We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
Call anytime(888) 283-5051
History > Ancient

Ancient

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Saud

Saud Member Since 2007

Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.

HELPFUL VOTES
456
ratings
REVIEWS
259
202
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
33
71
  • "You'll Never Look at Languages the ..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a course that explained how languages are divided into multiple families, and how they evolve over time. It is as much a history course as it is a linguistics course. It looks at how languages are born, change, merge, and die away. It dedicates a large chunk of its time on dialects and explains their relation to the "proper" version of their language. It is a very rich course, possibly one of the best value courses I've come across. Here's a list of the lectures in this course:

    1 What Is Language?
    2 When Language Began
    3 How Language Changes—Sound Change
    4 How Language Changes—Building New Material
    5 How Language Changes—Meaning and Order
    6 How Language Changes—Many Directions
    7 How Language Changes—Modern English
    8 Language Families—Indo-European
    9 Language Families—Tracing Indo-European
    10 Language Families—Diversity of Structures
    11 Language Families—Clues to the Past
    12 The Case Against the World’s First Language
    13 The Case For the World’s First Language
    14 Dialects—Subspecies of Species
    15 Dialects—Where Do You Draw the Line?
    16 Dialects—Two Tongues in One Mouth
    17 Dialects—The Standard as Token of the Past
    18 Dialects—Spoken Style, Written Style
    19 Dialects—The Fallacy of Blackboard Grammar
    20 Language Mixture—Words
    21 Language Mixture—Grammar
    22 Language Mixture—Language Areas
    23 Language Develops Beyond the Call of Duty
    24 Language Interrupted
    25 A New Perspective on the Story of English
    26 Does Culture Drive Language Change?
    27 Language Starts Over—Pidgins
    28 Language Starts Over—Creoles I
    29 Language Starts Over—Creoles II
    30 Language Starts Over—Signs of the New
    31 Language Starts Over—The Creole Continuum
    32 What Is Black English?
    33 Language Death—The Problem
    34 Language Death—Prognosis
    35 Artificial Languages
    36 Finale—Master Class

    More

    The Story of Human Language

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor John McWhorter
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (134)

    Language defines us as a species, placing humans head and shoulders above even the most proficient animal communicators. But it also beguiles us with its endless mysteries, allowing us to ponder why different languages emerged, why there isn't simply a single language, how languages change over time and whether that's good or bad, and how languages die out and become extinct.

    Saud says: "You'll Never Look at Languages the Same Way Again"
  • "Rich in Content and Substance"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    China is one of the most interesting and long-running civilizations in the world. This course covers the history of the Kingdoms before the Chinese unification, and move us through a rich history with colorful characters all the way to the twentieth century. I strongly recommend it for interesting presentation and thoroughness.

    More

    From Yao to Mao: 5000 Years of Chinese History

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth J. Hammond
    Overall
    (64)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (53)

    For most of its 5,000-year existence, China has been the largest, most populous, wealthiest, and mightiest nation on Earth. And for us as Westerners, it is essential to understand where China has been in order to anticipate its future. These 36 eye-opening lectures deliver a comprehensive political and historical overview of one of the most fascinating and complex countries in world history.You'll learn about the powerful dynasties that ruled China for centuries; the philosophical and religious foundations-particularly Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism-that have influenced every iteration of Chinese thought, and the larger-than-life personalities, from both inside and outside its borders, of those who have shaped China's history. As you listen to these lectures, you'll see how China's politics, economics, and art reflect the forces of its past.From the "Mandate of Heaven," a theory of social contract in place by 1500 B.C.E., 3,000 years before Western philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, to the development of agriculture and writing independent of outside influence to the technologically-advanced Han Dynasty during the time of the Roman Empire, this course takes you on a journey across ground that has been largely unexplored in the history courses most of us in the West have taken.In guiding you through the five millennia of China's history, Professor Hammond tells a fascinating story with an immense scope, a welcome reminder that China is no stranger to that stage and, indeed, has more often than not been the most extraordinary player on it.

    Travis Greene says: "A good listen"
  • "The Oldest Religion of the Book Exp..."

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This course opened my eyes on the belief system of Judaism. The professor is probably the most qualified in this course than all the other Great World Religions courses, because it seems that he is a devout practitioner.

    More

    Great World Religions: Judaism

    • ORIGINAL (6 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Isaiah M. Gafni
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (7)

    What is the essence of Judaism? Is it the Ten Commandments, given by God to Israel at Mount Sinai? Or is it the totality of teachings in the Hebrew Bible? Or is it symbolized by something outside the Bible? Find out with this illuminating 12-lecture investigation of the fundamental concepts, beliefs, issues, and themes in the ever-changing, 4,000-year-old saga of Judaism, one of the world's most ancient and influential faiths. Throughout the lectures, you'll study Judaism from within-as it was understood by its adherents in the past and by those who practice or identify with Judaism today.

    Saud says: "The Oldest Religion of the Book Explained"
  1. The Story of Human Language
  2. From Yao to Mao: 5000 Yea...
  3. Great World Religions: Ju...
  4. .

