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Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire Kindle Edition
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|Length: 448 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Overall I found this book to be an excellent starting point for anyone wishing to learn about Ancient Rome, its culture, politics, military, and what Rome's accomplishments have meant to western civilization.
The book concentrates on approximately 7 turning points in Roman history and the personalities who mattered the most. I think the chapter I enjoyed the most was the one on the Jewish rebellion. With this as a background I think I'm ready to tackle works of Josephus.
I think you will enjoy this book, if you are like me and a relative novice on Roman history, give it a try.
What has survived rome to this day is truly remarkable - the Formula One car race tracks (now cars instead of chariots) are inspired from Rome, as are the Baseball and football events in their massive stadiums. The Voting system, the religious tolerance, senators, counselors, the idea of a republic, the certification and establishment of Christianity as a formal and widely accepted religion of the masses, the architectural layout of cities, and more.
The Roman history, as is history of most great empires of that time (Greeks, Mongols, Mughals, etc) is full of blood, gore, treachery, deceit, and politics. It can feel quite depressing actually. The rule of Emperor Nero is mind boggling - killing countless people for money, murdering one's own mother, draining the kingdom of its riches for personal gain, etc.
The Roman history also has many lessons to teach - how it is easy to slip away from Republic to an autocracy if the public and government is not vigilant; how lip service to righteousness does not serve kingdoms; how ruthlessness can bring power and fame but not really happiness or peace of mind; how minor vents can set the stage for major catastrophes and change the course of entire history (Constantipole's victory under the cross, refusal of refuge to barbarians, etc); the implications of surrendering power in hands of the weak or the unwise.
I had minimal, if any, knowledge of the Roman history before I started reading this book. Now I feel I can have some conversations at great length with someone who may be more familiar with the subject. Highly recommended to any history buffs, those looking for a great read, or for those who are afraid to read fiction for wasting time but miss the thrill of it :)