A History of the West: 52 Free Videos

The West­ern Tra­di­tion is a free series of videos that traces the arc of west­ern civ­i­liza­tion. Start­ing in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, the sur­vey pro­ceeds to cov­er the Byzan­tine Empire and Medieval Europe, then the Renais­sance, Enlight­en­ment, and Indus­tri­al Rev­o­lu­tion, and final­ly ends up in 20th cen­tu­ry Europe and Amer­i­ca. Pre­sent­ed by UCLA pro­fes­sor Eugen Weber, an impres­sive Euro­pean his­to­ri­an, the video series includes over 2,700 images from the Met­ro­pol­i­tan Muse­um of Art that illus­trate some of the West’s great cul­tur­al achieve­ments. Each of the 52 videos runs about 30 min­utes. So you’re get­ting an amaz­ing 26 hours of con­tent for free.

You can stream all of the videos from this page.

You can find The West­ern Tra­di­tion list­ed in our col­lec­tion, 1,700 Free Online Cours­es from Top Uni­ver­si­ties.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon. If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.