Confronting the Classics

  • by Mary Beard
  • Narrated by Lynne Jenson
  • 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

One of the world's leading historians provides a revolutionary tour of the Ancient World, dusting off the classics for the twenty-first century. Mary Beard, drawing on thirty years of teaching and writing about Greek and Roman history, provides a panoramic portrait of the classical world, a book in which we encounter not only Cleopatra and Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Hannibal, but also the common people - the millions of inhabitants of the Roman Empire, the slaves, soldiers, and women. How did they live? Where did they go if their marriage was in trouble or if they were broke? Or, perhaps just as important, how did they clean their teeth?
Effortlessly combining the epic with the quotidian, Beard forces us along the way to reexamine so many of the assumptions we held as gospel - not the least of them the perception that the Emperor Caligula was bonkers or Nero a monster. With capacious wit and verve, Beard demonstrates that, far from being carved in marble, the classical world is still very much alive.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Annoying narrator

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, in terms of content, even though it's repurposed book reviews. No, when the narrator is factored in. Her ersatz English accent and abundant mispronunciations make this very hard to listen to.


If you’ve listened to books by Mary Beard before, how does this one compare?

I haven't listened to other Mary Beard books, but her own videos on YouTube are considerably more engaging.


How did the narrator detract from the book?

Her pseudo English accent is over the top, with annoying and meaningless little flutters of delight. She can't handle words in Greek, Latin, French, Italian, German, or indeed often English.


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- Chris E

Terrible Narration

The body of this book is outstanding. Unfortunately, the narrator was not up to the task of correctly or consistently pronouncing Latin and Greek terms or names. This makes for unpleasant listening, and I'm surprised if the author approved the finished product. There are, of course, variations in how one chooses to pronounce Latin and Greek, but the narrator was all over the place.
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- G. Edward Gaffney

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-22-2013
  • Publisher: Audible Studios