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)
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.
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.
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!!!
The insanity of some of the leaders
He makes you know when something is important
no great audiobook
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.
Epic, Interesting, Unlistenable
None of note. It is an historical work.
No. His British newscaster singsong delivery ending each sentence on exactly the same two-note pitch throughout the entire book was horrible.
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.
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