A Peek at Jefferson's Bookshelf

Helpful
Votes
1298
 
219 REVIEWS / 246 ratings Member Since 2010 976 Followers / Following 15
 
Jefferson's greatest hits:
  • The Histories

    "Fascinating and Well-Read History"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed Herodotus' The Histories, about the background and main events of the epic wars between the ancient Persians and Greeks (translated by George Rawlinson). I was hooked by "the Father of History's" enthusiastic accounts of interesting historical and cultural information and impressed by his appealing balance of objectivity and subjectivity. And I savored his many digressions amplifying the historical context, as well as his detailed accounts of the different ancient exotic cultures (like the Egyptians shaving their eyebrows when their housecats died or the Scythians making capes from the scalps of their fallen enemies), which were in a sense all similar in their violence, heroism, treachery, brutality, ethnocentrism, and superstitious following of prodigies and omens and oracles. We haven't changed so much in 2000 plus years???

    Despite some listeners complaining about the reader, Bernard Mayes, I quickly came to enjoy his handling of The Histories, easily imagining myself listening to an elderly, experienced, and decent Herodotus. I appreciated Mayes' subtle changes in tone to express a variety of moods, from Xerxes' waxing wroth at some unpleasant advice and the Athenians getting peeved by the Spartans worrying that they would ally with the Persians, to the suspenseful accounts of battles like those at Marathon, Thermopylae, and Salamis that helped decide the course of world history. I found Mayes always to be right on task, always speaking with effective clarity and rhythm, always perfectly expressing Herodotus' humor, disbelief, admiration, and criticism of his historical subjects.

    The only flaw in the audiobook is the too frequent, sudden flash of a kind of static, which distracts from the overall experience to the point that I'm giving what should be a five star audiobook four stars. I highly recommend it.

  • The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 1

    "Historical Fascination and Literary Pleasure"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Edward Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1776-89) is one of those classics you always hear about but never read because the prospect of broaching a six-volume history of the Roman Empire written in the 18th century is so daunting. But finally listening to the first volume of the audiobook (which includes the first two volumes of Gibbon's opus) filled me with a historical and literary rapture.

    Gibbon brings to life the Roman Empire from about 180 AD to about 395, the extent of its boundaries, the governing of its provinces, the organization of its military, and the success that led to its decline and fall by, among other things, making the citizens too soft, the military too mercenary, and the senate too weak. This history was made by spoiled citizens, fickle soldiers, corrupt prefects, obsequious senators, pernicious eunuchs, rapacious barbarians, and, of course, numerous emperors: amoral and tyrannical, pusillanimous and paranoid, or, rarely, moderate and able. Gibbon wittily and enthusiastically relates fateful battles, appalling scenes of treachery, rapine, and slaughter (often internecine or inter-familial), interesting details of exotic cultures (like the Sarmatian barbarians who wore "mail" vests of overlapping horse hoof slices and wielded poisoned fish bone weapons), and telling insights like, "History is little more than the register of the crimes, follies, and misfortunes of mankind."

    I was morbidly fascinated by Gibbon's account of the feuding sects of the "primitive" Christian church, Catholics, Arians, Homoousians, and so on arguing, persecuting, and excommunicating each other over the true substance of Jesus while indulging in pomp, pelf, pride, and power, yet ever spreading their religion due to their zeal, world everlasting after death, and "real" relics, miracles, and visions. Gibbon advocates Age of Enlightenment reason against superstition and might have enjoyed the Jefferson Bible.

    My favorite figure was the philosopher-poet-general Apostate Emperor Julian, who packed so much into his short life (32 years) and reign (1 year and 8 months). As new Caesar, Julian was tossed into Gaul with 360 soldiers and told to rescue it from tens of thousands of German barbarians, disarmingly declaiming, "Plato, Plato! What a task for a philosopher!" As new Emperor, he booted bishops, barbers, and eunuchs out of the palace, replaced them with poets, philosophers, and sages, and tried to return the newly Christian Roman Empire to a Hellenistic Paganism. He even got back at the insulting people of Antioch by writing a satire on his beard. Ah, how might the current world have developed had Julian not played Alexander the Great and invaded Persia!

    Although Gibbon objectively navigates between earlier historical panegyrics and calumnies of his imperial subjects, he also falls prey to his own biases. The worst is his favoritism for western culture at the expense of eastern (opining that a single Greek statue is worth more than whole Persian palaces), and for "civilization" at the expense of "barbarism" (figuring that oral cultures produce no worthy art or culture). Nevertheless, Gibbon always champions humane behavior and criticizes wanton slaughter and destruction, regardless of whether the actors were barbarian or Roman.

    The audiobook is really abridged, because it excludes "Gibbon's table talk," his spicy notes. This is understandable, because they would have broken the flow of the narrative and made the audiobook run too long, but still a pity.

    Some listeners complain that reader Bernard Mayes sounds too British or boring, but I find him perfectly suited to reading long works of history (like Herodotus' Histories). He reads with a professorial British accent and impeccable rhythm, enunciation, and emphasis, a wise and weathered uncle recounting a fascinating history.

    Mostly I had no problem following Gibbon's well-regulated trains of thought, and found his writing elegant, clear, and pleasurable. The only difficulty I had while listening to the audiobook occurred during his long sentences that include "the former" and "the latter," because I'd often have forgotten which was which by the time they appeared, leaving me longing for a printed version of the text. But anyone familiar with 18th and 19th century novels should otherwise have no trouble with Gibbon's prose. I relished it to the point of grins and chuckles. I'll close this review with some examples:

    "The monstrous vices of the son have cast a shade on the purity of the father's virtues."

