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As an amateur with a long interest in Roman History I found this series highly engaging and incredibly informative.
Professor Fagan has an easy style and the content is simply brilliant. The flow of the narrative is superb and the connection to the thematic section of the course is well constructed.
I have read bits of Pliny and currently I am reading Gibbon. I feel these are works that require a solid base in Roman History prior to attacking and I now feel like I am armed to teeth thanks to this course.
Thoroughly recommended to anyone with anything from a passing interest to a life long love affair with Roman History.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful
Let me first preface my review by saying that I was a history major in college, and I have long had an interest in Ancient Rome. I have read many books and watched many documentaries on the topic over the decades. So, I am not a newcomer to this topic, but I still learned things in this course. The professor is cogent and organized and provides a good timeline. My main complaint is that this is a little too much of a broad survey course for such a nuanced and important part of history. The later part of Roman history especially gets short shrift, though, to his credit, the professor warns the listeners at the beginning of his intent. He justifies this at least somewhat by arguing there is a nebulous line between the end of late Roman period and the beginning of the early Medieval period. While there is an argument to be made for his approach, I wish this one of the Great Course's 60 lesson classes to give enough time to do more justice to the Imperial and late Roman periods. That being said, I will give the professor the benefit of the doubt that he did not have a say as to the length of the course.
I really liked the professor's tempo of switching between political and social history. He struck a very nice balance, which is often hard to do with many courses becoming overly dominated by one or the other.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
What have the Romans ever done for us?
I struggled both in Latin and History at school. The thought then of twenty four hours of lectures on Roman history would have filled me with horror!
However, I really enjoyed this course - more like a good fireside epic of the story of Rome, the habits and customs of the Roman people, the political intrigues, religious beliefs (including conversion to Christianity) and the final decline - all of which has determined the ground of so much of our own civilisation.
Professor Fagan tells the story with charm and occasional wit, never lapsing into simply repeating dull facts, but always tying it together in a narrative that bounces along enjoyably, making it always a pleasure to look forward to the next lecture. Although it is forty eight lectures long, my feeling at the end was of having only scratched the surface of this massive subject.
However, to have such a course, containing so much good teaching, for a single audiobook credit is fantastic value.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
Would you listen to The History of Ancient Rome again? Why?
I'm doing an OU course and this is great for background info and I can listen in the car. The lecturer makes it so interesting and the characters from so long ago come alive. He doesn't attempt to portray everyone as their myth and where we don't know information he says so.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Spartacus and his rebellion hold a fascination for me, however he is told here as simply a side character in the lecture on Crassus, which is a shame.
What about Professor Garrett G. Fagan’s performance did you like?
His timing and ironic comments on the chatracter of some of the people, he brings them to life.
Any additional comments?
Would definitely recommend for anyone with a love of history.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
The professor has a refreshing way of lecturing, clear outlines of how, who, why and what made Rome and Romans tick all derived from know evidence not pseudo archeology.
I'm now hooked on these courses.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
A must have for anyone who enjoys Ancient Roman history. Very well structure and detailed lectures that covers all the major topics while still presenting them in an engaging manner.
the lecturers accent does take a while to get used to however.