Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire

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Overview

Ancient Rome is the story of the greatest empire ever known.

Focusing on six momentous turning points that helped to shape Roman history, Simon Baker’s gripping narrative charts the rise and fall of the world’s first superpower – a political machine unmatched in its brutality, its genius, its lust for power.

From the conquest of the Mediterranean beginning in the third century BC to the destruction of the empire at the hands of barbarian ...

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Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire

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Overview

Ancient Rome is the story of the greatest empire ever known.

Focusing on six momentous turning points that helped to shape Roman history, Simon Baker’s gripping narrative charts the rise and fall of the world’s first superpower – a political machine unmatched in its brutality, its genius, its lust for power.

From the conquest of the Mediterranean beginning in the third century BC to the destruction of the empire at the hands of barbarian invaders some seven centuries later, we discover the most critical episodes in Roman history. 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. This is Rome as we’ve never seen it before – awesome and splendid, gritty and squalid. Accompanying a landmark BBC television series, Ancient Rome is a fresh, fast-paced history which addresses themes about the nature of power that are as relevant today as they were two thousand years ago.

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Editorial Reviews

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

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

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781846072840
  • Publisher: B B C Worldwide Americas
  • Publication date: 6/28/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 326,328
  • Product dimensions: 5.02 (w) x 7.86 (h) x 1.14 (d)

Meet the Author

Simon Baker read Classics at Oxford University. In 1999 he joined the BBC’s History Unit where he has worked on Timewatch and a wide range of programmes about the classical world. He is the Development Producer on the BBC One series Ancient RomeThe Rise and Fall of an Empire.

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.

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Customer Reviews

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