    "But the power of instruction is seldom of much efficacy, except in those happy dispositions where it is almost superfluous."

    "He promised only to betray, he flattered only to ruin; and however he might occasionally bind himself by oaths and treaties, his conscience, obsequious to his interest, always released him from the inconvenient obligation."

    "It was easier to vanquish the Goths than to eradicate the public vices, yet even in the first of these enterprises Decius lost his army and his life."

    "The ecclesiastical governors of the Christians were taught to unite the wisdom of the serpent with the innocence of the dove; but as the former was refined, so the latter was insensibly corrupted, by the habits of government."

    "If this Punic war was carried on without any effusion of blood, it was owing much less to the moderation than to the weakness of the contending prelates. Invectives and excommunications were their only weapons; and these, during the progress of the whole controversy, they hurled against each other with equal fury and devotion."

    "The weak and guilty Lupicinus, who had dared to provoke, who had neglected to destroy, and who still presumed to despise his formidable enemy, marched against the Goths at the head of such a military force as could be collected in this emergency."

    "Their flesh was greedily devoured by the birds of prey, who in that age enjoyed very frequent and delicious feasts, and several years afterwards, the white and naked bones which covered the wide extent of the fields presented to the eyes of Ammianus a dreadful monument of the battle of Salices."

  • The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 3

    "Literary, Historical, and Humane Fulfillment"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Prophet Mohammed, his followers and successors, and the rise and spread of Islam. The empires of Ghengis Kahn, Timour the Lame, Charlemagne, and Mahomet II. Orthodox iconoclasts and Catholic image worshippers. Popes and anti-Popes. Hyperactive Norman Robber-Adventurers. The zeal, ignorance, and "baleful fountain of holy war" of the Crusades. Rapacious acts and pusillanimity aplenty. Some heroism for hope. Everywhere ambition, pride, scheming, and betrayals. Greek fire, gunpowder, sea battles, and wars involving the deaths or slavery of tens of thousands. The state of Rome in the waning middle ages. The long decline of the Eastern Empire culminating in the inevitable fall of Constantinople.

    When I finished the third and final audiobook volume of Edward Gibbon's The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, including the fifth and sixth volumes (1788-89) of his classic six-volume history, I felt fulfilled. The roughly 120 hours of the three audiobook volumes take the reader from about the 2nd century AD till about the middle of the 15th, from when the empire was a young single entity through its division into two, Eastern and Western, and recounting their respective declines and falls and relationships with each other and with the major barbarian and other civilizations that came and went. The history is everywhere uplifted by Gibbon's Age of Enlightenment reason, moderation, humanity, and elegant and witty prose.

    Bernard Mayes, ever the avuncular, dryly enthusiastic British guide, is a perfect reader for the long history, occasionally nearly succumbing to his own fatigue at so much declining and falling, but ever enhancing Gibbon's love for the material, never missing a beat, mangling a rhythm, or mispronouncing a word. Gibbon's lively notes are missing from the audiobook, so I recommend getting one of the several e-books of his history so as to be able to peruse them.

    The third volume, like the first two, teems with lines full of wit and wisdom, pathos and comedy:

    "Ambition is a weed of quick and early vegetation in the vineyard of Christ."

    "The dominion of priests is most odious to a liberal spirit."

    "Solitude is the school of genius."

    "Of human life, the most glorious or humble prospects are alike soon bound by the sepulcher."

    "In speech they (Bulgarians, Hungarians, and Russians) were slow, in action prompt, in treaty perfidious. . . . Whatever they saw, they coveted; their desires were insatiate, and their sole industry was the hand of violence and rapine."

    "The discipline of the soldier is formed by exercise rather than by study. . . the battles won by lessons of tactics may be numbered with the epic poems created from the rules of criticism."

    "If we contrast the rapid progress of this mischievous discovery [gunpowder] with the slow and laborious advances of reason, science, and the arts of peace, a philosopher, according to his temper, will laugh or weep at the folly of mankind."

    And with vivid portraits of key historical figures:

    "In the blaze of prosperity, [the Tribune Rienzi's] virtues were insensibly tinctured with the adjacent vices; justice with cruelty, liberality with profusion, and the desire of fame with puerile and ostentatious vanity."

    "Of the three popes, John the Twenty-third was the first victim: he fled and was brought back a prisoner: the most scandalous charges were suppressed; the vicar of Christ was only accused of piracy, murder, rape, sodomy, and incest."

    "[The Hermit Peter's] stature was small, his appearance contemptible, but his eye was keen and lively, and he possessed that vehemence of speech that seldom fails to impart the persuasion of the soul."

    "Bold and subtle, rapacious and profuse, the avarice and ambition of Apocaucus [enemy of John Cantacuzene] were by turns subservient to each other; and his talents were applied to the ruin of his country."

