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Publisher's Summary

The Roman Republic is one of the most breathtaking civilizations in world history. Between roughly 500 BCE to the turn of the millennium, a modest city-state developed an innovative system of government and expanded into far-flung territories across Europe, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. This powerful civilization inspired America's founding fathers, gifted us a blueprint for amazing engineering innovations, left a vital trove of myths, and has inspired the human imagination for 2,000 years.

How did Rome become so powerful? This mystery has vexed historians from the ancient Greek writer Polybius to 21st century scholars. Today, removed as we are from the Roman Republic, historians also wonder what it was like to be a Roman citizen in that amazing era. Beyond the familiar names of Romulus, Caesar, Octavian, Brutus, and Mark Antony, what was life like for the ordinary people? And what did the conquered peoples think of this world power?

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 The Teaching Company, LLC; 2018 The Great Courses

What listeners say about The Rise of Rome

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-03-2018

Great for the Beginner

If you're entirely new to the history of the Roman Republic, pick this course up. It's a fine introductory survey that covers Rome's early history right up to the reign of Augustus. However, if you're already steeped in Roman history, you might not find anything fresh or exciting. Aldrete is a fine lecturer and an obvious master of the subject, though, and I have no complaints against him.

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  • Christopher
  • 08-02-2018

Very good, but doesn't stand out

This is a very solid course, and if you're new to Roman history or to The Great Courses, it would be a fine place to start.

But if you're like me – a long time fan of TGC on Audible, and something of an ancient history enthusiast – then there is not a lot here that you haven't heard already from TGC's other ancient history offerings, namely Garrett G. Fagan's excellent two-part survey course, composed of "The History of Ancient Rome" and "Emperors of Rome", and Robert Garland's course on "Daily Life in the Ancient World."

Though the focus here is on just why the Roman republic became so powerful (And it IS just about the republic – it leaves off right as Octavian/Augustus seizes power, whereas a lecture on the "Rise of Rome" really ought to take you through at least to Trajan.), it's really not much more than another (admittedly very decent) survey course of Roman history. And that's a bit of a shame, as Aldrete has written books on such specific things as Greek linen body armor and floods of the Tiber in antiquity. TGC's ancient history offerings could use more specificity of focus, and Aldrete is perfectly qualified to give that to us… But that's not what happened.

To sum up: it's a perfectly enjoyable course, but don't expect any major revelations if you're already familiar with the subject.

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  • Jacobus
  • 19-03-2018

An excellent introduction to Rome until Augustus

In twelve hours you get 24 lectures about Rome giving an introductory bird's view of the Roman world. Professor Aldrete has the ability to keep it interesting throughout. He is quite knowledgeable about the subject matter.

You do not need to know Latin and Prof Aldrete keeps his pronunciation of names and places very English. (I couldn't help wondering if he can read Latin.) By doing so he keeps it accessible to Everyman.

I appreciated that he suspended the historical narrative at some point in the course for a bit to deal with the social world of the Romans. It was quite informative. He discussed daily lives, where our calender came from etc.

If you are looking for a all-in-one course on the Roman world until Caesar Augustus, this is the right course for you.

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  • Dave
  • 06-08-2018

Enjoyable and educational

This course is well put together. It presents the rise of Rome in an accessible manner that requires little to no previous knowledge. The teacher explains all the niche concepts so you have all the background needed to get the most out of the course. I found this more compelling than some of the fiction series I was in the middle of.

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  • DSK
  • 10-08-2018

great!

we really enjoyed it. he took something that can be dry and made it very compelling while preserving the nuance and complexity.

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  • Louis Bourgeois
  • 25-07-2018

loved it!

I really enjoyed this audible book by the Great Courses. I've been obsessed with Roman history for the past couple years now and I've been reading and listening to all sorts of different materials on it. What I really like about this one was how he cross-referenced all the ancient historians of the time from polybius to Livy to Cicero and other contemporaries. this was an excellent book to learn about how the Republic Rose and how it alternate Lee cell. I recommend

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  • C. Polstra
  • 04-11-2020

Fantastic Summary

As someone who didn't know much about Rome before I listened to this, I really enjoyed this and I feel like I now have a pretty good understanding about at least how the republic of Rome worked and the general history of what went down. I do prefer the more lecture style course such as in a classroom and recorded live but this was nice and clean audio and the presenter was pretty solid.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-10-2020

Great Insight Ahead

This book has been very satisfying to listen to. It has several golden nuggets hidden along its well presented script. I've gained several new anchorpoints for future conversations on the topic of Rome, and have also acquired a more diverse set of tools to further discuss The Art of War by Sun Tsu, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, and Platos Republic. Will definitely recommend this book to any other scholars of the Human Condition Vertchu

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  • Stephen Whitaker
  • 10-03-2020

Another series of awesome lectures

10/10 Would listen again. I’ve started to listen to Great Courses while at work, and it’s reignited my passion for history. I will continue to listen voraciously for as long as I can find new material.

