• by Mary Beard
  • Narrated by Phyllida Nash
  • 18 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Ancient Rome matters. Its history of empire, conquest, cruelty and excess is something against which we still judge ourselves. Its myths and stories - from Romulus and Remus to the rape of Lucretia - still strike a chord with us. And its debates about citizenship, security and the rights of the individual still influence our own debates on civil liberty today.
SPQR is a new look at Roman history from one of the world's foremost classicists. It explores not only how Rome grew from an insignificant village in central Italy to a power that controlled territory from Spain to Syria but also how the Romans thought about themselves and their achievements and why they are still important to us.
Covering 1,000 years of history and casting fresh light on the basics of Roman culture, from slavery to running water, as well as exploring democracy, migration, religious controversy, social mobility and exploitation in the larger context of the empire, this is a definitive history of ancient Rome.
SPQR is the Romans' own abbreviation for their state: Senatus Populusque Romanus, 'the Senate and People of Rome'.


What the Critics Say

"She's pulled off that rare trick of becoming a don with a high media profile who hasn't sold out, who is absolutely respected by the academy for her scholarship...what she says is always powerful and interesting." (The Guardian)
"An irrepressible enthusiast with a refreshing disregard for convention." (Financial Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An exceptional book

This is without a doubt one of the most provocative books written in recent years on the subject of Rome. Mary Beard handles the subject with precision and systematically explores themes which seldom get covered in the normal course of writing. This is an exceptional book.
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- William Blignaut

In depth look at all things (ancient) Roman

My 3-star rating is a compromise between my objective and subjective opinions of this book. Objectively it is a stunner – such a wide-ranging meticulously researched and engagingly written history of 1000 years of Rome and its empire and people can only be described as a masterpiece which warrants a wholehearted 5-star rating. Mary Beard presents the fruits of her rigorous scholarship in an almost conversational manner making it accessible to anyone from novices to those who are already familiar with Rome and its history. So far, so good. But subjectively, even though I knew I was listening to a book which ticked all the boxes, I did not actually enjoy it. Despite the wealth and variety of material, mostly I found it flat. I found the narration flat too, but don’t know whether it was the narrator or the material. It felt like reading a history book in preparation for an exam or assignment, a duty rather than a pleasure. So, five stars for content and one star for grabbing my attention – that makes an overall rating of three stars.
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- Robyn

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-19-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios