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Africa and Rome: The History and Legacy of the Roman Empire on the African Continent

Narrated by: Colin Fluxman
Length: 3 hrs and 8 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Among all the periods in ancient Egyptian history, the Ptolemaic Kingdom and its most famous ruler, Cleopatra, may be the most well-known today. By the 4th century BCE, it appeared as though ancient Egypt was in its final death throes. It had long ceased to be an influential kingdom in the Near East and Mediterranean regions, and it had been ruled over by a succession of foreign peoples including Libyans, Nubians, Assyrians, and Persians. But just when Egypt seemed was doomed to pass forever into obscurity, it was reinvigorated by outsiders, most notably Alexander the Great. While in the process of campaigning to destroy the Achaemenid Persian Empire and conquer the world in 331 BC, he made a pit stop in Egypt that forever changed the course of Egyptian history. Although his understanding of ancient Egyptian chronology and religion was minimal, Alexander was intrigued by ancient pharaonic culture, knowing, as the fifth century BC Greek historian Herodotus once wrote, “Egypt is the gift of the Nile.” As a result, Alexander endeavored to incorporate the land of the pharaohs into Hellenic Civilization. 

In the latter first century BC, men like Julius Caesar, Mark Antony, and Octavian participated in two civil wars that would spell the end of the Roman Republic and determine who would become the Roman emperor. In the middle of it all was history’s most famous woman, Cleopatra, who famously seduced both Caesar and Antony and thereby positioned herself as one of the most influential people in a world of powerful men. Cleopatra was a legendary figure even to contemporary Romans and the ancient world, and she was a controversial figure who was equally reviled and praised through the years, depicted both as a benevolent ruler and an evil seductress (occasionally at the same time). 

As for Roman Egypt, the period from 30 BC until the Roman Empire was split into two halves in the fourth century CE. It is scarcely mentioned, yet, it was a time when Egypt, if no longer a great power in its own right, was a pivotal province in the Roman Empire. It could also be argued it was a power without which the Roman Empire would not have survived. Its wealth, especially its fertility, was the key for any Roman emperor hoping to feed and entertain Rome’s ever-demanding masses and was particularly vital to Augustus as he established himself as the first emperor of Egypt. The institution of imperial, as opposed to senatorial, provinces proved crucial in the consolidation of imperial power.

Moreover, how Egypt in this period was administered and exploited provides invaluable information as to how Rome manipulated and controlled large populations for its benefit in the rest of its empire. Tactics used again and again throughout the Roman world were honed in this, the most valuable of Rome’s provinces. 

©2018 Charles River Editors (P)2018 Charles River Editors

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History at a glance. Short and to the point

Decades in minutes. The story is short and to the point. It covers the history of Rome and its influence in Africa as well as Africa’s influence in Rome. I especially found it fascinating that Rome had quite a few African emperors. It shows that Rome was well ahead of its time in equality. The history covered the importance
Of the Roman fleet and the Roman army and how large scale some of those battles had truly been. A truly engaging history well written and well narrated . I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator or publisher

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A Deeper Overview of History

I loved History when I was in school. Not because I was the friendless nerd, but because I had great teachers who brought it to life.

This audiobook was rather short but glimpsed a lot of the highlights and key figures. The time sequence made sense and was easy to follow.

Ideal for anyone who wants a good history lesson without the dry details, or to brush up and refresh, or for anyone who is struggling with this time period.

This is my voluntary review of an audiobook received for free.

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Well researched

Africa and Rome. . A well researched and laid out audio book.
A great learning tool to improve knowledge of the ancient world.
Narration is clear and concise.
I received a free copy of this audio book at my own request and voluntarily leave this review.

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Well worth your time!

historical-figures, historical-places-events, historical-research, Carthage, Punic-wars

Another excellent refresher from Charles River Editors! This time it's the Punic Wars, the decline of Carthage, and the development of Roman Egypt. Fills in some forgotten gaps. See publisher's blurb for visual elements and remember that it is available as Whispersync.
Colin Fluxman ably assumes the professorial role for this one.

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Fascinating overview!

I received this audiobook free at my request and am leaving this review voluntarily.

This really was a fascinating historical overview of a period of the Roman Empire which I knew very little about. The book covered a significant time period and touched on a number of historical facts that were very interesting and new to me.

My only complaint, and it’s very minor, is that the narration at the beginning seemed to be very fast and a little difficult to follow, but it either slowed down as it went on, or maybe I just got used to it.

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  • Norma Miles
  • 06-25-19

The grain kept Italy from starving. "

An glimpse at a less frequently presented area of Roman history but one which, sadly, doesn't really attempt to be interesting until the arrival of Cleopatra and, later, the Christians. It was still fascinating but, oh, just because it is history it doesn't have to be dull - just the opposite, in fact.
And as with the text, so, too, the narration. Colin Fluxman has an excellent reading voice, well intoned and clear and, especially good for non fiction, authorative. However, the listener's experience could have been greatly enhanced had he slightly varied his pacing and more elegantly phrased what he was reading into constituent groups rather than letting everything just run on in one continuous spiel.

My thanks to the rights holder of Africa and Rome for freely gifting me a complimentary copy, at my request, via Audiobook Boom. As a quick starter look into the subject, it was well worth hearing, but with a little imagination it could have been more inspitational.