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:
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.
Disclaimer: Please note that this recording may include references to supplemental texts or print references that are not essential to the program and not supplied with your purchase.
©1999 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)1999 The Great Courses
Prof. Fagan was able to rekindle my love of ancient history. Having been out of undergrad for many years now, I had forgotten how much fun "otium cum dignitate" can be. We all find ourselves drawn into our respective specialities (for me, medicine), only reading those books or papers directly relevant to our jobs. We forget what it is like to learn for the sake of learning.
This course took me back to the Western Civ, Latin and Philosophy courses in my undergrad years, which were wonderful for their own sakes. Not because I _need_ to know this stuff, but because I _want_ to.
The courses are laid out very well with a clear outline, concise topics and a logical progression. Each lecture can stand on its own, yet it builds on those before it. The storytelling employed is exemplary and draws you in. It made my daily commute much more productive and entertaining. The hour per day I sit in my car becomes my "otium cum dignitate" again.
Next step: relearn Latin!
I highly recommend this course for anyone interested in renewing their own curiosity. It you have a trip to Rome planned, it certainly can have practical uses as well.
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.
... And I do love to read!
I'm currently about halfway through Professor Fagan's "The History of Ancient Rome" in Audible's Great Courses, and it's been well-worth every minute. I am a high school Latin teacher, and I needed a good refresher course on Roman history, as it's been a long time since college. Not only is the material fantastic (despite early attempts to just listen while doing laundry, etc., I've planted myself in front of my laptop because I can't stop taking notes), but Dr. Fagan is an entertaining speaker. (He has a wonderful accent.) The combination has made Roman history far easier to get through than would be a traditional textbook.
This is a good read for anyone who wants a broad overview of the history of Rome. The lecturer does a great job delivering his content and he covers Roman history from its origins in myth, legend, and archaeology as a series of settlements on the banks of the Tiber and continues its journey through its monarchical period, the Roman Republic, the Imperial period, and ends around the fall of the Western part of the Roman empire in the 5th century AD. He is thorough and roughly chronological in his presentation.
However, anyone who considers listening to this should understand that this audio book is "broad" in the fullest sense of the word. The lecturer makes no attempt at being comprehensive and tells his listeners time and again that he cannot and does not make an attempt to treat any topic in great depth. This means that anyone looking for a thorough overview of any aspect of Roman history and culture, such as literature, art, architecture, religion, military history, political history, or even the careers of indispensable figures such as Caesar himself should look elsewhere. This was my only "disappointment" with this book. I entered into it hoping to learn much more about many of these specific elements, but left feeling like I had learned only a very little about a very lot of material. I do not think this is any fault of the book or the lecturer though. There is so much potential content to cover that one has go to more specialized studies if you want to go into any depth. So in summary this book will give you a good overview, but only an overview. Those who already know a lot about Roman history will find little to learn here, but those who don't or have only a vague sense of it will definitely benefit.
All told this is a good overview of Roman history and a worthwhile listen. Enjoy your travels to the ancient Mediterranean!
Learn, understand, then decide whether you accept or reject.
As a fan of history, you cannot get much better than this. This Great Courses offering paints a vivid picture of Rome based on the information available today, and presents various academic opinions when trying to fill in the blanks.
Well paced, with narrative giving way to thematic discussions toward the end; professor is extremely knowledgeable with sense of humor that leavens the topic just enough
no, but 1-1.5 hours at a time was not uncommon
I have listened to many Great Courses, and prior to this I had listened--in a row--to the History of Ancient Egypt with Bob Brier, then Ancient Greek Civilization with Jeremy McInerney. They were excellent! I was excited to finally get into Rome and learn the necessities, but after the first lecture I began to think the professor's stammer was going to be too much. After only a few lectures it faded, he got his stride, and the lectures were phenomenal. By lecture 21, I knew exactly why the Teaching Company chose Professor Fagan. Outstanding! Fear not, the stammer declines and the empire rises.
The actual historical accounts. fascinating. The research and presentation is well paced in most places. Some troughs among the peaks in terms of engaged interest, i found some of the facts and accounts to be somewhat irrelevant.
Jewish history or history of the gold rush.
I suppose. After listening to the history of ancient Egypt i suppose I was a bit spoiled by Bob Briar's amazing delivery. This delivery felt a bit dry and some of the facts were dry and there was too little illustriousness at times. Some of the chapters might have been historically significant, but not very interesting. I could have edited the lectures down by a 1/3 and not lacked any essential comprehension of the topic.The professor sounded bored by his own lectures at times, constantly sighing and speaking faster as if he knew he had to pummel through the more tedious sections.
So many amazing movies could have come from this lecture!! Some of the stories are sooooo hard to believe!!! the Gracchy brothers, Sulla and Marius, Hannibal! The Carthagenian genocide!! So many stories!!
