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.
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
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.
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.
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.
I'm hooked on the great courses, especially the ones on ancient history. This one expanded my views and I readily listened to the whole thing pretty quickly. So that proves that it deserves a good rating.
The lecturer definitely lays out what historians CAN'T know, and emphasizes that most of what we know is just speculative. This is cool with me, but it made the lectures seem a little bit less "dramatic," which is an element I really like about ancient history. There were some more dull parts, especially in the beginning, but overall I enjoyed it. I think it could have been better if the lecturer got more into explaining the characters of the story (i.e. Historical figures), and painted a more vivid picture of what the world and atmosphere was like. He did this to an extent, but it felt less gripping than a lot of other lecturers I've listened to on here. He was extremely objective, sure, but I like the story and drama of history a little bit more than the 100% objective truth.
Overall, though, he did a good job and I would recommend this series.
Read, think, write.
It is wonderful that The Great Courses are available at Audible. Not possible to rate these lectures against books although, for a comprehensive survey of Roman history, this ranks very high.
The Ides of March.
It is interesting to see this series of lectures as scenes. Flashing before our eyes is Romulus killing his brother, Hannibal destroying Roman army after Roman army only to lose the long game, Divus Julius begin stabbed to death under the statue of his great adversary, the Republic "evolving" into an autocracy ever more remote from the People of the Empire and the pressures inside and out that finally brought the thing (res) down.
It is good to laugh and cry when reading history.
Highly recommend these lectures for those who know little or nothing of Roman history and also for those who know a good deal and want an opportunity to bring it all together and to remember what they have forgotten.
Getting into some history? START HERE. Dr. Fagan gives a great introduction to what to look out for when studying history before starting a greater history of Ancient Rome. The themes and storylines seems to have been chosen by someone who knows from the most extensive of knowledges about the subject. I feel like I both missed nothing and can't wait to know more.
The society of Rome and the lessons learned for modern day.
No, does he have any others? I going to go look after I get done writing this.
Learn. Grow. Be entertained!
"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.
"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.
"Really great it makes me want more detail."
I'm doing an OU course and this is great for background info and I can listen in the car. The lecturer makes it so interesting and the characters from so long ago come alive. He doesn't attempt to portray everyone as their myth and where we don't know information he says so.
Spartacus and his rebellion hold a fascination for me, however he is told here as simply a side character in the lecture on Crassus, which is a shame.
His timing and ironic comments on the chatracter of some of the people, he brings them to life.
Would definitely recommend for anyone with a love of history.
"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.
"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.
Totally enjoyed the performance and the material. Detailed enough to be thoroughly interesting but not so detailed that you get bored. Very much recommended
"Very good overview! "
It was not too deep and not too shallow, I found that you could whizz through on 1.5 x speed without getting lost but you had to be in a place of low distraction.
The delivery was pleasant and I like the dry wit of the lecturer. I'd highly recommend, you'll find yourself following up to learn more afterwards!
Thoroughly enjoyed listening to Professor Garret G. Fagan's narration...a great unfolder of stories. His commentary is well balanced, always offering a measured interpretation of the facts.
My favourite lecture so far.
"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.
"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!!!
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.