    "A beautiful female, a matron in rank, a prostitute in manners, instructed the Younger Andronicus in the rudiments of love; but he had reason to suspect the nocturnal visits of a rival; and a stranger passing through the streets was pierced by the arrows of his guards, who were placed in ambush at her door. That stranger was his brother, Prince Manuel, who languished and died of his wound…"

    If the first audiobook volume has the most compelling figure in the history, the Apostate Emperor Julian, and the second one the most compelling supporting players (like Belisarius), this third one has the most charismatic city, Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Empire, inhabited by wealthy, decadent, proud, weak, and short-sighted people. After a selective but lengthy listing of the many tongue-twisting titles for the specialized ranks of Byzantine hierarchy, among them Autocrator (emperor) Sebastocrator (sub-emperor), Logothete (accountant), Protovestiare (wardrobe), Dragoman (interpreter of foreign ambassadors), and Protostrator (horse assistant), Gibbon says: "Their honors and emoluments, their dress and titles, their mutual salutations and respective preeminence, were balanced with more exquisite labor than would have fixed the constitution of a free people; and the code was almost perfect when this baseless fabric, the monument of pride and servitude, was forever buried in the ruins of the empire." He takes a nearly perverse pleasure in detailing how "The Greeks, by their intestine divisions, were the authors of their final ruin."

    Gibbon's account of the taking of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453 after a furious 53-day siege is gripping. Ancient weapons (bows and catapults) fighting with modern ones (guns and gigantic canons). Irony and drama abounding, as when the last Greek emperor, Constantine, gives a morale raising speech, which turns out to be "the funeral oration of the empire;" as when, the Ottoman Janissaries, Christian tribute slaves molded into elite Moslem infantry, storm the Christian capital; or as when "The Greeks and Turks were involved in a cloud of [artillery barrage] smoke which could only be dispelled by the final deliverance or destruction of the Roman empire."

    For the intrepid, Gibbon's history gives much literary pleasure and historical insight, and is well worth the time it demands.

  • The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume 2

    "More Crimes and Follies of Human Ambition"

    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The 2nd volume of the audiobook of Edward Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire contains the 3rd (1781) and 4th (1788-89) volumes of the classic six volume history, moving from 340 AD through the “total extinction” of the Western Empire and 600 years of the continual decay of the Eastern Empire. Along the way Gibbon performs refined autopsies on 250 years of internecine Christian warfare fought over the precise nature of the Incarnation of Christ (“religious controversy [being] the offspring of arrogance and folly”); the “apostolic fervor” of the Christian extirpation of paganism and destruction of its beautiful temples; the pernicious popularity of relics and saints (“myriads of imaginary heroes, who had never existed, except in the fancy of crafty or credulous legendaries”); the rise of savagely solitary hermits (“unhappy exiles from social life . . . impelled by the dark and implacable genius of superstition”); 1000+ years of Roman laws, from property and inheritance through marriage and divorce to crime and punishment; the superstitious perception of disasters like earthquakes, comets, and plagues; and the impacts on language, religion, law, class, and empire of “barbarians” like Attila and the Huns, Theodoric and the Goths, Genseric and the Vandals, Clovis and the Franks, and Alboin and the Lombards (Long Beards!). And he writes fascinating cultural reports about things like the Green and Blue chariot racing faction conflict that pervaded every sphere of society (from the familial and vocational to the political and religious) and nearly toppled the Eastern Empire (making the soccer hooligans of today seem like quaint Quakers and casting light on our own obsession with sports stars and teams). He even recounts legends of interest, like the story of the Seven Sleepers of Ephesus, a Rip Van Winkle-like tale that spread throughout the world, a human response to shocking change like that of the pagan Roman Empire turning Christian.

    There is in this second audiobook volume no single figure as fascinating as the Apostate Emperor Julian in the first, but there are more compelling supporting characters. The emperor Justinian, for example, the persecutor of Jews and torturer of homosexuals, the rewarder of enemies and punisher of friends, the reformer of the law code, promoter of science and technology and builder of churches, hospitals, and aqueducts, unprecedentedly gave half his reign to his wife Theodora, who in her younger days acted in ribald comic pantomimes and sold her sexual favors to a parade of lovers and who after becoming Empress had people disappear into her private prisons and reappear as maimed monuments to her displeasure and had an old palace converted into a home for 500 prostitutes. The general Belisarius, perhaps the greatest military leader in the history of the Empire--an active giant among a race of supine pygmies--used his brains, bravery, charisma, leadership, and reputation to recover in only six years with pitiful resources and puny armies half of the provinces of Africa and Italy etc. lost by the fall of the Western Empire. In return for his boon-service, Belisarius was repeatedly humiliated by suspicious Justinian but ever exercised a patience and loyalty “either below or above the character of a man,” and his only flaw was uxoriousness, giving Gibbon the opportunity of remarking, “the revenge of a guilty woman is implacable and bloody.” And the life of Andronicus, the last Emperor of the Comnenian dynasty, was an engaging cross between a romantic pulp adventure novel and a revenge tragedy.

    No one can run down a villain as enjoyably as Gibbon! Now he introduces the archbishop Theophilus as “the perpetual enemy of peace and virtue; a bold, bad man, whose hands were alternately polluted with gold and with blood.” Now he dryly caps the life of the emperor Arcadius: "At length, in the thirty-first year of his age, after a reign, if we may abuse that word, of thirteen years, three months, and fifteen days, Arcadius expired, in the palace of Constantinople." Now he ironically sums up Empress Theodora: “The prostitute, who, in the presence of innumerable spectators, had polluted the theatre of Constantinople, was adored as a queen in the same city, by grave magistrates, orthodox bishops, victorious generals, and captive monarchs.” And now he takes to task Romanus: “The hours which the emperor owed to his people were consumed in strenuous idleness. In the morning he visited the circus; at noon he feasted the senators; the greater part of the afternoon he spent in the sphoeristerium, or tennis-court, the only theatre of his victories.”

