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Kenneth

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  • Famous Romans

    • ORIGINAL (12 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By The Great Courses
    • Narrated By Professor J. Rufus Fears
    Overall
    (62)
    Performance
    (58)
    Story
    (58)

    These 24 lectures retell the lives of the remarkable individuals - the statesmen, thinkers, warriors, and writers -who shaped the history of the Roman Empire and, by extension, our own history and culture. Professor Fears divides his presentation into three "turning point" epochs in Roman history: Rome's war with Hannibal (the Second Punic War); Caesar and the end of the Roman Republic; and the imperial era between Augustus and Marcus Aurelius.

    Abdur Abdul-Malik says: "Captivating Biography"
    "A bit shallow"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This course is an attempt to cover a number of 'lives' in the manner of Plutarch.

    From the first, I found myself comparing it unfavorably to both Plutarch, and Dr. Fear's other course on Churchill (which is top notch). His lives of the Gracchi are good, but IMHO, Plutarch's lives of the Gracchi were better and more thorough. Funnily enough, I enjoyed his life of Hannibal the best. The worst was probably his lives of Scipio (elder and younger). Dr. Fear's uses a rhetorical device (the father walking the son down a row of statues of their ancestors) which might work in a real classroom, but was confusing and even a little silly on this audio book.

    Also, this format isn't really a good one if you are simply looking to learn more about Roman history. The transition from kingdom to republic is hardly mentioned, and the expansion of the republic is also glossed over. It may be possible to cover Roman history via a biography of its great men, but it would have to include more biographies, and be a great deal longer.

    Still, if your only exposure to Roman history was in high school, you will probably find this interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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