Emerging as a market town from a cluster of hill villages in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C., Rome grew to become the ancient world's preeminent power. Everitt fashions the story of Rome's rise to glory into an erudite book filled with lasting lessons for our time. He chronicles the clash between patricians and plebeians that defined the politics of the Republic. He shows how Rome's shrewd strategy of offering citizenship to her defeated subjects was instrumental in expanding the reach of her burgeoning empire. And he outlines the corrosion of constitutional norms that accompanied Rome's imperial expansion, as old habits of political compromise gave way, leading to violence and civil war. In the end, unimaginable wealth and power corrupted the traditional virtues of the Republic, and Rome was left triumphant everywhere except within its own borders.
Everitt paints indelible portraits of the great Romans - and non-Romans - who left their mark on the world out of which the mighty empire grew: Cincinnatus, Rome's George Washington, the very model of the patrician warrior/aristocrat; the brilliant general Scipio Africanus, who turned back a challenge from the Carthaginian legend Hannibal; and Alexander the Great, the invincible Macedonian conqueror who became a role model for generations of would-be Roman rulers. Here also are the intellectual and philosophical leaders whose observations on the art of government and "the good life" have inspired every Western power from antiquity to the present: Cato the Elder, the famously incorruptible statesman who spoke out against the decadence of his times, and Cicero, the consummate orator whose championing of republican institutions put him on a collision course with Julius Caesar and whose writings on justice and liberty continue to inform our political discourse today.
Rome's decline and fall have long fascinated historians, but the story of how the empire was won is every bit as compelling. With The Rise of Rome, one of our most revered chroniclers of the ancient world tells that tale in a way that will galvanize, inform, and enlighten modern listeners.
©2012 Anthony Everitt (P)2012 Tantor
"Everitt takes [listeners] on a remarkable journey into the creation of the great civilization's political institutions, cultural traditions, and social hierarchy.... [E]ngaging work that will captivate and inform from beginning to end." (Booklist)
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This book is thorough, and it gives you a feeling for the people and their lives. I highly recommend this book.
I like to read but listening is better.
Originally, I set out to read Gibbons' "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," however I quickly realized that I didn't have anywhere near the prerequisite knowledge of the RISE of the Roman Empire. Thus, I began this book.
However, I soon realized that I wasn't familiar enough with the 3 most famous epic poems concerning the Greeks and Romans, namely The Iliad, The Odyssey, and the Aeneid. So I went back and reread those 3.
I do feel like reading those epic "myths," if you will, really helped me to understand the first portion of this book which concerns the part of Roman history which is--for all practical purposes--fictional.
The author has done an amazing job of gathering all of this information about Rome's history, and he does a very good job laying it out for the reader. It can be very confusing at times, but I feel like that is almost inevitable. As the author points out in his introductory chapters, there's just no getting around the fact that Roman names make things very confusing. That, and the fact that most of the "nations" or city states discussed in the book are going to be very obscure for the majority of readers (even those who are well versed in history), can make things hard to handle. The listener may feel the need to go back an reread some parts of the book (I certainly did).
There are parts of the book that are dry, specifically the parts detailing Roman laws and government, but there's hardly anything the author can do about that. Furthermore, there are more than enough juicy anecdotes and stories to keep the reader entertained more or less throughout.
I think Clive Chafer does a good job as narrator and is very well suited for this book. One of the things that I always want from a narrator is for him to make me forget that he isn't actually the author. I feel like Chafer accomplishes this.
I gave this book 4 stars rather than 5, but for those who are deciding whether or not to buy this audiobook, you may as well consider my 4 a 5. I finished this book feeling like I didn't get as much as I would have liked out of the last half, but to be honest, that's probably more about me not having any prior knowledge of the subject than anything on the author's part.
makes history fun we are still learning new things about early Rome that wasn't known even five years ago !!
Listening about the lives of others distracts me from my own on the one hand while enlivening it on the other.
I read great insights in-between long stretches of filler text. I would have accepted more bottom line facts and less line item reporting. I got bored while listening to passages describing the political play-by-plays that didn't serve to make the insights any clearer. It would have been better to highlight the original content and annotate details that amount to [paraphrasing] "...so and so met but didn't have quorum".
The reader is articulate with a marvelous voice. Still, he tended to report the text like it was in a teleprompter. His pace and narrow dynamic range disappointed my expectations for a new presentation of the rise of Rome. He was very understandable, quick, and authoritative but would like to have heard some more wonder in the storytelling.
Everitt's insights and original content is superb. The history goes in and out of scope and detail with some irregularity. Sometimes there were long sections of history that didn't seem necessary in such exhaustive detail. There is no detail too precise so long as it is followed with an insight that required that detail. I'm glad to have read it, though I might be wary of another long read by Chafer.
This author does a good job in combining the legend of Rome with the reality.He portrays what the Romans felt about themselves and their environment. Enjoyed listening to the story.
He brings an air of intellectualism to the story
Really enjoyed the book tho it took me some time to get into it. I thought the Narrator was wonderful and the author goes to great pains to explain part of Roman life and latin as it pertains to the history. I did not like the timeline presented and the author so regularly goes back and forth in time that it was often difficult keeping the story straight.
I thought this book was very educational. That being said, it made it incredibly BORING!!! Only listen to if you're a history major. It was cool that I learned some things about Rome and the surrounding areas, but not worth it.
All in passive tense, very dull. Basic writing says you show dont tell. This was a snoozefest. I could not finish it.
All passive scenes
This perhaps could have been done a little more effectively, It may just have been a bit hard for me because they are Latin names that becuase it is an audiobook, you never see written out.
I found they book upsetting. Rome goes from a virtuous outpost city to a domineering power by the Third Punic War, then constitutional order slips away culminating in Caesar and the loss of the Republic.
At first I was very turned off by the Narrator but was fine after getting used to his voice.
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