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The History of Ancient Rome Lecture

The History of Ancient Rome

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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

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (1120 )
5 star
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4.6 (991 )
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Story
4.5 (1004 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Judd 09-25-16
    Judd 09-25-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    13
    6
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    Story
    "awesome"

    It starts out a little slow and explains the duller functions of government and power structures but is overall very thorough and entertaining. recommend

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DAVID 08-02-16
    DAVID 08-02-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
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    Story
    "Damn Good"

    i really enjoyed the lecture as a whole, and learned new themes , ideals & general modes of living the Romans engaged in and advocated. i definitely recommend this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David J. Hancock 07-21-16 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    35
    1
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    Story
    "Wonderful"

    Great information and cogent presentation. I completely enjoyed the coursr. I highly recommend it to anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Palmer Santa Monica, CA 06-09-16
    Mark Palmer Santa Monica, CA 06-09-16 Member Since 2010
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "informative and entertaining"

    He does a very good job to cover such an enormous subject. His style is entertaining with fun stories about some of the leading characters.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KS 05-26-16
    KS 05-26-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    5
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    Story
    "Good summary of a thousand years"

    It would have been better if it dealt more deeply with the decline of the empire

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Weaver Austin, TX 05-12-16
    B. Weaver Austin, TX 05-12-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Optimum est!"

    Very good course on Ancient Rome. I especially enjoyed the discussion of the republican period. Most "documentaries" (read: "entertainment") seem to focus on either decadent Roman emperors or on the military exclusively but this gives a thorough breakdown of the ad hoc "duct-tape-and-baling-wire" nature of the Roman Republic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill P. 04-30-16
    Bill P. 04-30-16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    18
    2
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    Story
    "A bit rushed and not particularly compelling"

    This survey of Roman history is competently arranged and executed, but rarely compelling. The end product feels too superficial and rushed. The lecturer has a habit of briefly mentioning topics nearly every episode and then saying "but we don't have time to talk about that"—a habit I've not noticed before in other Great Courses.

    It's hard to articulate, but the course feels like it's geared toward students who have studied Latin, who know very little about Roman history, and who will be expected to do original research with primary sources in the future. For example, the lecturer regularly details what written evidence there is for a given era or topic, and he often highlights areas where he suggests more research should be done—the type of tone more typically taken in a graduate program, not a survey history course. It's not a bad approach, just one that isn't quite congruous with how most Great Courses work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan 04-28-16
    Ryan 04-28-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Fantastic !!!"

    This book is a remarkable recount of Roman political, cultural, philosophical, and military history, it is fantastic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher 04-22-16
    Christopher 04-22-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A great course that lives up to its name."

    Love the professor.

    For the most part, the course is quite captivating. The professor is very gifted, charismatic, and expert. I learned so much.

    Over the 48 chapters, only a couple points from laborious, which is impressive.

    I look forward to listening to other great courses on Rome as well.


    I learned so much.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stewart 02-19-16
    Stewart 02-19-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
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    Story
    "Excellent history of Ancient Rome"

    I highly recommend this work. The professor has a conversational tone which helps make the subject matter easier to grasp

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Tailorman
    MORPETH, United Kingdom
    4/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant, just brilliant!"
    What made the experience of listening to The History of Ancient Rome the most enjoyable?

    This is a very well structured set of lectures, easy to listen to and easy to take in.


    What does Professor Garrett G. Fagan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are interested in Roman history, then this is the book for you. Just brilliant!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jamie Wilkins
    Frome, United Kingdom
    3/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Easily aborbed and understandable"
    Would you listen to The History of Ancient Rome again? Why?

    Yes. Very informative and a wealth of information broken down into manageable chunks.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The narrator. Brought the story to life with witty asides.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Both the thematic and linear lectures. Also found the derivation of English words very interesting.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Made me laugh.


    Any additional comments?

    Not really an audiobook in the traditional sense but a series of academic lectures. Does not detract from the enjoyment though.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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