleconference program to finally learn history for yourself. The Ancient Background -- the fourth installment in the acclaimed A First History for Adults™ program -- will give you an unparalleled context of knowledge to understand the roots of American government through the story of Greece and Rome. This is a great way to help you better grasp the meaning of the terms "democracy" and "republic" and appreciate the work of America's Founding Fathers in full historical context.

Hello, my name is Scott Powell. I am the creator of A First History for Adults™. I'd like to invite you to take advantage of an unprecedented opportunity for you to take command of history--not just to hear from an expert on the subject and then inevitably forget, but actually to gain knowledge for yourself, retain it, and use it as intellectual ammunition to affect the world around you.
Gain... Powell History lectures are exciting and accessible. They are geared specifically to meet the needs of adults students. You don't need any background knowledge. All you need is a desire to learn.
Retain... All A First History for Adults™ programs are designed to help you put history together for yourself. When you can see the "big picture," the separate facts become more manageable, and you can remember them!
...and Use! Powell History's classes present material that is connected to your values and the world around you. There's no better way to see that history matters. Let me show you how!

Course Decription

The Ancient Background is the final installment of the A First History for Adults™ program, designed to help adults learn history. It is a 20 lecture course on the history of the Ancient world, which focuses on four key stories: Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia & Persia, Greece, and Rome. The course begins with a discussion of the birth of Egyptology, and the incredible advances in our knowledge of the distant past over the past 200 years. The cyclical pattern of Ancient Egyptian history over nearly 3000 years is then examined. The relatively stable pattern of life in the land that Herodotus called "the gift of the Nile" is contrasted with the volatile developments in Babylonia over the same period. The forms of writing, architecture, religion are all compared. Then the story turns to Greece, where the progress of the various city-states (especially Athens and Sparta) is tracked, and we witness the birth of science, philosophy, and democracy. The Greco-Persian Wars are next, followed by the Pelopponesian Wars, and meteoric career of Alexander the Great. Greece, however, ultimately gives way to Rome--the ascendant power of the Western Mediterranean. The story of Rome's rise is attended by the struggle to maintain its unique government while expanding. And expand it does...at the expense of first Carthage and Greece, then Egypt, Britain, and still more people, until it encompasses the Mediterranean and much of Europe. As Rome shifts from republic to empire, its culture declines, however, rendering it susceptible to penetration by the ideas of Christianity and by barbarian hordes. The story ends with the "Fall of the Roman Empire," but also the promise of a new development.

Program Features and Details

Why History? More Information Start Getting Ready!
  • Like many adults, you probably remember history as a boring subject. I certainly do! But it doesn't have to be that way. History can be exciting and relevant. You can learn to love it as an adult!.

  • Learn more about the value of history by reading my ground-breaking article, Why History? at Secular Homeschooling magazine. You don't have to be a homeschooler to understand the irreplaceable value of the study of the past.


    "Pursuing this value with the guidance of someone who exalts all that makes this country great is inspiring and truly a pleasure."--David, CA

  • Powell History Recommends, the Blog, has up to date information on the latest Powell History classes and more.

  • Visit the main site for general curriculum information.

  • History At Our House, my other history Blog, also has great essays on important historical topics.
  • What does Napoleon have to do with Ancient History? Find out at Powell History Recommends, the Blog, as part of the lead-up to the The Ancient Background. Read up on some of the key developments that have shaped our knowledge of the distant past. It's a great way to prepare for the course!

    Latest Posts:
  • Napoleon and the Birth of Egyptology
  • Will it Really Matter?


    "Scott's course has acted as an amazing time-saver for me! Scott does all the work, sifts through hundreds of books, chooses the essentials and presents them in the form of a fascinating integrated story. And I reap all the benefits! Thanks!!"--Sharon, TX

    Payment Plans Available

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    Normal Price: $349.00
    New REDUCED Price: $249.00 (You save $100!!!)
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    Register using the standard option above, and then contact me at scott@powellhistory.com to get your $50 tuition discount!

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    P.S. Be sure to check out my Powell History Recommends Blog!