We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
The Roman Empire Audiobook

The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction

Regular Price:$17.50
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

The Roman Empire was a remarkable achievement. It had a population of 60 million people spread across lands encircling the Mediterranean and stretching from northern England to the sun-baked banks of the Euphrates, and from the Rhine to the North African coast. It was, above all else, an empire of force--employing a mixture of violence, suppression, order, and tactical use of power to develop an astonishingly uniform culture.

Here, historian Christopher Kelly covers the history of the Empire from Augustus to Marcus Aurelius, describing the empire's formation, and its political, religious, cultural, and social structures. It looks at the daily lives of the Empire's people: both those in Rome as well as those living in its furthest colonies. Romans used astonishing logistical feats, political savvy, and military oppression to rule their vast empire.

This Very Short Introduction examines how they "romanised" the cultures they conquered, imposing their own culture in order to subsume them completely. The book also looks at how the Roman Empire has been considered and depicted in more recent times, from the writings of Edward Gibbon to the Hollywood blockbuster Gladiator . It will prove a valuable introduction for readers interested in classical history.

Download the accompanying reference guide.

In a hurry? Listen to more Very Short Introductions.

©2006 Oxford University Press; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (18 )
5 star
 (8)
4 star
 (4)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (1)
Overall
4.0 (11 )
5 star
 (5)
4 star
 (3)
3 star
 (2)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (1)
Story
4.0 (11 )
5 star
 (5)
4 star
 (2)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    melecaum12 Montesinos, Aruba 06-06-11
    melecaum12 Montesinos, Aruba 06-06-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Very Short Introductions is the best collection!!"

    This Very Short Introduction is blessedly free of the typos that usually infect this otherwise excellent series, and for once, the illustrations are relevant, indeed central, to the text. There is a timeline and a very useful map at the end of the book, but the text itself is not a conventional, chronological narrative of the rise of Empire. It is rather a series of essays on a selection of topics, covering the period from Augustus to Commodus, that is, from around 30 BC to about AD 190. These excursions through aspects of the subject are concerned almost as much with how history is rewritten and reinterpreted as it is with the actual facts of history. There is an emphasis on architecture, particularly as an expression of social status and political ideology, an emphasis that will suit the taste of some readers more than others. The prose is clear and very readable, with the occasional topical, colloquial flourish ("The Empire writes back", "Through the keyhole") which can seem somewhat forced. Authoritative and illuminating, this little book is an essential addition to the reading list of anyone interested in ancient history.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joey SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 05-08-13
    Joey SAN FRANCISCO, CA, United States 05-08-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    49
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    ""Short" as in "Bad""
    What would have made The Roman Empire better?

    This isn't a short introduction as in "abridged" or "concise", but short as in "wandering stream of conscious". It's as if Kelly took a trip to Italy and was so impressed by the architecture, he looked up a few references and tossed a book together.

    There's very little good history here, and what there is mostly opinion. Inferences on how people "must have thought", backed by recorded dialog are the most interesting, but they're not placed in context very well.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Christopher Kelly again?

    Nope.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He must have been bored, because there are edit points every few minutes after which his voice pitch goes up a few octaves, making for a very distracting listen.


    Any additional comments?

    The last chapter, which focuses on contemporary views of the Roman Empire is frustratingly opinionated and irrelevant to historical Rome.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lasse fredericiaDenmark 04-30-10
    Lasse fredericiaDenmark 04-30-10 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "up to u"

    if i was u i would look at moden scholer

    sorry to say "short" u are just not on the same level

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful

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.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.