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  • Michael
  • 18-01-2020

Great as usual.

Five stars. Like listening to your favorite uncle tell you an interesting story, except the story is a Bona fide college course and you don’t even notice it is.

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  • Lord Peridot
  • 11-07-2018

Lecture Titles

Lecture 1 The City on the Tiber Lecture 2 The Monarchy and the Etruscans Lecture 3 Roman Values and Heroes Lecture 4 The Early Republic and Rural Life. Lecture 5 The Constitution of the Roman Republic Lecture 6 The Unification of the Italian Peninsula. Lecture 7 Roman Religion: Sacrifice, Augury, and Magic Lecture 8 The First Punic War: A War at Sea Lecture 9 The Second Punic War: Rome versus Hannibal Lecture 10 Rome Conquers Greece. Lecture 11 The Consequences of Roman Imperialism Lecture 12 Roman Slavery: Cruelty and Opportunity Lecture 13 Roman Women and Marriage Lecture 14 Roman Children, Education, and Timekeeping. Lecture 15 Food, Housing, and Employment in Rome. Lecture 16 The Gracchi Attempt Reform Lecture 17 Gaius Marius the Novus Homo Lecture 18 Sulla the Dictator and the Social War Lecture 19 The Era of Pompey the Great Lecture 20 The Rise of Julius Caesar Lecture 21 Civil War and the Assassination of Caesar Lecture 22 Cicero and the Art of Roman Oratory Lecture 23 Octavian, Antony, and Cleopatra. Lecture 24 Why the Roman Republic Collapsed

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  • Jake
  • 28-07-2020

Misleading title. School-level education.

I expected the title "The Rise of Rome" to entail a specialised and detailed analysis of the Republic's geopolitical strategy, but instead the title is an expression of its generic content. I'm not criticising the lecturer, necessarily, but rather the marketing executive who decided to entitle the course, not as a promise of further education but as a promise of foundational demystification. This is not higher or further educational academia we are dealing with here, but rather content that might otherwise be found in a TV documentary. So, for example, if the author wants to talk about the role of (upper-class) women in Rome, then entitle your work "Rome: the City of an Empire," or "Roman Culture and Society," or something such like. In another example, the author talks about manumition and the capacity for some slaves to rise within niches of society. Interesting, but what does it have to do with the "rise" of an empire if the author does not contextualise it within economics, sociology, or from some other analytical perspective? I should really just read some academic articles; there's no shortcut to deep knowledge.

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  • Bilberry
  • 30-01-2019

magnificent

If i have one crtitism of this audio book is that it is simply not long enough. But never mind becasue now can go back to listening to Livy and actually understand what he is rabbiting on about

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  • Mr
  • 14-01-2019

Comprehensive but not convoluted

A comprehensive history of the Roman Republic which is both narratively captivating and compelling, without doing what certain other history books do, which is drawing contemporary parallels. It also touches on those segments of society which have little in the way of first hand accounts, such as those of the lives of women and slaves, drawing conclusions from third hand accounts and cross-referencing them with roman ideals, societal pressures, societal prominence, scandals etc, in order to draw a nuanced distinction between what women were expected to do by the predominantly male aristocratic senators, male historians and male monarchs, and what they might have done in reality.

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  • Manish
  • 12-08-2018

The Roman Republic

Great book. Should really be called An Early History of Rome. Wonderful accounts of life in Rome not just an account of famous Romans.

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  • Ahmet
  • 11-10-2019

nice course for filling the gaps

the course speed is great and enslavery and dailylife chapters were very valuable for me. Nice course.

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  • hfffoman
  • 21-10-2020

Masterful and interesting

I find the Great Courses a very mixed offering but this is a superb series of lectures I would recommend these to anyone even if they think they aren't interested in the Romans, and much better than the turgid SPQR (much as I respect its author). On the strength of this I have purchased two more series of Adrete's lectures.

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  • