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The History of Ancient Rome Lecture

The History of Ancient Rome

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Publisher's Summary

Even today, the influence of Ancient Rome is indelible, with Europe and the world owing this extraordinary empire a huge cultural debt in almost every important category of human endeavor, including art, architecture, engineering, language, literature, law, and religion. At the peak of its power, Rome's span was vast. In the regional, restless, and shifting history of continental Europe, the Roman Empire stands as a towering monument to scale and stability, unified in politics and law, stretching from the sands of Syria to the moors of Scotland. And it stood for almost 700 years.

In this series of 48 spirited lectures, you'll see how a small village of shepherds and farmers rose to tower over the civilized world of its day and left a permanent mark on history. In telling Rome's riveting story, Professor Fagan draws on a wealth of primary and secondary sources, including recent historical and archaeological scholarship, to introduce the fascinating tale of Rome's rise and decline, including the famous events and personalities that have become so familiar:

  • Horatius at the bridge
  • Hannibal crossing the Alps during Rome's life-or-death war with Carthage
  • Caesar being assassinated before a statue of his archrival Pompey
  • The doomed lovers Antony and Cleopatra
  • The mad and venal emperors Nero and Caligula
  • The conversion of Constantine.

The course also addresses one of history's greatest questions: Why did the Roman Empire fall? And you'll learn why most modern scholars believe that the empire did not "fall" at all, but, rather, changed into something very different - the less urbanized, more rural, early medieval world.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©1999 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)1999 The Great Courses

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (1452 )
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4.6 (1301 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Cory Welch Lombard, IL 02-18-17
    Cory Welch Lombard, IL 02-18-17
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    "Incredibly good course to learn about the Romans"

    GREAT course. Packed with information - amazing to see the impact the Romans had on us today as well as the different world they lived in.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 01-28-17

    kj0023

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worth the time."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The History of Ancient Rome to be better than the print version?

    No knowledge.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Too many to say. This is chock full of information.


    Which character – as performed by Professor Garrett G. Fagan – was your favorite?

    No opinion on "characters." These are real historical figures, I don't understand this terminology.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This isn't a book. I'm now realizing the review questions are completely inapplicable.


    Any additional comments?

    Pay more attention to the review questions.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    truebalance2010 07-11-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Prerequisite for Understanding Western History"

    If you want to understand how we got here culturally, you must know something about Ancient Rome. Now, I can clearly see how much Rome has influenced us. Particularly interesting is the effect Rome had on our Founding Fathers and the design of our government. In Rome we see a reflection of ourselves, and our past, present, and possible future. Bravo Dr. Fagan!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    George Pacific Palisades, CA, United States 04-26-15
    George Pacific Palisades, CA, United States 04-26-15 Member Since 2012

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fascinating Journey!"
    Would you listen to The History of Ancient Rome again? Why?

    The material was compelling and a journey into the past by a great professor.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The profound amount of change and struggle on how Rome evolved. I never knew and so glad I bought this.


    Have you listened to any of Professor Garrett G. Fagan’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I thought he spoke very well and for the amount of info I had to learn his cadence and tone was very good and I was hooked and attentive throughout and would buy another w/him.


    Any additional comments?

    I missed out on this history during HS and College and my curiosity led me to this book. I listened on way to work for about 4 weeks, one lesson each day, before my trip to Italy. I always wanted to know about this history and found it truly fascinating and exciting to learn something I may have missed. I'd never go read this and audio made it the only way to go. I think worth the investment of time if you want to round out your knowledge base on the world this is a must.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    david buckholdt 04-25-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Reccomended"

    For any who is fascinated with the Romans or ancient history nuts! Does a great job touching on every period!LOVED IT!!!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel McAfee Texas USA 06-28-15
    Daniel McAfee Texas USA 06-28-15 Member Since 2016

    danmc

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    "A Hole Riddled History of Roman Empire"

    Far more key persons, events, and descriptions of the empire itself, were left out than accounted for in this "History" of the Roman Empire.

    I have read or listened to several books on the subject and this one ranks as the worst by far. The narrator adds little to no value, and could at times be considered a distraction.

    Overall recommendation is to "Pass"on this one, and select one of the more highly rated efforts in the Audible Library.

