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The Rise of Rome

Narrated by: Gregory S. Aldrete
Length: 12 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (356 ratings)

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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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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

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.

10 of 10 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.

32 of 34 people found this review helpful

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  • DSK
  • Oklahoma, USA
  • 08-10-18

great!

we really enjoyed it. he took something that can be dry and made it very compelling while preserving the nuance and complexity.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Enjoyable and educational

This course is well put together. It presents the rise of Rome in an accessible manner that requires little to no previous knowledge. The teacher explains all the niche concepts so you have all the background needed to get the most out of the course. I found this more compelling than some of the fiction series I was in the middle of.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Great Overview of Rome Before the Empire

I really enjoyed this lecture series. From the foundations of Rome to the fall of the Republic, this course provided some really great information.

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Great overview

This audiobook is the perfect fit for someone who is just getting into Roman history. It hits all the major historical points and covers the societal aspects of Rome that lead it down the path of domination of the Mediterranean. If you are looking for something more in depth, I wouldn’t say this provides that as much. This is much more a glance over course. I would still say it is a 9/10 and Gregory S. Aldrete does a great job.

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Good lecture

This is great lecture and extremely informative. If you are looking for info on early Rome then this is for you

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Good listen

very informative with a great delivery. highly recommend for those versed and less versed in the republic

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the circle of line

hightlights are the chapeter on Cícero and the Last one. the rest is just fine

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  • Lord Peridot
  • 07-11-18

Lecture Titles

Lecture 1 The City on the Tiber
Lecture 2 The Monarchy and the Etruscans
Lecture 3 Roman Values and Heroes
Lecture 4 The Early Republic and Rural Life.

Lecture 5 The Constitution of the Roman Republic
Lecture 6 The Unification of the Italian Peninsula.
Lecture 7 Roman Religion: Sacrifice, Augury, and Magic
Lecture 8 The First Punic War: A War at Sea

Lecture 9 The Second Punic War: Rome versus Hannibal
Lecture 10 Rome Conquers Greece.
Lecture 11 The Consequences of Roman Imperialism
Lecture 12 Roman Slavery: Cruelty and Opportunity

Lecture 13 Roman Women and Marriage
Lecture 14 Roman Children, Education, and Timekeeping.
Lecture 15 Food, Housing, and Employment in Rome.
Lecture 16 The Gracchi Attempt Reform

Lecture 17 Gaius Marius the Novus Homo
Lecture 18 Sulla the Dictator and the Social War
Lecture 19 The Era of Pompey the Great
Lecture 20 The Rise of Julius Caesar

Lecture 21 Civil War and the Assassination of Caesar
Lecture 22 Cicero and the Art of Roman Oratory
Lecture 23 Octavian, Antony, and Cleopatra.
Lecture 24 Why the Roman Republic Collapsed

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Bilberry
  • 01-30-19

magnificent

If i have one crtitism of this audio book is that it is simply not long enough.

But never mind becasue now can go back to listening to Livy and actually understand what he is rabbiting on about

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  • Mr
  • 01-14-19

Comprehensive but not convoluted

A comprehensive history of the Roman Republic which is both narratively captivating and compelling, without doing what certain other history books do, which is drawing contemporary parallels.

It also touches on those segments of society which have little in the way of first hand accounts, such as those of the lives of women and slaves, drawing conclusions from third hand accounts and cross-referencing them with roman ideals, societal pressures, societal prominence, scandals etc, in order to draw a nuanced distinction between what women were expected to do by the predominantly male aristocratic senators, male historians and male monarchs, and what they might have done in reality.

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  • OB1
  • 12-12-18

Thoroughly enjoyed it!

A fascinating subject, entertainingly presented, and I felt I learned a lot. Would thoroughly recommend!

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  • Manish
  • 08-12-18

The Roman Republic

Great book. Should really be called An Early History of Rome. Wonderful accounts of life in Rome not just an account of famous Romans.

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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.