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The Teaching Company and the Great Courses offer a number of series that cover the classical era and Rome specifically.
This is the best of those courses that I've listened to.
This series concentrates on Rome's relationship to various barbarian people's.
Because Rome's dealings with barbarian people's was so extensive, however, this series of lectures can also be seen as a linear history of Roman political and military influence.
From the Battle of Alia in the 4th Century BC, to the Battle of Chalons in the 5th Century AD, Professor Harl describes the various peoples, civilizations, and cultures that Rome encountered in her long history, as well as how those people's and cultures influenced Rome.
Professor Harl is a wonderful lecturer. He's entertaining, informative, and the lectures are well organized.
My favorite lecturers of history are able to bring historical figures and events to life in a way that written sources and contemporary biographies cannot.
Since purchasing this, Professor Harl has become one of those lecturers.
If you enjoy classical history or you are curious about the time period, I highly recommend this lecture series.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
This is a great course if you are interested in Roman history. The course really is a history of the Roman empire from inception to its decline and fall told against the background of barbarian invasions and interactions.
What did you like best about this story?
Professor Harl's discussion of economic and social factors influencing Roman history was wonderful. He is very careful to disclose sensitive issues in historiography and to let the listener know which side of a controversy he is on. Very, very professional.
What about Professor Kenneth W. Harl’s performance did you like?
The unbelievable breadth of his knowledge and detailed observations concerning cause and effect in Rome's interaction (and integration) with barbarians. I came feel that I could see the panorama of Roman history and the factors (and internal inconsistencies) that led to its fall. There is a lot here for politicians to learn from.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
Not that type of book. But I really enjoyed Professor Harl's presentation. Even in 40 hours of Roman history there was never a dull moment (in fact, I was constantly going back to listen again to the details in certain passages).
Any additional comments?
Easy to listen to a 1.25x rather than 1.0.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?
What will your next listen be?
Popes and the Papacy.
How did the narrator detract from the book?
He hadn't written his lecturers, and was working from notes. This may work in class--it often does and I lecture that way myself--but on the audio book it was a litany of ums, ahs, and back tracking.
What character would you cut from Rome and the Barbarians?
I didn't get that far.
Any additional comments?
I'd love to have my money back. I tried very hard for a week, and finally had to give up. £23 down the drain.
2 of 5 people found this review helpful