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Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of An Empire Paperback – July 3, 2007
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Obviously this work has limitations, but contrary to the usual works designed for the general public, Professor Simon Baker from Oxford gives us an unbiased and very accurate depiction of the events.
This work includes 16 pages of color photographs and a good bibliography providing ancient and modern sources for each separate chapters.
After a great introduction by Mary Beard (consultant to the BBC series, a renowned academic and the author of one of the greatest books on Roman History "Pompeii"), Professor Baker gives us a short introduction on the beginnings of Rome.Read more ›
Rome was after all one of the greatest, if not the greatest empire ever known. There are figures from its past that stick out like beacons. Probably the greatest of them all Julius Caesar and of course his main adversary Pompey. Others out of the many notables include Mark Antony, Nero, Claudius and many more.
There were also Rome's great buildings. The Forum, the circus maximus and the Flavian amphitheatre, now more commonly known as the Colosseum, all built to show potential enemies the might that was Rome. Then on to the true might of Rome, its Legions. An army that comprised the greatest fighting force the world had ever seen. Because of their discipline and rigid training they were at that period in history, virtually unbeatable.
The author pulls all these facts together beautifully to make a book that is not only informative and educational but also high readable as well.
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.
My only complaint would be that since this book was sort of rushed to press (I'm guessing) to coincide with the 6-part (?) BBC series of the same name, the author gives short shrift to stuff that's not actually part of the BBC series, even though it's important for Roman history. Dozens of pages about Nero but only a single paragraph about Caligula, for example -- even though Caligula is arguably more important in the history of the empire since it was during his reign that an omnipotent head of state really went off the rails for the first time.
Also very little on Sulla, for the same reason: the video version gives that period short shrift so this book does too.
I could think of many examples of this.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love Roman history. Loved this book. Always new nuggets to digest.Published 9 days ago by Jean Spencer
Interesting read that follows the Roman empire from its inception until falling apart. The focus is on the long list of rulers over many centuries and was enlightening. Read morePublished 16 days ago by yuliya
The author very adeptly allows the reader to understand how the Roman Empire came to be and came to cease. He humanizes them. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Palm Beach Panther
Snapshots of Roman history! Learned a lot about the empire and how they dealt with the then-changing waves of tyranny and colonialism. Great read!Published 3 months ago by Marcus