    Gibbon’s moderation even compels him to qualify his admiration for things he likes, like the St. Sophia cathedral in Constantinople, a sublime work of taste, wealth, and skill that seemed the residence if not the workmanship of the deity: “yet how dull the artifice and insignificant the labor if it be compared to the formation of the vilest insect that crawls on the surface of the temple.”

    The audiobok sounds a little tinny and “skips” several times, but Bernard Mayes is a pleasing reader through this long history, sounding like a wittily articulate and dryly enthusiastic British professor. He never stoops to donning different voices, but merely reads Gibbon’s elegant text with every appropriate nuance.

    Throughout, Gibbon’s history is marked by his Age of Enlightenment value of humane, rational, and moderate behavior and his condemnation of its opposite, by his rich and balanced sentences, by his wit and imagination, by his attempts to obtain from earlier panegyrics and invectives an objective historical truth about his subjects, by his application of the lessons of history to his own contemporary era and to human civilization in general, and by his impressive ability to hold the reader’s interest through thousands of pages of centuries of history. He says near the end, “In a composition of some days, in a perusal of some hours, six hundred years have rolled away, and the duration of a life or reign is contracted to a fleeting moment: the grave is ever beside the throne: the success of a criminal is almost instantly followed by the loss of his prize and our immortal reason survives and disdains the sixty phantoms of kings who have passed before our eyes, and faintly dwell on our remembrance.”

Mike From Mesa

Mike From Mesa Mesa, AZ 12-11-12 Member Since 2003

MikeFromMesa

HELPFUL VOTES
978
ratings
REVIEWS
191
114
FOLLOWERS
FOLLOWING
240
0
  • "Rome from the fall of Troy through ..."

    21 of 21 helpful votes

    While I have read a reasonable amount about Roman history (the rule of the Emperors from Augustus through Claudius, the three Punic Wars and, more specifically, Hannibal’s invasion of Rome and the subsequent Roman invasion of North Africa to destroy Carthage) I had never read a real history of the rise of Rome. Since I was preparing to (finally) read Gibbon’s Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire I thought it was time to learn how the Roman Empire came to be before I read how it ceased to be. I bought this book for that specific purpose.

    Mr Everitt has written a wonderful and enjoyable history of Rome from its beginning (actually from the fall of Troy) through the beginning of the civil wars at the time of Pompey, Julius Caesar and Octavian. While I was looking forward to reading this I was also somewhat apprehensive because I remembered how dull Roman history classes were when I was in school. I worried about a book made up of dates and events, especially since I would be listening, not actually reading, but I should not have worried. Mr Everitt has built this book around the individuals and events that constitute Roman history rather than a series of dates and that decision worked really well. Had High School history been presented like this I might have paid more attention.

    Mr Everitt has broken down the story of the rise of Rome into 3 separate sections – Myth (starting from the fall of Troy and Romulus and Remus), historic legends and known historic facts and the whole fits together seamlessly into a very interesting story. There was much about Roman history that I never knew – Alexander The Great’s plans to “teach” the upstart Romans a lesson by invading, how Rome grew from a small settlement into the global superpower of the time, how the Romans held Italy together as subject peoples in spite of their being outnumbered and much else. I had read a good deal about the Punic Wars but never knew, until I read this book, why Rome forced Carthage into the third war.

    The narration is very well done and the book very enjoyable. While it is not a “heavy” history it is also complete enough to not be “light” reading. I feel comfortable recommending this book to anyone with an interest in this period of time.

    More

    The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Anthony Everitt
    • Narrated By Clive Chafer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (157)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (138)

    Emerging as a market town from a cluster of hill villages in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C., Rome grew to become the ancient world's preeminent power. Everitt fashions the story of Rome's rise to glory into an erudite book filled with lasting lessons for our time. He chronicles the clash between patricians and plebeians that defined the politics of the Republic. He shows how Rome's shrewd strategy of offering citizenship to her defeated subjects was instrumental in expanding the reach of her burgeoning empire.

    Mike From Mesa says: "Rome from the fall of Troy through Julius Caesar"

What's Trending in Ancient:

  • 4.8 (18 ratings)
    The Greek and Persian Wars  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor John R. Hale

    The Greek and Persian Wars

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor John R. Hale
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Spanning more than two centuries, the Greek and Persian wars forged a new world order, sparking developments in battle strategy, naval technology, world exploration, and art and culture that impact the world even today. These 24 lectures are your opportunity to survey this globe-spanning conflict and see the human experience behind some of the most remarkable episodes in ancient history.

    Rick says: "Outstanding"
  • 4.9 (14 ratings)
    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume I (






UNABRIDGED) by Edward Gibbon Narrated by David Timson

    The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Volume I

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Edward Gibbon
    • Narrated By David Timson
    Overall
    (14)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    Some 250 years after its first publication, Gibbon's Decline and Fall is still regarded as one of the greatest histories in Western literature. He reports on more than 1,000 years of an empire which extended from the most northern and western parts of Europe to deep into Asia and Africa and covers not only events but also the cultural and religious developments that effected change during that time.

