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A History of Rome, Volume 1 Audiobook

A History of Rome, Volume 1

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Publisher's Summary

A History of Rome is the story of a tiny market town on the Tiber, its rise to world domination, and then its slow, terrible plunge to utter ruin. It is the single greatest event in all human history. Discover the fascinating origin of Rome and its mysterious Etruscan connections, its first faltering steps toward republican government, and its methodical subjugation of surrounding tribes. Slowly, the puritanical Roman Republic asserts control over all of Italy and in the process forges a political unity which proves enduring. That unity is sorely tested as Rome comes into conflict with Carthage and Hannibal, a horrifying ordeal which alters world history for all time. A resurgent Rome is next drawn into the intrigues of the eastern Mediterranean, finally conquering the Greek speaking world...only to end up surrendering itself to a seductive, decadent Hellenistic culture. A century of politcal tension and civil strife ensues. Follow the rise of powerful men like the brothers Tiberius and Caius Gracchus, Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Cicero and the greatest Roman of them all - Julius Caesar.

This is Volume 1 of A History of Rome (Unabridged). Don't miss Volume 2.

©2001 Audio Connoisseur

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (292 )
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4.2 (107 )
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Story
4.0 (107 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    WW1 Researcher 04-11-17
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    26
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good but"
    Where does A History of Rome, Volume 1 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Nothing wrong with both these volumes. However things get tedious after a while. You begin to lose track of Emperers and the like. If you are interested in the Roman Empire you may enjoy this. Your time is probably better spent on the Decline and Fall by Gibbon. That said it isnt a waste of time if this is your niche.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Casper Paludan New York 11-17-14
    Casper Paludan New York 11-17-14 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    29
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    18
    16
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    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "Good and brief, very dense"

    I bought A History of Rome because I found I needed a primer before getting full value from Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The latter starts at about 200 AD and makes many references to the times before, so it's very valuable to have at least a brief understanding of the material covered here.

    Rather than just getting through it quickly and then returning to Gibbons, I find myself with many more questions about, and a strong interest in, the beginning of the Empire. Especially the description of the times when Rome was a mere city state among others, is fascinating. One gets a sense of a world with much space between budding cultures and peoples, a world where borders and identities were not yet fixed and where history could be changed by the fortunes of a brief moment.

    Rome suffered huge, crippling, and seemingly fatal blows to her power on her way up, and sometimes could easily have been destroyed by a resolute opponent, such as the Cimbri. this barbarian tribe more or less wiped out Rome's army about 105 BC. At that point, had the Cimbri gone south, they could have taken all of the peninsula easily. but they were more interested in Spain, and so went west. And Rome had time to recuperate, and was ultimately victorious. Fascinating story. And there are many more like it.

    I recommend this fascinating tome to anybody interested in ancient history. Do not miss Gibbons though.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edith 02-11-13
    Edith 02-11-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    REVIEWS
    85
    10
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    4
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    Performance
    Story
    "Extremely Dated"

    While amusing enough, this text seems to have first been published in 1935 and to be based entirely on early sources such as Livy and Suetonius. It contains many outdated historical concepts such as "they were a virile people..." and no modern scholarship whatsoever. It is widely available for much, much less elsewhere.

    Poor old Charlton Griffin. His gruff voice has never been my favorite, but at least he does not try to dramatize the material.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    steve kearny, NJ, United States 04-28-11
    steve kearny, NJ, United States 04-28-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    934
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    465
    376
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    149
    4
    Overall
    "Can't listen enough"

    I love hearing about the Roman Empire and just can't seem to be able to read and listen enough. Just wish I didn't have to listen for seven hours before they finally got the Julius Caesar....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States 10-17-10
    Joseph Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States 10-17-10 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    27
    7
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    Overall
    "Fair intro"

    This is a pretty fair introduction to Roman history, and the narrator is excellent. There are however numerous clicks and other noises throughout the recording. They are in the background and more an annoyance than anything else.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chi-Hung Riverside, CA, USA 10-19-08
    Chi-Hung Riverside, CA, USA 10-19-08 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    635
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    239
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    Overall
    "Fast paced and enjoyable history"