I recommend this lecture wholeheartedly despite my somewhat negative comments, the research and content about some of the accounts is absolutely riveting and the story of Roman culture should not be missed... it is the story of western civilization... all the brutality and humanity and glory and tragedy... it is the story of us. We come from that place. It was a great experience.
The structure of the course is excellent. You know where you will be going so the content is easy to follow. The narration is outstanding.
You travel from the emerging city state to the empire with a clear narrative of what happened and a complement of thematic content on why it happened. There is an excellent balance of political, military, and social history.
This was my first ancient history course from the Great Courses. I listened to the course while taking my daughter to college, a four-day round trip drive, half of it solo. I will always associate eastern Oregon with Ancient Rome.
Garrett Fagan's lectures are captivating. His style keeps one engaged and is never dry.
"Nilli secundus! Great history, and great value!"
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.
"Very good history"
Informative, well structure and interesting
Very informative an easy style to listen to, some of the asides are quite funny.
Its too huge a subject (and too long) to do in one sitting. There is so much to absorb that I listened one or two lectures at a time.
"Great help in Studying Ancient history"
This audible, I found very interesting and helpful in increasing my knowledge of Rome. I have a degree in Ancient History from the OU and this recording gave me further insight into the power struggle that existed throughout the time of Rome as a player in World Politics.
Probably, Julius Caesar. However, he was merely one of the catalysts that led to the rise of Rome under the emperors. Although, Octavian / Augustus Caesar was the first Emperor / self declared god of the Romans.
Yes, it made the audio easy to listen to and made Rome seem almost come to life.
Emotional reactions do not come into the subject matter. However, Professor Fagan's style did cement my feeling that certainly from the triumvirate on Rome was gradually falling into the ways of a degenerating empire and finally collapsed in on itself, making it fairly easy for opposing forces to defeat and gradually remove the force that was Rome from any of the World Powers
I would recommend this audio to anyone wanting to study Rome.
"Rome wasn't built in a day - It takes 22hrs 42mins"
This title is definitely in my top 3 amongst some very stiff competition. I was enthralled from start to finish. Some audiobooks I've read, I just can't wait to end but I have to finish them - once this book started I was dreading it!
As a City Councillor, I was amazed at how similar politics was then as it is today - both in terms of the political set-up and the behaviour of politicians!
Professor Fagan is a very good narrator. He is an expert in his field with a sense of humour that comes across throughout the lectures. Professor Fagan's humour and comments throughout often reflect his personal opinions on certain actions of behaviour, which gives you a perspective to think about and consider, whether you agree with him or not. I don't often write reviews, but felt that his personality and emotional input was deserving of a cracking review. I would like others to share the fantastic experience. Professor Fagan is my hero.
This book was a shock to the system. I enjoyed it so much that I have even sometimes reflected that I wish I'd studied the topic at University as an undergraduate; I read Politics.
I listened to another audiobook on Ancient Rome before this one and really did not enjoy it too much. That book was only redeemed by one top-notch chapter on Rome in Numbers, using stats and figures to give a perspective of the Ancient World. I almost gave up on the topic, then this Lecture series caught my eye. If you're considering learning about Ancient Rome and haven't tried the Great Lecture Series - cross the Rubicon, 'cast the die' and give Professor Fagan a chance.
"An Excellent Account of a Fascinating Story"
I thoroughly enjoyed this course and recommend it highly. Professor Fagan is not one of the very top lecturers of the Great Courses (e.g. Bob Brier, Kenneth Vickery, Robert Greenberg) but his low-key style grew on me very quickly and I became absolutely captivated by this course. Detail is given where appropriate but also omitted where it gets in the way. There is a very good mixture of historical narrative and discussions of social issues (the "thematic lectures" as Professor Fagan calls them) and these components are well integrated. As with all Great Courses I recommend looking at the Great Courses web site for more information about content. One final comment -- Professor Fagan has another Great Course, on Emperors of Rome. I made the mistake of listening to that first; although the Emperors course works as a freestanding item, it would have been better as a follow-up to this course. (Also the Emperors course is not as good in my view). If you want a thorough and detailed introduction to Ancient Rome, this course is absolutely perfect.
"Brilliant, just brilliant!"
This is a very well structured set of lectures, easy to listen to and easy to take in.
Professor Fagan has great knowledge of the subject, and his soft voice lets you close your eyes and be transported back to the period of the Romans.
If you are interested in Roman history, then this is the book for you. Just brilliant!!!
"Easily aborbed and understandable"
Yes. Very informative and a wealth of information broken down into manageable chunks.
The narrator. Brought the story to life with witty asides.
Both the thematic and linear lectures. Also found the derivation of English words very interesting.
Made me laugh.
Not really an audiobook in the traditional sense but a series of academic lectures. Does not detract from the enjoyment though.
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