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Publisher's Summary

The story of the Roman Republic is the greatest epic in human history. Seen in the long perspective of time, it seems too fantastic to be real. From its modest beginnings as a convenient fording place on the Tiber to its eventual destiny as the mistress of the Mediterranean, Rome offers a strange tale of fate, sacrifice, and indomitable willpower. The stern realities of war shaped its policies from the very beginning. And the dire emergencies Rome faced century after century meant that she was urged on by events that were usually beyond her power to control, drawing her deeper and deeper into the affairs of her neighbors and other nations. And throughout this chaos and bloodshed, Rome was ruled by a representative form of government which came to embody the ideals that Americans would embrace more than two thousand years later. But, although the legacy of Rome is seen in an essentially positive light today, the cruelty and harshness by which so many millions were debased by her rule is hard to forgive.

A History of the Roman Republic is Cyril Robinson's masterpiece. The lucid, beautifully phrased prose of this magnificent work still thrills us today. After almost a century, there is still no serious rival to this amazing work of scholarship.

Volume 1 begins in 2000 B.C. with the origin of the Latin people, their relationship to the other Italic tribes, and their long struggle to free themselves from Etruscan domination in the sixth century B.C. We follow as Rome conquers all of Italy by 250 B.C. and finally comes into conflict with the other great power of the Western Mediterranean, Carthage. After almost 50 years of warfare, Carthage and Hannibal are defeated and Rome emerges as the foremost power in the known world. Volume 1 comes to an end with Rome's reluctant entry into the Eastern Mediterranean and her contact with Hellenism in the mid-second century B.C.�a contact that will change Rome completely.

If you've already listened to Volume 1, don't forget to check out Volume 2 of Cyril Robinson's A History of the Roman Republic.
(P)2005 Audio Connoisseur

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Robert
  • Durham, NC, USA
  • 08-09-05

A splendid read!

This is a fascinating look at the development of the Roman Republic. Ultimately, it says as much about the author and his time as it does about the Republic. Listen especially to his extolling of the virtues of Roman discipline and his condemnation of the vices of the oriental kingdoms and the Greeks. This is as much a look at Victorian/Edwardian England as the Roman Republic. As such, it's great read.

The narrator is superb. His accent and inflection suit the material perfectly. You, the reader, will be transported to the Explorers' Club in London at the turn of the 20th Century; the smell of tweed and pipe tobacco are palpable.

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A classic

A classic and informative history of the Roman Republic. Be warned, the author presumes the reader already has a working knowledge of classical history. A novice might be lost and confused, especially since the book doesn't follow a continuous narrative, instead jumping back and forth in time. Also be prepared for language that would be considered racist and bigoted today. The author possesses the unique brand of scholarly, dispassionate racism that was common amongst aristocratic Englishmen of the time. Still well worth listening to.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marius
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • 03-31-06

Wax Romana to Pax Romana

Great listening! Covers the rise of Rome, warts and all. If you recollect hilarious debate in the Life of Brian on "What have the Romans ever done for us?", this book will give the answers, as well as covering the less savoury aspects of the extraordinary epoch. On the narrator: I have a number of downloads narrated by the eccentric Mr Griffin, and have enjoyed them all.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Classic, helpful to understanding the Roman world

If you could sum up A History of the Roman Republic, Volume 1 in three words, what would they be?

I did not know that.

Any additional comments?

The Roman world, along with the Greeks, and the Hebrews/Christians gave the West its great cultural advantages which has been the reason for the great advancements of western society. One can not understand our world without understanding to some extent what we have inherited from the Romans.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

He dont like the greeks

An easy to understand and well told history of Rome. The narrator is very British, but it didn’t bother me much. The authors claim that Hellenism ruins the Roman republic is farfetched, he is talking about the greeks contaminating the roman blood!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • C.
  • Wetzikon, Switzerland
  • 04-28-17

too much judgement, terrible performance

The author spends too much time evaluating and judging history, be it individuals or the Roman character in general, without giving sources, examples or proofs. It would have been more interesting to spend the time going into details of what has actually happened. Instead we are listening to the opinion of someone who sees Roman history from 2000 years distance but lives in a time which will turn in no better history. Who are we to judge?

The narrator is plainly annoying, trying to tun every platitude into a revelation and with no clue how to pronounce specific Latin terms.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jerry
  • Harlingen, TX, United States
  • 04-05-12

A classic

Superb writing, and narration. An excellent review of Roman history. I just wished he would of focused a little more on the battles, describing them with more detail, but this is a minor detail.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Well narrated. May be to long for some.

Since this is a topic that interests me I was willing to put up with very dry narration but found the Griffin to be a pleasant surprise. Some of the other reviews don't agree with me but I was very impressed. I found this to be a very good starting point to further study of the topic. Especially if you decide to go onto to reading some primary source material. So much work is done into the history of Julius and Augustus Caesar I found it very interesting to get a more in depth knowledge to everything leading up to it. I enjoyed the insight into the other bordering empires as well, though some negative views of the Greeks should probably be seen as an opinion and not historical fact as some of the other reviews have pointed out.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Narration is so bad I can't get through it.

I have tried on three separate occasions to get through this, but the narrator is so awful it should be used as an insomnia cure. And I listened to War and Peace, and Brothers Karamazov in their entirety read by two of the worst readers ever to drop out of acting class, so I have a pretty high tolerance for dry boring narrators.

2 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Snooze

Okay, maybe I had this all wrong, but this is not an audio book you can listen to on long drives. Very little imagery. Reads like a college history textbook. Skip this if you want something more entertaining. I found myself day dreaming more than listening.

2 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • N
  • 04-12-13

Cardew

This could be a classic, but....

Charlton Griffin, as you can imagine, is from the US. Nothing wrong with that, but instead of being unashamed of his accent he puts on a ridiculous amateurish English accent.

You know that you're in trouble when the author is called "Psy-ril" Robinson, rather than "Cyril". Having listened to Mike Duncan's admirable History of Rome podcasts I have no problem with the North American accent. Indeed, his easy going approach draws you in.

Charlton Griffin's pronunciation is laughable, pretentious and downright bizarre. How can you get words like "passage" "epoch" "produce" "peninsula" so wrong.

I'm only five minutes in and I find this award winning voice over artist incredibly annoying.

Putting on a faux English accent doesn't lend any gravitas to this work, it detracts from it.

I will be avoiding Mr Griffin's efforts in future.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful