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The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire Hardcover – Deckle Edge, August 7, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 93 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Fascinating history and a great read.”Chicago Sun-Times
 
“An engrossing history of a relentlessly pugnacious city’s 500-year rise to empire.”—Kirkus Reviews
 
“Rome’s history abounds with remarkable figures. . . . Everitt writes for the informed and the uninformed general reader alike, in a brisk, conversational style, with a modern attitude of skepticism and realism.”The Dallas Morning News
 
“[A] lively and readable account . . . Roman history has an uncanny ability to resonate with contemporary events.”Maclean’s
 
“Elegant, swift and faultless as an introduction to his subject.”—The Spectator

“[An] engaging work that will captivate and inform from beginning to end.”—Booklist

About the Author

Anthony Everitt, sometime visiting professor in the visual and performing arts at Nottingham Trent University, has written extensively on European culture and is the author of Cicero, Augustus, and Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome. He has served as secretary general of the Arts Council of Great Britain. Everitt lives near Colchester, England’s first recorded town, founded by the Romans.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (August 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400066638
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400066636
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (93 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,363 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Anthony Everitt, visiting professor in the visual and performing arts at Nottingham Trent University, has written extensively on European culture, and is the author of Cicero and Augustus. He has served as secretary general of the Arts Council of Great Britain. Everitt lives near Colchester, England's first recorded town, founded by the Romans.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a good book, and a worthwhile acquisition especially if you are -- like me -- a semi-retired amateur/dilettante historian. Having said that, I suppose professionals will enjoy the book too, because it gives a good overview. Readers will certainly fly through it quickly, as it is written without the turgid prose that characterizes academic works. It's also nice to get a good breezy work that treats the rise of Rome, given the myriad of books on the fall of Rome.

What makes the book good? Everitt writes for a wide audience, and provides a fine overview of the factors, viewed through the lens of episodes involving key figures, which contributed to the rise of what was essentially a large tribe in the centre of the Italian "peninsula" becoming the hegemon of the immediate region and then later the Mediterranean basin and beyond. Via entertaining and informative narrative portraits, Everitt treats many, but of course not all, aspects of the figures who made Rome. He's strong on the military and institutional aspects and solid on the political, social and ideological (and rhetorical) battles. So what issues do I have with the book? Not too many, other than the superficiality of it: the book, perhaps inevitably, feels rushed. There's a tremendous amount of history covered in it (700+ years), so there are going to be gaps. It's a reliable highlight package.

I've given the book 4 stars. Maybe I've been too harsh, though I just don't feel the book merits 5 stars, for the reason stated above. However, Everitt has collected a lot of interesting material (probably in the course of writing his other books) about Rome and Roman ways, he's and he's a good storyteller.
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Format: Hardcover
So much of our rule of law comes from Rome, the 3 branches of government, the literary heritage, cultural, and architectural history. This book does an admirable job in presenting those facts and how that empire came into being. The contents begin with Troy and describes in detail the leaders, armies, battles, the land, the people and the setbacks on the road to empire...the sacking of Rome, Hannibal.

All is written in a readable style. It becomes at points, almost conversational. There are asides making comparisons to more modern day English history, such as the capturing of the Enigma machine, a "serendipitous capture...so chance came to the Republic's rescue"...this is written by an English professor.
There are a few maps and a section of photos, a time line, extensive notes and an index. At many points in the narrative, page numbers are given to refer back to remind a reader about a military general, for instance. It's a good tool.

Since the rise of Rome does not occur without war and battles, many of the pages follow the battles to build that empire; but many interesting incidents are included. A reader cannot help but be impressed by what a military society Rome was. At points, the author asks, how do we know this? And then he explains.
The history of the community, political and social life is touched upon. This is a book that gives the stories, myths, legends, histories and archeological evidence in an interesting and amazingly concise manner, summing up the rise of Rome in 403 readable pages.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although I am fascinated by this period in history, I have failed, time and again, to get through any comprehensive history of Rome from its founding through the end of the Republic. This book, however, gripped me throughout. It is scholarly, but it was written for the general reader, and the narration flows. A book like this makes me want to know more as the author necessarily had to speed through many parts to cover 700 years of history in only 402 pages. I will certainly read Everitt's biographies of Cicero, Augustus and Hadrian, where, chronologically, the story will start up again.
Comment 15 of 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book contains a wealth of interesting tidbits of history. The author weaves together a number of factors that influence the development of the Roman Empire. However, it is very difficult at times to follow the meaning and impact of each factor. It will take more than one reading to develop and understanding of what the author is trying to convey. This book is probably written for someone who has some previous knowledge of about the subject. Still, I enjoy reading about history and enjoy the enthusiasm the author projects in his writing. I feel it is a scholarly written book that serious readers will find worthwhile reading.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
While popular history about Ancient Rome too frequently focuses on the Imperial period, Anthony Everitt reminds us that for every fall from power, there must have been an ascent. Everitt is hobbled by the lack of historical sources dealing with the establishment of Rome and with the early days of the Republic, so the first third of the book relates the foundation myths. While these may seem irrelevant to a historical account, these myths do in fact help us better understand how the Romans viewed themselves. For instance, the legend of Horatius at the bridge in a seemingly hopeless defense of the city was used by later Romans as an exemplar for civic duty, even if that duty required great sacrifice.

In relating the historical period of early Rome, Everitt does an excellent job of showing how the conflicting power centers in the haphazardly constructed Republican government made the decay of Roman power almost inevitable from the start. A modern reader looking for parallels to our own modern governance will surely find them.
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