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Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire
     

Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire

3.3 3
by Simon Baker
 

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This is the story of the greatest empire the world has ever known. Simon Baker charts the rise and fall of the world's first superpower, focusing on six momentous turning points that shaped Roman history. Welcome to Rome as you've never seen it before - awesome and splendid, gritty and squalid.

From the conquest of the Mediterranean beginning in the third

Overview

This is the story of the greatest empire the world has ever known. Simon Baker charts the rise and fall of the world's first superpower, focusing on six momentous turning points that shaped Roman history. Welcome to Rome as you've never seen it before - awesome and splendid, gritty and squalid.

From the conquest of the Mediterranean beginning in the third century BC to the destruction of the Roman Empire at the hands of barbarian invaders some seven centuries later, we discover the most critical episodes in Roman history: the spectacular collapse of the 'free' republic, the birth of the age of the 'Caesars', the violent suppression of the strongest rebellion against Roman power, and the bloody civil war that launched Christianity as a world religion.

At the heart of this account are the dynamic, complex but flawed characters of some of the most powerful rulers in history: men such as Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar, Augustus, Nero and Constantine. Putting flesh on the bones of these distant, legendary figures, Simon Baker looks beyond the dusty, toga-clad caricatures and explores their real motivations and ambitions, intrigues and rivalries.

The superb narrative, full of energy and imagination, is a brilliant distillation of the latest scholarship and a wonderfully evocative account of Ancient Rome.


Editorial Reviews

EBOOK COMMENTARY

Employing the "Great Man" theory of history, this book successfully fills a need created in part by the BBC series of the same name (for which Baker was the development producer) and HBO's Rome. Baker's book is purposefully not social history; he does not complicate a subject many readers already find confusing. Instead, he effectively profiles several important figures from Rome's history, although his choices might baffle some historians. For example, Baker devotes more pages to Nero than to Augustus and more to Constantine than to Scipio. He also focuses more attention on Christians and Jews than some might expect from a history of Rome. Considering that he is covering 1000 years in fewer than 500 pages, his methods work well. Baker's explanation of the events that culminated with Augustus becoming emperor is well written, clear, and succinct. Certainly, this is not an academic book, but it may serve to draw more readers to the subject of Roman history. Recommended for public libraries.
—Clay Williams

Library Journal

Employing the "Great Man" theory of history, this book successfully fills a need created in part by the BBC series of the same name (for which Baker was the development producer) and HBO's Rome. Baker's book is purposefully not social history; he does not complicate a subject many readers already find confusing. Instead, he effectively profiles several important figures from Rome's history, although his choices might baffle some historians. For example, Baker devotes more pages to Nero than to Augustus and more to Constantine than to Scipio. He also focuses more attention on Christians and Jews than some might expect from a history of Rome. Considering that he is covering 1000 years in fewer than 500 pages, his methods work well. Baker's explanation of the events that culminated with Augustus becoming emperor is well written, clear, and succinct. Certainly, this is not an academic book, but it may serve to draw more readers to the subject of Roman history. Recommended for public libraries.
—Clay Williams

From the Publisher
“Rome is revealed as it really was – gritty, magnificent and sometimes pretty sordid. Splendid stuff.”
Manchester Evening News

“Brings the distant past to fully fleshed life.”
The Good Book Guide

“Highly recommended.”
Birmingham Evening Mail

“An entertaining but rigorous antidote to the fast-and-loose-with-the-truth approach.”
Radio Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781409073888
Publisher:
Ebury Publishing
Publication date:
09/30/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
448
Sales rank:
316,398
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Simon Baker read Classics at Oxford University. In 1999 he joined the BBC's award-winning History Unit where he worked on Timewatch and a wide range of programmes about the classical world. He was the Development Producer on the BBC One series Ancient Rome - The Rise and Fall of an Empire. This is his second book.

Mary Beard is a Professor of Classics at Cambridge University and a Fellow of Newnham College. She has written widely on the history and culture of the ancient (and modern) world. Her books include The Parthenon and (with Keith Hopkins) The Colosseum. She is Classics Editor of the Times Literary Supplement and her major study of the Roman Triumph was published in 2007.


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Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
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