The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire Audiobook | Anthony Everitt | Audible.com
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The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire | [Anthony Everitt]

The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (135 )
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  •  
    Mike From Mesa Mesa, AZ 12-11-12
    Mike From Mesa Mesa, AZ 12-11-12 Member Since 2003

    MikeFromMesa

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Rome from the fall of Troy through Julius Caesar"

    While I have read a reasonable amount about Roman history (the rule of the Emperors from Augustus through Claudius, the three Punic Wars and, more specifically, Hannibal’s invasion of Rome and the subsequent Roman invasion of North Africa to destroy Carthage) I had never read a real history of the rise of Rome. Since I was preparing to (finally) read Gibbon’s Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire I thought it was time to learn how the Roman Empire came to be before I read how it ceased to be. I bought this book for that specific purpose.

    Mr Everitt has written a wonderful and enjoyable history of Rome from its beginning (actually from the fall of Troy) through the beginning of the civil wars at the time of Pompey, Julius Caesar and Octavian. While I was looking forward to reading this I was also somewhat apprehensive because I remembered how dull Roman history classes were when I was in school. I worried about a book made up of dates and events, especially since I would be listening, not actually reading, but I should not have worried. Mr Everitt has built this book around the individuals and events that constitute Roman history rather than a series of dates and that decision worked really well. Had High School history been presented like this I might have paid more attention.

    Mr Everitt has broken down the story of the rise of Rome into 3 separate sections – Myth (starting from the fall of Troy and Romulus and Remus), historic legends and known historic facts and the whole fits together seamlessly into a very interesting story. There was much about Roman history that I never knew – Alexander The Great’s plans to “teach” the upstart Romans a lesson by invading, how Rome grew from a small settlement into the global superpower of the time, how the Romans held Italy together as subject peoples in spite of their being outnumbered and much else. I had read a good deal about the Punic Wars but never knew, until I read this book, why Rome forced Carthage into the third war.

    The narration is very well done and the book very enjoyable. While it is not a “heavy” history it is also complete enough to not be “light” reading. I feel comfortable recommending this book to anyone with an interest in this period of time.

    21 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 08-17-13
    Darwin8u Mesa, AZ, United States 08-17-13 Member Since 2011

    A part-time buffoon and ersatz scholar specializing in BS, pedantry, schmaltz and cultural coprophagia.

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    "A Messy Graveyard for A. Everitt's Rome detritus."

    There is no doubt Anthony Everitt knows his Classical stuff. His previous books: 'Cicero' and 'Augustus' were amazing. 'Hadrian' aimed high, but didn't quite hold up to the first two. The Rise of Rome signals a severe decline in Everitt's popular Roman history, IMHO. The book is messy. His narrative begins with Section I (Legend) a review of the legends and foundation myths surrounding the rise of Rome. He then jumps into a review of 'big themes' as Rome's politics, warfare, and society develop.

    IN this second section, He isn't interested in the history, rather he attempts to construct the narrative STORY of history. He tries (and fails) to draw a distinction between Section II (Story) and Section III (History), but the last two thirds of the book are really one, story-driven, narrative slog through 1000 years of Roman history and personalities.

    The problem is Everitt tries to present 1000 years of Rome's rise in less than 500 pages and fills almost 67 of these pages with foundation myths, etc. The best parts of this book are those pages when he is talking about Rome's great enemy Hannibal, the problem is those pages are 50 pages less spent on the actual direct topic of his book.

    Fundamentally, Everitt's biggest failure is the standard high school and college freshman failure. He starts with far too big a topic and devotes to it too little space. He tries for a sweeping history of Rome and only delivers a shoddy, uneven narrative. IN the end, the book feels like a graveyard for Everitt's unpublished background material for previous books or aborted histories.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr. Melby Massachusetts, USA 04-14-13
    Mr. Melby Massachusetts, USA 04-14-13 Member Since 2007

    Amazon Buyer

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    "Terrific book, absolutely terrible narrator"
    If you could sum up The Rise of Rome in three words, what would they be?

    Epic, Interesting, Unlistenable


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    None of note. It is an historical work.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Clive Chafer’s performances?

    No. His British newscaster singsong delivery ending each sentence on exactly the same two-note pitch throughout the entire book was horrible.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith A. Weller LaVale, MD United States 12-27-12
    Judith A. Weller LaVale, MD United States 12-27-12 Member Since 2008

    jw1917

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "For Some Who Know Little of the Period"

    I enjoyed Everitt's books but this was a bit of a let down. I have read extensively in the period so for me there was nothing new. I think he should have had much more material on the actual historical period and spent less time on the mythical period.

