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The Rise of Rome Audiobook

The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire

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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (305 )
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3.9 (266 )
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Performance
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  •  
    joey 01-16-15
    joey 01-16-15
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    "epic read great history great time period it must"

    makes history fun we are still learning new things about early Rome that wasn't known even five years ago !!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    John 05-19-14
    John 05-19-14 Member Since 2016
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    "User-Friendly Ancient History"

    A year ago I took this book out of the local library. After a few dozen pages I realized that Anthony Everitt’s style was so easy, his approach so intelligent, that his book would make a perfect listen. Not long after that, Audible had a sale.

    In his Introduction Everitt calls the book a “taster” which is, I assume, the British equivalent of our “sampler”. And he’s right. Neither too scholarly nor too simplistic, he has written a sweeping, bird’s-eye-view introduction to how the Roman Empire became the Roman Empire. Everitt says he wrote in hopes of inspiring deeper investigations into the riches of the subject by his readers, and I’m sure that will happen. For this listener the book worked in the opposite way: helping me to string together the chunks of Roman history I already knew into a coherent, seamless narrative.

    Everitt’s intelligence and clarity begin with the way he organizes his material, breaking it into three main sections: Legend, Story and History. Legend recounts the tales that, true or not, are important because they’re what the Romans believed about themselves and their city, and helped inspire their decisions as that city grew. Story recounts the strange netherworld between prehistory and history, while history takes up the story at the point where actual, documented facts begin to undergird the narrative.

    Complex political situations are explained lucidly. I’m not saying didn’t have to rewind to catch all the nuances, but the fault lay with the Romans and their allies or enemies, not with the writer. Everitt obviously loves his subject and it shows. Another touch I appreciated was his wise forbearance from drawing parallels between ancient and recent history. Those can be made, as he points out, by individual readers. And no matter where you are on the political spectrum, there is enough material here to buttress your particular point of view. Everitt gives us an engaging narrative, unburdened by any tendentious political message, tongue clucking, moralizing or the sound of axes being ground. Bless him.

    Finally, a word about Clive Chafer as narrator. At first his delivery can sound somewhat dreary. He seems tired and uninspired. Then after a few minutes you realize he’s the perfect choice for a book like this. For all of Everitt’s skill as a story teller, the story he tells can get complex. Chafer’s measured delivery makes it much easier to follow.

    In sum: I enjoyed this book from start to finish, learned many new things and was able to put the few things I already knew into a clearer, more coherent context. And I was able to do all that because, unlike many other writers on classical history, Everitt told the story without getting tangled in the second-growth forest of academic fashions or scholarly disagreements.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james 08-27-13
    james 08-27-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Amazing comparative of fact, fiction and myth"

    An intersecting perspective of how fact and fiction have blended to create the Roman mystique that still fascinates us.

    The main downfall is the narrator; despite the fascinating content, it is rolled out in a pedantic drone that is uninspiring at best.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Adam Odnert San Francisco, CA United States 07-09-13
    Adam Odnert San Francisco, CA United States 07-09-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great Insights Amid Details"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I read great insights in-between long stretches of filler text. I would have accepted more bottom line facts and less line item reporting. I got bored while listening to passages describing the political play-by-plays that didn't serve to make the insights any clearer. It would have been better to highlight the original content and annotate details that amount to [paraphrasing] "...so and so met but didn't have quorum".


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The reader is articulate with a marvelous voice. Still, he tended to report the text like it was in a teleprompter. His pace and narrow dynamic range disappointed my expectations for a new presentation of the rise of Rome. He was very understandable, quick, and authoritative but would like to have heard some more wonder in the storytelling.


    Was The Rise of Rome worth the listening time?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    Everitt's insights and original content is superb. The history goes in and out of scope and detail with some irregularity. Sometimes there were long sections of history that didn't seem necessary in such exhaustive detail. There is no detail too precise so long as it is followed with an insight that required that detail. I'm glad to have read it, though I might be wary of another long read by Chafer.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony La Canada, CA, United States 04-01-13
    Anthony La Canada, CA, United States 04-01-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Very instructive and entertaining"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    What other book might you compare The Rise of Rome to and why?

    ?


    What does Clive Chafer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He brings an air of intellectualism to the story


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    ?


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Rivoli Miami Beach, FL 03-04-13
    S. Rivoli Miami Beach, FL 03-04-13 Member Since 2017
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    "Good Overview"
    What did you love best about The Rise of Rome?

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith A. Weller LaVale, MD United States 12-27-12
    Judith A. Weller LaVale, MD United States 12-27-12 Member Since 2008
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    "For Some Who Know Little of the Period"

    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.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
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    Douglas Atlanta, GA, United States 10-22-15
    Douglas Atlanta, GA, United States 10-22-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A Very Informative Intro to History of Rome"

    Originally, I set out to read Gibbons' "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire," however I quickly realized that I didn't have anywhere near the prerequisite knowledge of the RISE of the Roman Empire. Thus, I began this book.

    However, I soon realized that I wasn't familiar enough with the 3 most famous epic poems concerning the Greeks and Romans, namely The Iliad, The Odyssey, and the Aeneid. So I went back and reread those 3.

    I do feel like reading those epic "myths," if you will, really helped me to understand the first portion of this book which concerns the part of Roman history which is--for all practical purposes--fictional.

    The author has done an amazing job of gathering all of this information about Rome's history, and he does a very good job laying it out for the reader. It can be very confusing at times, but I feel like that is almost inevitable. As the author points out in his introductory chapters, there's just no getting around the fact that Roman names make things very confusing. That, and the fact that most of the "nations" or city states discussed in the book are going to be very obscure for the majority of readers (even those who are well versed in history), can make things hard to handle. The listener may feel the need to go back an reread some parts of the book (I certainly did).

    There are parts of the book that are dry, specifically the parts detailing Roman laws and government, but there's hardly anything the author can do about that. Furthermore, there are more than enough juicy anecdotes and stories to keep the reader entertained more or less throughout.

    I think Clive Chafer does a good job as narrator and is very well suited for this book. One of the things that I always want from a narrator is for him to make me forget that he isn't actually the author. I feel like Chafer accomplishes this.

    I gave this book 4 stars rather than 5, but for those who are deciding whether or not to buy this audiobook, you may as well consider my 4 a 5. I finished this book feeling like I didn't get as much as I would have liked out of the last half, but to be honest, that's probably more about me not having any prior knowledge of the subject than anything on the author's part.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Tampa, FL 02-04-14
    Brian Tampa, FL 02-04-14
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    "Only if you're a history major!"
    What disappointed you about The Rise of Rome?

    I thought this book was very educational. That being said, it made it incredibly BORING!!! Only listen to if you're a history major. It was cool that I learned some things about Rome and the surrounding areas, but not worth it.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanine New York, NY, United States 07-31-13
    Jeanine New York, NY, United States 07-31-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Deadly booring"
    What disappointed you about The Rise of Rome?

    All in passive tense, very dull. Basic writing says you show dont tell. This was a snoozefest. I could not finish it.


    Has The Rise of Rome turned you off from other books in this genre?

    yes


    Would you be willing to try another one of Clive Chafer’s performances?

    Meh


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Rise of Rome?

    All passive scenes


    Any additional comments?

    Snore

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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