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Publisher's Summary

A History of Rome is the story of a tiny market town on the Tiber, its rise to world domination, and then its slow, terrible plunge to utter ruin. It is the single greatest event in all human history. Discover the fascinating origin of Rome and its mysterious Etruscan connections, its first faltering steps toward republican government, and its methodical subjugation of surrounding tribes. Slowly, the puritanical Roman Republic asserts control over all of Italy and in the process forges a political unity which proves enduring. That unity is sorely tested as Rome comes into conflict with Carthage and Hannibal, a horrifying ordeal which alters world history for all time. A resurgent Rome is next drawn into the intrigues of the eastern Mediterranean, finally conquering the Greek speaking world...only to end up surrendering itself to a seductive, decadent Hellenistic culture. A century of politcal tension and civil strife ensues. Follow the rise of powerful men like the brothers Tiberius and Caius Gracchus, Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Cicero and the greatest Roman of them all - Julius Caesar.This is Volume 1 of A History of Rome (Unabridged). Don't miss Volume 2.
©2001 Audio Connoisseur
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Mark Grannis on 10-27-05

A superb survey of Ancient Roman History

I was looking for a reasonably comprehensive history not just of the "decline and fall" of Rome, but of its rise as well. I was particularly interested in the final years of the republic, which occurred prior to the zenith of Roman power.

In this book, I hit the jackpot. The writing is clear, the narration spirited. I found this survey to be just the right level of detail in order to permit the reader to see similarities with events of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Don't miss Volume 2, either, which was just as good.

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15 of 15 people found this review helpful


By Jason R. on 03-11-03

Excellent work!

I went into this audiobook with barely more than a rudimentary knowledge of Roman history. I had a basic grasp of certain emperors, various conflicts, and the like, but certainly nothing on a remotely academic scale.

This recording is excellent. It's beginnings are rather dry- lots of names, rivers, mountain ranges, tribes, and the like- but once everything is in place, it picks up dramatically. The telling of the Punic Wars will honestly keep you on the edge of your seat. Thanks to these tapes, I have a new interest in the General Hannibal. The tales of politics and intrigue is sure to fascinate any student of history.

The narration is eloquent and well-done. The chapters are organized in good fashion, though you will most likely need to rewind at certain places to get all the names and events in order.

All in all, excellent work. Ten hours of engaging history- and definetly relevant to current events. Check it out.

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20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By O on 07-28-09

Informative but rusty

Well-researched and informative. It offers a broad view on Roman history, from it's earliest beginnings until the death of Caesar. Fascination story of the rise of an empire.

On the other hand, the writing style is generally old-fashioned. The voice is pleasant and well-paced, but also somewhat posh and patronising. The book is informative and consistent but perhaps lacking some enthousiasm in narration and vivacity in content.

For good or ill, please be aware that this book focuses mostly on the political and cultural aspects, such as the influence of the hellenistic arts and philosophy on the identity of rome. If it's the details of the battles you're after you are bound to be disappointed. All in all I enjoyed it but it does not stand out.

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7 of 8 people found this review helpful


By B. Carter on 03-18-15

The History might be good, the reader is not.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A reading by someone who could speak without a ridiculous, artificially 'posh', pompous accent. Preferably someone who could read through the book first, to get an accurate understanding of the words on the page. Regularly changing the pronunciation and mispronouncing words really doesn't make for an enjoyable read. Could suggest a couple of excellent readers if he'd like to listen to them.

Would you ever listen to anything by Cyril Robinson again?

No.

How could the performance have been better?

A reading by someone who could speak without a ridiculous, artificially 'posh', pompous accent. Preferably someone who could read through the book first, to get an accurate understanding of the words on the page. Regularly changing the pronunciation and mispronouncing words really doesn't make for an enjoyable read. Could suggest a couple of excellent readers if he'd like to listen to them.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Didn't get far enough into the narrative to be able to find out it's undoubted 'redeeming' qualities.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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