    For someone who has little familiartiy it was probably good to hear the tales of Decius Mus, Lucius Scaevola and Coriolanus but I was not must interested in this period as I had already heard all the stories and read Livy.

    Nevertheless he does put together for those will little background a good summary of the Rise of Rome and what made it such a great power in the region - the fact that it could lose so many battles and keep fighting where other would have givern up. It is the sheer determination of the Romans that made possible its domination of the Ancient World. This book more than adequate conveys the Roman determination in the face of overwhelming odd.

    After all this is what Everitt wishes to convery -- the ability to dominate the ancient world through sheer determination and the ability to return to the battle inspite of great losses. Everitt hints at but does not go into detail the development of the Roman Military Machine which made possible these later triumphas. He briefly discusses Marius and Sulla, two towering personalities on whom he spends too little time, and who modernized the army from citizen-soldiers to professional miliary.

    Clive Chafer is an excellent reader and does a great job in the book. Now if only they would bring out an audio version of Everitt's Cicero.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james orlando, FL, United States 08-27-13
    james orlando, FL, United States 08-27-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Amazing comparative of fact, fiction and myth"

    An intersecting perspective of how fact and fiction have blended to create the Roman mystique that still fascinates us.

    The main downfall is the narrator; despite the fascinating content, it is rolled out in a pedantic drone that is uninspiring at best.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean SOUTH JORDAN, UT, United States 10-30-12
    Sean SOUTH JORDAN, UT, United States 10-30-12

    Tell us about yourself! I am a 43 year old wanna be intellect. I love people doing things for me and i guess that includes my reading! My interests vary widely so this site is right up my alley....maybe too much so!!!

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    "excellent"
    What did you love best about The Rise of Rome?

    It's detail


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Rise of Rome?

    The insanity of some of the leaders


    What does Clive Chafer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He makes you know when something is important


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    yes


    Any additional comments?

    no great audiobook

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian North Las Vegas, NV, United States 02-04-14
    Brian North Las Vegas, NV, United States 02-04-14
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    "Only if you're a history major!"
    What disappointed you about The Rise of Rome?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John P. Walsh Macon,GA USA 11-21-13
    John P. Walsh Macon,GA USA 11-21-13
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    "Excellent story, Excellent Narration"
    Would you listen to The Rise of Rome again? Why?

    Yes. I would most definitely listen to it over again. And I am. It is a great overview of the Early years and the end of the republic.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Appius Claudius Caecus "The Blind"


    Which character – as performed by Clive Chafer – was your favorite?

    He didn't really play a character. This is a history book.


    Any additional comments?

    I really liked this book. But my opinion must be taken with some scrutiny, as this is my first audio book. But I guess I'm not far from the average as this book has an average overall rating of 5 stars. The Narrator has such a voice that if feel he should have narrated my life , I would have payed him for it. his sort of English aristocratic demeanor brings the Rise of Rome to life for me at least. many have commented that he has a sort of two-tone type of voice and never changes. Might i remind you people that this is a historical narrative and not "Fifty Shades of Grey" or the like. if you don't like that then you are reading the wrong book. Not to say this book cannot be extremely exciting. For example, the tale regarding the "Caudine Faux" (probably spelled incorrectly) where the Romans are caught in a pass and are forced to walk "with one item of clothing each" through a gate of spears while being jeered and laughed at by Vulsci soldiers. or when Gaius Decius Mus commited "Devotio" by pulling his toga over his head and riding into the enemy to ensure victory by sacrificing himself. Its tales like these that kept me glued to my earphones. But its all in your own opinion.

    If you are fascinated by Roman History at all then you will be delighted by this "lite" retelling of Romes historic rise and domination of Italy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanine New York, NY, United States 07-31-13
    Jeanine New York, NY, United States 07-31-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Deadly booring"
    What disappointed you about The Rise of Rome?

    All in passive tense, very dull. Basic writing says you show dont tell. This was a snoozefest. I could not finish it.


    Has The Rise of Rome turned you off from other books in this genre?

    yes


    Would you be willing to try another one of Clive Chafer’s performances?

    Meh


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Rise of Rome?

    All passive scenes


    Any additional comments?

    Snore

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Odnert San Francisco, CA United States 07-09-13
    Adam Odnert San Francisco, CA United States 07-09-13 Member Since 2012

    Listening about the lives of others distracts me from my own on the one hand while enlivening it on the other.

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    "Great Insights Amid Details"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    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".


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    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.


    Was The Rise of Rome worth the listening time?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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