    Allen L. Harris says: "DAVID TIMSON IS AMAZING!"
  • 4.3 (867 ratings)
    The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Robert Garland

    The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Garland
    Overall
    (867)
    Performance
    (781)
    Story
    (772)

    Look beyond the abstract dates and figures, kings and queens, and battles and wars that make up so many historical accounts. Over the course of 48 richly detailed lectures, Professor Garland covers the breadth and depth of human history from the perspective of the so-called ordinary people, from its earliest beginnings through the Middle Ages.

    Mark says: "Tantalizing time trip"
  • 4.3 (462 ratings)
    Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization (






UNABRIDGED) by Lars Brownworth Narrated by Lars Brownworth

    Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued Western Civilization

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Lars Brownworth
    • Narrated By Lars Brownworth
    Overall
    (462)
    Performance
    (273)
    Story
    (274)

    In AD 476 the Roman Empire fell - or rather, its western half did. Its eastern half, which would come to be known as the Byzantine Empire, would endure and often flourish for another 11 centuries. Though its capital would move to Constantinople, its citizens referred to themselves as Roman for the entire duration of the empire's existence.

    Joseph M. Dolan says: "Excellent Book about Little Known History"
  •  
  • 4.7 (254 ratings)
    The History of Ancient Egypt  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Bob Brier

    The History of Ancient Egypt

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Bob Brier
    Overall
    (254)
    Performance
    (240)
    Story
    (241)

    Ancient Egyptian civilization is so grand our minds sometimes have difficulty adjusting to it. It lasted 3,000 years, longer than any other on the planet. Its Great Pyramid of Cheops was the tallest building in the world until well into the 19th century and remains the only Ancient Wonder still standing. And it was the most technologically advanced of the ancient civilizations, with the medical knowledge that made Egyptian physicians the most famous in the world.

    Nassir says: "Incomprehensibly complete"
  • 4.6 (228 ratings)
    The Fall and Rise of China  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Richard Baum

    The Fall and Rise of China

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Richard Baum
    Overall
    (228)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (214)

    For most of its 5,000-year existence, China has been the largest, most populous, wealthiest, and mightiest nation on Earth. And for us as Westerners, it is essential to understand where China has been in order to anticipate its future. These 36 eye-opening lectures deliver a comprehensive political and historical overview of one of the most fascinating and complex countries in world history.

    Yu-Chin says: "Offers excellent objective perspective!"
  • 4.3 (207 ratings)
    The Vikings  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Kenneth W. Harl

    The Vikings

    • ORIGINAL (17 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Kenneth W. Harl
    Overall
    (207)
    Performance
    (182)
    Story
    (184)

    As raiders and explorers, the Vikings played a decisive role in the formation of Latin Christendom, and particularly of western Europe. Now, in a series of 36 vivid lectures by an honored teacher and classical scholar, you have the opportunity to understand this remarkable race as never before, studying the Vikings not only as warriors, but in all of the other roles in which they were equally extraordinary - merchants, artists, kings, raiders, seafarers, shipbuilders, and creators of a remarkable literature of myths and sagas.

    Peter says: "Good Informational Listen"
  • 1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed (






UNABRIDGED) by Eric H. Cline Narrated by Andy Caploe

    1177 B.C.: The Year Civilization Collapsed

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 3 mins)
    • By Eric H. Cline
    • Narrated By Andy Caploe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (191)
    Performance
    (174)
    Story
    (172)

    In 1177 B.C., marauding groups known only as the "Sea Peoples" invaded Egypt. The pharaoh’s army and navy managed to defeat them, but the victory so weakened Egypt that it soon slid into decline, as did most of the surrounding civilizations. After centuries of brilliance, the civilized world of the Bronze Age came to an abrupt and cataclysmic end. Kingdoms fell like dominoes over the course of just a few decades. No more Minoans or Mycenaeans. No more Trojans, Hittites, or Babylonians.

    Emily says: "But it was all going so well....."
  • Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth (






UNABRIDGED) by Reza Aslan Narrated by Reza Aslan

    Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Reza Aslan
    • Narrated By Reza Aslan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1269)
    Performance
    (1143)
    Story
    (1135)

    From the internationally bestselling author of No god but God comes a fascinating, provocative, and meticulously researched biography that challenges long-held assumptions about the man we know as Jesus of Nazareth. Sifting through centuries of mythmaking, Reza Aslan sheds new light on one of history's most influential and enigmatic characters by examining Jesus through the lens of the tumultuous era in which he lived: first-century Palestine, an age awash in apocalyptic fervor.

    Charles says: "Palastinian Politics 4 B.C.E. - 70 C.E."
  • Mythology (






UNABRIDGED) by Edith Hamilton Narrated by Suzanne Toren

    Mythology

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Edith Hamilton
    • Narrated By Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (70)

    Since its original publication by Little, Brown and Company, in 1942, Edith Hamilton's Mythology has sold millions of copies throughout the world and established itself as a perennial best-seller in its various available formats. Mythology succeeds like no other audiobook in bringing to life for the modern listener the Greek, Roman, and Norse myths and legends that are the keystone of Western culture - the stories of gods and heroes that have inspired human creativity from antiquity to the present.

    Kathi says: "Good reading of classical myths"
  • The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Robert Garland

    The Other Side of History: Daily Life in the Ancient World

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Robert Garland
    Overall
    (867)
    Performance
    (781)
    Story
    (772)

    Look beyond the abstract dates and figures, kings and queens, and battles and wars that make up so many historical accounts. Over the course of 48 richly detailed lectures, Professor Garland covers the breadth and depth of human history from the perspective of the so-called ordinary people, from its earliest beginnings through the Middle Ages.