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    07-10-17
    07-10-17 Member Since 2017
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    "the ancient history of rome great courses"

    this is a good lecture with a informativ proffesor witch is very good to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri 07-09-17
    Terri 07-09-17
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    "Really good, a worthwhile listen"

    Dr. Fagan is a thorough, yet quite entertaining lecturer. The only reason I gave only 4 stars was production issues. The "filler" of classical music (let's be honest, that's nothing to do with Rome) and applause at the beginning and end of each lecture were annoying. While Dr. Fagan no doubt deserve the applause, I don't really want to listen to it. Moreover, it seemed dubbed. Dr. Fagan never spoke before the applause died, and the applause began well after he was finished. It just seemed like unnecessary filler. By all means, listen to this lecture series. It's fascinating, entertaining, and educational. But to the producers of the series - please don't add unnecessary noise.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emily Portland, OR, United States 07-04-17
    Emily Portland, OR, United States 07-04-17 Member Since 2017

    Estate planning lawyer and mom to two boys. My older son liked audiobooks as an infant, and I've listened to a lot since then.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Favorite intro to Ancient Rome"

    This is my favorite of the Great Courses. I find all their history series enjoyable but this is truly superb.
    - It holds up well and is understandable even if you have little to no background knowledge, but is also enjoyable even if you know much of the material.
    - Fagan has an excellent balance of covering the facts and the story, yet also alerting the listener to major schools of interpretation. (Some of the teaching company courses assume a basic knowledge of the information, which can then make them difficult for the beginner.)
    - Fagan has a wonderful accent and delivery style, and even a bit of dark humor.

    This was so good I'm looking for his other courses and might re-listen to this one. I was so very sorry to see that he died recently, much too soon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    juan rodriguez 07-04-17 Member Since 2017
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    "great history lesson"

    loved it! it really helped me get a grasp of its history for my brain

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Ducarta
    London, UK
    2/4/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very good overview! "

    It was not too deep and not too shallow, I found that you could whizz through on 1.5 x speed without getting lost but you had to be in a place of low distraction.

    The delivery was pleasant and I like the dry wit of the lecturer. I'd highly recommend, you'll find yourself following up to learn more afterwards!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul Martin
    10/21/15
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    "Great Narrator"

    Thoroughly enjoyed listening to Professor Garret G. Fagan's narration...a great unfolder of stories. His commentary is well balanced, always offering a measured interpretation of the facts.
    My favourite lecture so far.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • DrBlues
    Newcastle upon Tyne
    1/17/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rome wasn't built in a day - It takes 22hrs 42mins"
    Where does The History of Ancient Rome rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This title is definitely in my top 3 amongst some very stiff competition. I was enthralled from start to finish. Some audiobooks I've read, I just can't wait to end but I have to finish them - once this book started I was dreading it!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The History of Ancient Rome?

    As a City Councillor, I was amazed at how similar politics was then as it is today - both in terms of the political set-up and the behaviour of politicians!


    What does Professor Garrett G. Fagan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Professor Fagan is a very good narrator. He is an expert in his field with a sense of humour that comes across throughout the lectures. Professor Fagan's humour and comments throughout often reflect his personal opinions on certain actions of behaviour, which gives you a perspective to think about and consider, whether you agree with him or not. I don't often write reviews, but felt that his personality and emotional input was deserving of a cracking review. I would like others to share the fantastic experience. Professor Fagan is my hero.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    This book was a shock to the system. I enjoyed it so much that I have even sometimes reflected that I wish I'd studied the topic at University as an undergraduate; I read Politics.


    Any additional comments?

    I listened to another audiobook on Ancient Rome before this one and really did not enjoy it too much. That book was only redeemed by one top-notch chapter on Rome in Numbers, using stats and figures to give a perspective of the Ancient World. I almost gave up on the topic, then this Lecture series caught my eye. If you're considering learning about Ancient Rome and haven't tried the Great Lecture Series - cross the Rubicon, 'cast the die' and give Professor Fagan a chance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tailorman
    MORPETH, United Kingdom
    4/2/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant, just brilliant!"
    What made the experience of listening to The History of Ancient Rome the most enjoyable?

    This is a very well structured set of lectures, easy to listen to and easy to take in.


    What does Professor Garrett G. Fagan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Professor Fagan has great knowledge of the subject, and his soft voice lets you close your eyes and be transported back to the period of the Romans.


    Any additional comments?

    If you are interested in Roman history, then this is the book for you. Just brilliant!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Jamie Wilkins
    Frome, United Kingdom
    3/6/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Easily aborbed and understandable"
    Would you listen to The History of Ancient Rome again? Why?

    Yes. Very informative and a wealth of information broken down into manageable chunks.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The narrator. Brought the story to life with witty asides.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    Both the thematic and linear lectures. Also found the derivation of English words very interesting.


    Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Made me laugh.


    Any additional comments?

    Not really an audiobook in the traditional sense but a series of academic lectures. Does not detract from the enjoyment though.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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