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The History of Ancient Rome | [The Great Courses]

The History of Ancient Rome

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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 being 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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


©1999 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)1999 The Great Courses

What Members Say

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  •  
    Timothy 08-10-15
    Timothy 08-10-15 Member Since 2015

    Musician and runner living on the island of Jeju in South Korea.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I wanted more"

    On its own, this course felt like a rushed overview of a massive subject. It glanced the surface of many themes but failed to delve into the interesting details. This was something that Fagan seemed aware of as he repeatedly mentioned the things that the course was not covering. This was frustrating as a listener because it was obvious that Fagan had a lot more to say, but felt stifled by the limited subject scope. When the course did slow down to expand upon specific areas of the history it painted a more complete and memorable picture.

    Overall, this would be a good supplement to somebody studying Ancient Rome with a variety of sources, but by itself falls short.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 07-17-15
    John 07-17-15 Member Since 2012

    I've been on a Zombie apocalypse binge this year. Let me know if you've read any really good ones not on my list.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "How Rome create the Modern World"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes


    What about Professor Garrett G. Fagan’s performance did you like?

    Excellent, informative and interesting


    Any additional comments?

    I started listening to this course on a flight to Italy. I've been there several times but I thought it might provide some color to my usual business related travels there. Needless to say the 6 hr flight over is barely enough time to even grasp the beginnings of an empire such as Rome's. I finished the course after I returned to the US and kept finding out about things I probably drove right by. Dr Fagen is an interesting and highly knowledgeable lecturer who keeps it interesting throughout. This is a long course but well worth it if you are interested in western history or the foundations of modern customs, geography & political systems.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris C. 07-11-15
    Chris C. 07-11-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Seriously recommend this"

    If you have any interest in Roman history and are interested in taking a lecture based approach, or even have any interest in any of the Great Courses History section, this is by far the best course I have come across after finishing at least 6 or 7 previously on a range of topics. Prof. Fagan does an excellent job with a continuous narrative, with brief interuptions to overlay relative cultural information of the period along the way. One of the best professors the Great Courses have to offer. I truely couldnt turn it off, even when I needed to sleep!
    This is the first course I have taken the time to leave a short review of; SERIOUSLY, check it out!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Oklahoman 07-10-15
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    "Veni, audivi, vincit"

    I was captivated by the professor's delivery and competence on the subject. Just the right pace and depth. It went surpringly fast...and left me wanting more. Good work!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    royaa 07-02-15
    royaa 07-02-15

    Bookie

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    "Great series"

    Appreciate the coverage of early Rome and culture, concentrating less on the last 200 years of the Western Roman Empire. Great insights.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Mcafee Texas USA 06-28-15
    Daniel Mcafee Texas USA 06-28-15 Member Since 2014

    danmc

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    "A Hole Riddled History of Roman Empire"

    Far more key persons, events, and descriptions of the empire itself, were left out than accounted for in this "History" of the Roman Empire.

    I have read or listened to several books on the subject and this one ranks as the worst by far. The narrator adds little to no value, and could at times be considered a distraction.

    Overall recommendation is to "Pass"on this one, and select one of the more highly rated efforts in the Audible Library.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail K. Piland Georgia 06-26-15
    Gail K. Piland Georgia 06-26-15 Member Since 2006
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    "Ancient Rome"

    Excellent learning experience! Excellent lecture interesting and clear explanation of events. Held my attention through the whole book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Philip Centurion, South Africa 06-26-15
    Philip Centurion, South Africa 06-26-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A wonderful journey"

    Professor Fagan is wonderful lecturer, and this is a fascinating course. His delivery is fantastic and there are even moments of humour here and there - truly rare in the Great Courses series. In fact, on more than one occasion he made a joke that was so funny I could hear the producers in the room burst out laughing in the background.

    That being said, I did find my mind wandering a little in the last third of the course. This is simply because I prefer narrative history more than social history, which the last part of the course covers. This is a personal thing, of course, and not a reflection on the content or the lecturer.

    If you also prefer narrative history I would recommend Professor Fagan's other course on the Emperors Of Rome above this one. But that doesn't mean I don't recommend this one, as I most certainly do.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Pierce 06-22-15
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    "You gotta love history..."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The History of Ancient Rome to be better than the print version?

    Absolutley. The professor did an excellent job of keeping me interested by his wit and scarasm.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    n/a


    Any additional comments?

    This was a great overview of the rise of the Roman Empire. It does a great job of explaining why things happened without prejudice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cara 06-14-15
    Cara 06-14-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Fantastic"

    Professor Fagan does a wonderful job. To the point, easy to follow and packed with fascinating history. Bravo!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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