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Publisher's Summary

The Roman Republic is one of the most breathtaking civilizations in world history. Between roughly 500 BCE to the turn of the millennium, a modest city-state developed an innovative system of government and expanded into far-flung territories across Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. This powerful civilization inspired America's founding fathers, gifted us a blueprint for amazing engineering innovations, left a vital trove of myths, and has inspired the human imagination for 2,000 years.

How did Rome become so powerful? This mystery has vexed historians from the ancient Greek writer Polybius to 21st century scholars. Today, removed as we are from the Roman Republic, historians also wonder what it was like to be a Roman citizen in that amazing era. Beyond the familiar names of Romulus, Caesar, Octavian, Brutus, and Mark Antony, what was life like for the ordinary people? And what did the conquered peoples think of this world power?

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

©2018 The Teaching Company, LLC; 2018 The Great Courses

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Great for the Beginner

If you're entirely new to the history of the Roman Republic, pick this course up. It's a fine introductory survey that covers Rome's early history right up to the reign of Augustus. However, if you're already steeped in Roman history, you might not find anything fresh or exciting. Aldrete is a fine lecturer and an obvious master of the subject, though, and I have no complaints against him.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Very good, but doesn't stand out

This is a very solid course, and if you're new to Roman history or to The Great Courses, it would be a fine place to start.

But if you're like me – a long time fan of TGC on Audible, and something of an ancient history enthusiast – then there is not a lot here that you haven't heard already from TGC's other ancient history offerings, namely Garrett G. Fagan's excellent two-part survey course, composed of "The History of Ancient Rome" and "Emperors of Rome", and Robert Garland's course on "Daily Life in the Ancient World."

Though the focus here is on just why the Roman republic became so powerful (And it IS just about the republic – it leaves off right as Octavian/Augustus seizes power, whereas a lecture on the "Rise of Rome" really ought to take you through at least to Trajan.), it's really not much more than another (admittedly very decent) survey course of Roman history. And that's a bit of a shame, as Aldrete has written books on such specific things as Greek linen body armor and floods of the Tiber in antiquity. TGC's ancient history offerings could use more specificity of focus, and Aldrete is perfectly qualified to give that to us… But that's not what happened.

To sum up: it's a perfectly enjoyable course, but don't expect any major revelations if you're already familiar with the subject.

9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Bryan
  • Monument, CO, United States
  • 04-18-18

How Rome got to be an Empire

This is a wonderful set of lectures on how Rome started and then grew to the point of Imperium.. Dr. Aldrete knows his material and presents it very effectively. How did a small city surrounded by hills end up controlling so much of the world? The customs, laws, education, military, and government structures are discussed and explained in this wonderful series.

Definitely a great overview of the Roman Republic and a treat to listen to.

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loved every minute!

Couldn't stop listening to it! Never had the idea to make history come alive by simply pausing for moments of reflection - these lectures do it perfectly!

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Fascinating history of the Roman Republic.

I listen to this course every day on the way to and from work and I didn't want it to end. There was a lot in here that I hadn't heard of before, and eras and topics that they don't make movies about.
The narration was great by the way.

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very good

this book was very good I would suggest it to anyone you will like it

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An Easy Entry Course

This is a great course with the quality that one comes to expect, but will be very remedial if you've listened to other courses on the topic. I would note that the professor is an excellent speaker who does a great job presenting the course, and it DOES develop certain individuals a bit better than some others, but it's certainly not an overall standout. If you're interested in Roman history and want something a little more in-depth, I enormously recommend the two courses presented by Professor Garrett G. Fagan. Those two courses (The History of Ancient Rome and Emperors of Rome) present essentially all of the information detailed here and more, albeit in two courses.

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  • Jacobus
  • Johannesburg, South Africa
  • 03-19-18

An excellent introduction to Rome until Augustus

In twelve hours you get 24 lectures about Rome giving an introductory bird's view of the Roman world. Professor Aldrete has the ability to keep it interesting throughout. He is quite knowledgeable about the subject matter.

You do not need to know Latin and Prof Aldrete keeps his pronunciation of names and places very English. (I couldn't help wondering if he can read Latin.) By doing so he keeps it accessible to Everyman.

I appreciated that he suspended the historical narrative at some point in the course for a bit to deal with the social world of the Romans. It was quite informative. He discussed daily lives, where our calender came from etc.

If you are looking for a all-in-one course on the Roman world until Caesar Augustus, this is the right course for you.

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Another ‘Great Course’ from a talented, well spoken, and engaging professor.

As with his other courses covering ancient history; historic battle strategies; and other ancient history topics. Wonderful course, well worth the credit. Looking forward to more from him in the future.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Deus
  • 01-28-18

Excellent

An excellent lecture series. I wished it did not have to end. I hope there is a continuation of the series by the same lecturer.