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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 (1259 )
5 star
 (834)
4 star
 (330)
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Overall
4.6 (1115 )
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4.5 (1127 )
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2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (11)
Performance
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  •  
    Cory Welch Lombard, IL 02-18-17
    Cory Welch Lombard, IL 02-18-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    67
    4
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    "Incredibly good course to learn about the Romans"

    GREAT course. Packed with information - amazing to see the impact the Romans had on us today as well as the different world they lived in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-28-17

    kj0023

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worth the time."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The History of Ancient Rome to be better than the print version?

    No knowledge.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Too many to say. This is chock full of information.


    Which character – as performed by Professor Garrett G. Fagan – was your favorite?

    No opinion on "characters." These are real historical figures, I don't understand this terminology.


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

    This isn't a book. I'm now realizing the review questions are completely inapplicable.


    Any additional comments?

    Pay more attention to the review questions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-16-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
    35
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    34
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Vacuum for Knowledge"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A different professor/narrator, a different syllabus, a different approach to the topic... OK, different everything!


    Would you ever listen to anything by The Great Courses again?

    Yes, absolutely.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Professor Garrett G. Fagan’s performances?

    Not on a bet.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Severe disappointment.


    Any additional comments?

    As a result of listening to this course (I almost always listen to an entire course, to give the course and professor a fair hearing), I feel that I now know LESS about the history of Rome than I did before listening to the course.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffery 11-22-16
    Jeffery 11-22-16 Member Since 2016
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    3
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    Story
    "Another Amazing 'Great Courses'"

    It does take a bit to really warm up, however the educational value is irreplacable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Spike 11-15-16
    Spike 11-15-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    15
    3
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    Story
    "Good Introduction"

    This is a great introduction into Roman history. By far it is not a complete narrative, but the courses are very good at covering the major events, culture, and politics in Roman history.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet West Des Moines, IA, United States 11-02-16
    Janet West Des Moines, IA, United States 11-02-16 Member Since 2015
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    3
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    "Recommended"

    Fresh, up to date, scholarly and never boring. This is not the ancient history course I aced in high school and college.
    Recommended highly for all adult listeners.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dark Adapted Texas 10-26-16
    Dark Adapted Texas 10-26-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    2
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    Story
    "Timely...no, really"

    Listening to the history of Rome is kind of disturbing in that Rome, particularly the late Roman Republic, walked a path of increasing civic disorder that sounds very familiar to a modern American. Institutions lose their historical roles as crises arise, public discourse is reduced to mob violence or the threat thereof, and power is increasingly centralized. If that doesn't sound familiar, turn on your TV or your favorite internet news source. People are people, and as brilliant as we think we are, listening to the history of Rome makes me wonder if we aren't living in the latter days of the American Republic.

    History has a wealth of wisdom. There are a lot harder ways to get wisdom than listening to Dr. Fagan's pleasing Irish tones describing a foundational and illustrative period in Western civilization.

    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judd 09-25-16
    Judd 09-25-16 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
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    "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
    6
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    "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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    39
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    "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
Sort by:
  • DrBlues
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    1/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rome wasn't built in a day - It takes 22hrs 42mins"
    Where does The History of Ancient Rome rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    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!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The History of Ancient Rome?

    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!


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

    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.


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

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 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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