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The Roman Empire: From Augustus to the Fall of Rome

Narrated by: Gregory S. Aldrete
Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (104 ratings)

Regular price: $34.95

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Publisher's Summary

When Octavian, who took the title of Augustus as the first emperor of Rome, defeated Mark Antony to become the sole ruler of the Roman world, it was a major turning point in Western civilization. Not only did his decades-long rule completely transform the old Roman Republic into the Roman Empire, but it also profoundly shaped the culture and history of our world today. The Roman Empire: From Augustus to the Fall of Rome traces this breathtaking history from the empire’s foundation by Augustus to its Golden Age in the 2nd century CE through a series of ever-worsening crises until its ultimate disintegration.

Taught by acclaimed Professor Gregory S. Aldrete of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, these 24 captivating lectures offer you the chance to experience this story like never before, incorporating the latest historical insights that challenge our previous notions of Rome’s decline. You’ll examine the major events and familiar figures of the Roman Empire, including:

  • The political innovations of Augustus
  • The mental instability and cruel acts of Caligula and Nero
  • Writers such as Ovid, Horace, and Virgil
  • The stoic philosophy of Marcus Aurelius
  • Constantine’s startling conversion to Christianity

You’ll also look beyond the famous figures and delve deeply into the lives of ordinary Roman citizens. You’ll hear the messages they left on tombstones or scribbled on walls as graffiti; examine what life was really like for average city-dwellers and the hazards they faced every day; spend a day at Rome’s spectacular public entertainments, such as gladiator games and chariot races; and explore some of the city’s marvelous architectural and engineering works, including the Pantheon and the aqueducts.

We cannot truly understand ourselves unless we comprehend the vital influences of Rome on the modern world - and the lessons the empire can still teach us. The Roman Empire: From Augustus to the Fall of Rome is an excellent guide to one of the most important periods in world history.

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

©2019 The Great Courses (P)2019 The Teaching Company, LLC

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Gregory S. Aldrete is a treasure

I've been looking forward to this since I listened to The Rise of Rome. He makes history relatable, presents opposing viewpoints, and gives a great perspective on the subject. I love all of Aldrete's Great Courses audiobooks. Even my husband, who generally dislikes audiobooks, enjoys his work.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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A Good Listen but Incomplete

20 lectures on the 500 years of the western empire and one lecture on the 1000 years of the Eastern Roman empire makes the series very unbalanced for those interested in history. The lecture style can be best described as 'forced conversational' in that it's clear that the professor is reading, but he tosses in a style to make it seem conversational' which ultimately leads to it being more distracting than easy listening. The four stars is based on the fact that what is presented is of good quality and we'll prepared.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Eh...its OKAY,,though seemed a bit monotone/boring

This "Course" is just a quick overview/ relisting of all the major "stories" of the fall of the Roman Empire from Augustus onwards. I didn't think it was a bad listen, though , I have listened to far better and more exciting/interesting courses/books.

The voice narration of the professor seemed also different than in previous other Great Courses that I have listened to. Mainly it seemed more kind of monotone and like it had been re-recorded and edited and was not a real passionate, enthusiastic (thinking engaged with speaking) "speech" type of course.

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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History comes alive!

Gregory S. Aldrete has done an amazing job! Great amount of information and so captivating! Many thanks from Russia.

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Great!!!

Great course and great teacher. It is the fourth course from Prof. Aldrete and all of them have been amazing.

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GREAT OVERVIEW OF LATER ROMAN HISTORY

As a student of history this series of lectures is a great overview of Rome's empire and culture. Progrssor Aldrete gives the listener a look inside life in Rome from the reign of Augustus to the fall of Byzantium. Interesting insights into how rvents shaped the lives of all stratas of Roman Society. Dr. Aldrete's performance was clear and concise, with a good mix of drams and humor.

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Love Aldrete, like the content

I think Gregory Aldrete is a great narrator whose cadence and inflections can easily keep one captivated throughout any story, but the pacing and depth in some chapters leaves something to be desired in an otherwise excellent rundown of the (mostly Western) Roman Empire. At times, certain sequences of events and periods of times are completely glanced over with little justification for why, while other events and periods are granted considerable attention. It's understandable that these courses have certain limitations of time, though it would be nice to have a slightly greater balance of pacing throughout the series, wherein chapters outlining chronology and chapters covering themes or individual, nonsequential topics are more evenly distributed throughout the audiobook.

With all that being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed this course as much as Professor Aldrete's other works, and I would highly recommend it to anyone interested in the subject. Even if you feel sufficiently knowledgeable about the Western Roman Empire, Aldrete always makes efforts to include lesser-known details and individual stories that may surprise even enthusiasts of Roman history, and a quick brush-up on the broader strokes is always nice.

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Superior speaker

Of all the great courses books I have been through, Gregory Aldrete is of the top two speakers, without question. This is my favorite book so far on this subject.

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  • smjm
  • 02-01-19

Enjoy Gregory S. Aldrete as a narrator

I have listened to the Rise of Rome, Roman Emporers: Good, Bad, and Crazy, and Spartan Warfare also narrated by Gregory. The content is always well put together and Gregory’s passion for the topic comes through and I never felt any part was difficult to listen to. I also listen to all audiobooks twice and have done the same with these.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • lucylocket
  • 01-31-19

Hard to listen to

Sorry to the narrator but I found him really difficult to listen to so I abandoned it after the first chapter. I’m really interested in the subject but his delivery was putting me off.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Nick Bedson
  • 03-09-19

Entertaining and informative.<br /><br />

A good listen. Pleasent speaking voice and full of interesting anecdotes. Particularly interesting to hear the emphasis on everyday folks' experiences.