    Mark says: "Tantalizing time trip"
  •  
  • The History of Ancient Rome  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Garrett G. Fagan

    The History of Ancient Rome

    • ORIGINAL (22 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Garrett G. Fagan
    Overall
    (141)
    Performance
    (131)
    Story
    (125)

    Even today, the influence of Ancient Rome is indelible, with Europe and the world owing this extraordinary empire a huge cultural debt in almost every important category of human endeavor, including art, architecture, engineering, language, literature, law, and religion. At the peak of its power, Rome's span was vast. In the regional, restless, and shifting history of continental Europe, the Roman Empire stands as a towering monument to scale and stability, unified in politics and law, stretching from the sands of Syria to the moors of Scotland. And it stood for almost 700 years.In this series of 48 spirited lectures, you'll see how a small village of shepherds and farmers rose to tower over the civilized world of its day and left a permanent mark on history. In telling Rome's riveting story, Professor Fagan draws on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, including recent historical and archaeological scholarship, to introduce the fascinating tale of Rome's rise and decline, including the famous events and personalities that have become so familiar: . Horatius at the bridge . Hannibal crossing the Alps during Rome's life-or-death war with Carthage . Caesar assassinated before a statue of his archrival Pompey . The doomed lovers Antony and Cleopatra . The mad and venal emperors Nero and Caligula . The conversion of Constantine The course also addresses one of history's greatest questions: Why did the Roman Empire fall? And you'll learn why most modern scholars believe that the empire did not "fall" at all, but, rather, changed into something very different-the less urbanized, more rural, early medieval world.

    Megan Clanton says: "So Much Better Than Reading a History Book!"
  • How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee (






UNABRIDGED) by Bart D. Ehrman Narrated by Walter Dixon

    How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Bart D. Ehrman
    • Narrated By Walter Dixon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (111)
    Performance
    (106)
    Story
    (102)

    In a book that took eight years to research and write, leading Bible scholar Bart D. Ehrman explores how an apocalyptic prophet from the backwaters of rural Galilee crucified for crimes against the state came to be thought of as equal with the one God Almighty Creator of all things. Ehrman sketches Jesus's transformation from a human prophet to the Son of God exalted to divine status at his resurrection. Only when some of Jesus's followers had visions of him after his death - alive again - did anyone come to think that he, the prophet from Galilee, had become God.

    Emily P says: "Monotone Excitement"
  • The Story of Human Language  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor John McWhorter

    The Story of Human Language

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor John McWhorter
    Overall
    (144)
    Performance
    (138)
    Story
    (134)

    Language defines us as a species, placing humans head and shoulders above even the most proficient animal communicators. But it also beguiles us with its endless mysteries, allowing us to ponder why different languages emerged, why there isn't simply a single language, how languages change over time and whether that's good or bad, and how languages die out and become extinct.

    Saud says: "You'll Never Look at Languages the Same Way Again"
  • The Fall and Rise of China  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Richard Baum

    The Fall and Rise of China

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Richard Baum
    Overall
    (228)
    Performance
    (211)
    Story
    (214)

    For most of its 5,000-year existence, China has been the largest, most populous, wealthiest, and mightiest nation on Earth. And for us as Westerners, it is essential to understand where China has been in order to anticipate its future. These 36 eye-opening lectures deliver a comprehensive political and historical overview of one of the most fascinating and complex countries in world history.

    Yu-Chin says: "Offers excellent objective perspective!"
  •  
  • Cities of the Ancient World  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Steven L. Tuck

    Cities of the Ancient World

    • ORIGINAL (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Steven L. Tuck
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Cities of the Ancient World is your opportunity to survey the breadth of the ancient world through the context of its urban development. Taught by esteemed Professor Steven L. Tuck, of Miami University, these 24 eye-opening lectures not only provide an invaluable look at the design and architecture of ancient cities, they also offer a flesh-and-blood glimpse into the daily lives of ordinary people and the worlds they created.

  • The History of Ancient Egypt  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Bob Brier

    The History of Ancient Egypt

    • ORIGINAL (24 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Bob Brier
    Overall
    (254)
    Performance
    (240)
    Story
    (241)

    Ancient Egyptian civilization is so grand our minds sometimes have difficulty adjusting to it. It lasted 3,000 years, longer than any other on the planet. Its Great Pyramid of Cheops was the tallest building in the world until well into the 19th century and remains the only Ancient Wonder still standing. And it was the most technologically advanced of the ancient civilizations, with the medical knowledge that made Egyptian physicians the most famous in the world.

    Nassir says: "Incomprehensibly complete"
  • Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Mark W. Muesse

    Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Mark W. Muesse
    Overall
    (61)
    Performance
    (56)
    Story
    (54)

    No understanding of human life, individual or collective, could be complete without factoring in the role and contribution of these history-shaping teachers. Now, this 36-lecture series takes you deep into the life stories and legacies of these four iconic figures, revealing the core teachings, and thoughts of each, and shedding light on the historical processes that underlie their phenomenal, enduring impact.

    cliff says: "Audible at its best"
  • The Joy of Ancient History  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Bart D. Ehrman, Professor Bob Brier, Professor Craig G. Benjamin, Professor David Roochnik

    The Joy of Ancient History

    • ORIGINAL (18 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Bart D. Ehrman, Professor Bob Brier, Professor Craig G. Benjamin, and others
    Overall
    (13)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (12)

    For years, The Great Courses has taken lifelong learners on stirring explorations of our ancient roots; ones that bring you face to face with what history means, and how we use it to understand both the past and the present. So where's the best place to start? Right here with this eclectic and insightful collection of 36 lectures curated from our most popular ancient history courses.