    The narrator, as scholarly as he sounds, has to be the most monotonous narrator in the audiobook industry, no wonder they say, history is boring. That said, the book is very fast paced, encompassing 800 years of history in 2 volume and 30+ chapters, but because of the pace, people who are normally important in classical studies become little more than mentioned for the sakes of pushing the events along. But that also made Robinson's work good introductory work for fresh classical students.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Garry 04-24-07
    Garry 04-24-07
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Bad pronunciation"

    A great history source. The complex history of Rome is always entertaining. The narrator is pleasant but not one for proper pronunciatation.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark Grannis Washington, DC 10-27-05
    Mark Grannis Washington, DC 10-27-05 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    374
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    183
    36
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    5
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    Overall
    "A superb survey of Ancient Roman History"

    I was looking for a reasonably comprehensive history not just of the "decline and fall" of Rome, but of its rise as well. I was particularly interested in the final years of the republic, which occurred prior to the zenith of Roman power.

    In this book, I hit the jackpot. The writing is clear, the narration spirited. I found this survey to be just the right level of detail in order to permit the reader to see similarities with events of the 20th and 21st centuries.

    Don't miss Volume 2, either, which was just as good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Buhr Tampa, FL 12-19-03
    G. Buhr Tampa, FL 12-19-03 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
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    7
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    Overall
    "Somewhat plodding in places, but worthwhile"

    The story is somewhat plodding and drags in some places, but then such an all-encompassing topic of history is not always subject matter that can keep the listener's attention riveted to the "story." It is, in the end, a worthwhile and entertaining lead-in to Volume 2, which by either quality of writing or by accident of history, is a better book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David New York, NY, USA 09-17-03
    David New York, NY, USA 09-17-03
    RATINGS
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Biased & outdated but useful!"

    I found this narration annoying and and forced. Mispronunciations and a plumy faux english accent mar this old fashioned, timeline type of history telling. I cannot share the enthusiasm of other reviewers for this Narrator. At times I turned it off in exasperation! However I found the text compelling enough to continue to the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • O
    Wilrijk, België
    7/28/09
    Overall
    "Informative but rusty"

    Well-researched and informative. It offers a broad view on Roman history, from it's earliest beginnings until the death of Caesar. Fascination story of the rise of an empire.

    On the other hand, the writing style is generally old-fashioned. The voice is pleasant and well-paced, but also somewhat posh and patronising. The book is informative and consistent but perhaps lacking some enthousiasm in narration and vivacity in content.

    For good or ill, please be aware that this book focuses mostly on the political and cultural aspects, such as the influence of the hellenistic arts and philosophy on the identity of rome. If it's the details of the battles you're after you are bound to be disappointed. All in all I enjoyed it but it does not stand out.

    7 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • B. Carter
    UK
    3/18/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The History might be good, the reader is not."
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A reading by someone who could speak without a ridiculous, artificially 'posh', pompous accent. Preferably someone who could read through the book first, to get an accurate understanding of the words on the page. Regularly changing the pronunciation and mispronouncing words really doesn't make for an enjoyable read. Could suggest a couple of excellent readers if he'd like to listen to them.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Cyril Robinson again?

    No.


    How could the performance have been better?

    A reading by someone who could speak without a ridiculous, artificially 'posh', pompous accent. Preferably someone who could read through the book first, to get an accurate understanding of the words on the page. Regularly changing the pronunciation and mispronouncing words really doesn't make for an enjoyable read. Could suggest a couple of excellent readers if he'd like to listen to them.


    You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Didn't get far enough into the narrative to be able to find out it's undoubted 'redeeming' qualities.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Andrew
    Weston-Super-Mare, United Kingdom
    9/12/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A note about the narrator"
    What did you like best about A History of Rome, Volume 1? What did you like least?

    A History of Rome, is all in all very informative but a bit dry. But what I have to comment upon is the narrator. The style of narration seems pompous and affected, surely no one talks like this. The overall effect is of someone pretentiously trying to sound ultra-English, maybe this is the way the man talks but for me it ruined the book, my mind kept wandering away from the narrative and focusing upon the manner of delivery and hoping it would stop. I lost count of the number of times I had to stop the the recording and rewind to catch the piece of information I had just missed because I could not believe the affectation of the narrator. He would be perfect as a Monty Python character. Note to self, never buy another audio book with Charlton Griffin as narrator.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Thank God the narration has finished.


    How could the performance have been better?

    A different narrator.


    Was A History of Rome, Volume 1 worth the listening time?

    Just, for the info.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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