    Emily says: "Ancient World Greatest Hits Playlist"
  • The End of the Ancient World and the Beginnings of the Middle Ages (






UNABRIDGED) by Ferdinand Lot Narrated by Charlton Griffin

    The End of the Ancient World and the Beginnings of the Middle Ages

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Ferdinand Lot
    • Narrated By Charlton Griffin
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Ferdinand Lot (1866-1952) was one of the great historians of his generation, and the transition from Roman to Medieval civilization was a process that fascinated him most of his life. Rather than placing the emphasis for Rome’s fall on purely political or military reasons, Lot put forth multiple explanations for the birth of the Middle Ages which embrace not only politics and war, but linguistic, geographic, cultural, social and economic factors.

  • Cities of the Ancient World  by The Great Courses Narrated by Professor Steven L. Tuck

    Cities of the Ancient World

    • ORIGINAL (11 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor Steven L. Tuck
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    Cities of the Ancient World is your opportunity to survey the breadth of the ancient world through the context of its urban development. Taught by esteemed Professor Steven L. Tuck, of Miami University, these 24 eye-opening lectures not only provide an invaluable look at the design and architecture of ancient cities, they also offer a flesh-and-blood glimpse into the daily lives of ordinary people and the worlds they created.

  • The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon: An Elusive World Wonder Traced (






UNABRIDGED) by Stephanie Dalley Narrated by Napoleon Ryan

    The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon: An Elusive World Wonder Traced

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By Stephanie Dalley
    • Narrated By Napoleon Ryan
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    The Mystery of the Hanging Garden of Babylon is an exciting story of detection involving legends, expert decipherment of ancient texts, and a vivid description of a little-known civilization. Recognized in ancient times as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the legendary Hanging Garden of Babylon and its location still remains a mystery steeped in shadow and puzzling myths. In this remarkable volume Stephanie Dalley, a world expert on ancient Babylonian language, gathers for the first time all the material on this enigmatic World Wonder.

  • The Nile: A Journey Downriver through Egypt’s past and Present (






UNABRIDGED) by Toby Wilkinson Narrated by Peter Ganim

    The Nile: A Journey Downriver through Egypt’s past and Present

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Toby Wilkinson
    • Narrated By Peter Ganim
    Overall
    (0)
    Performance
    (0)
    Story
    (0)

    Renowned Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson leads us through space as much as time: From the river's mystical sources (the Blue Nile which rises in Ethiopia, and the White Nile coursing from majestic Lake Victoria); to Thebes, with its Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, and Luxor Temple; the fertile Delta; Giza, home of the Great Pyramid, the sole surviving Wonder of the Ancient World; and finally, to the pulsating capital city of Cairo, where the Arab Spring erupted on the bridges over the Nile.

  •  
  • The Last Viking (






UNABRIDGED) by Berwick Coates Narrated by David Thorpe

    The Last Viking

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Berwick Coates
    • Narrated By David Thorpe
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    With the death of Edward the Confessor, the crown of England is hanging in the balance. And in the north Harald Hardrada, the Norwegian Viking leader, is determined to take his chance of capturing the country. But newly-crowned King Harold Godwinson will not let that happen without a fight. Charismatic and the leader of a mighty army, he is determined to make Hadrada the last Viking in England. And so the bloodiest battle yet fought on English soil is about to begin. At stake is sovereignty, freedom and honour.

  • Marching with Caesar: Birth of the 10th Legion (






UNABRIDGED) by R.W. Peake Narrated by Simon Burdett

    Marching with Caesar: Birth of the 10th Legion

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By R.W. Peake
    • Narrated By Simon Burdett
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (3)

    Titus Pullus, the hero of the 10th Legion and the Marching With Caesar series, tells his story from the very beginning of his life, starting with his relationship with his father, how his friendship with Vibius Domitius began, and how their burning ambition to join the Legions was helped by a veteran nicknamed Cyclops. Enlisting in the 10th Legion, raised in 61 B.C. by Gaius Julius Caesar, Birth of the 10th Legion recounts the first campaign ever conducted by Julius Caesar as a commander...

  • The Prince of Medicine: Galen in the Roman Empire (






UNABRIDGED) by Susan P. Mattern Narrated by James Patrick Cronin

    The Prince of Medicine: Galen in the Roman Empire

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Susan P. Mattern
    • Narrated By James Patrick Cronin
    Overall
    (4)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (4)

    Galen of Pergamum (A.D. 129-ca. 216) began his remarkable career tending to wounded gladiators in provincial Asia Minor. Later in life he achieved great distinction as one of a small circle of court physicians to the family of Emperor Marcus Aurelius, at the very heart of Roman society. Susan Mattern's The Prince of Medicine offers the first authoritative biography in English of this brilliant, audacious, and profoundly influential figure.

    Jean says: "history of medicine"
More Ancient Categories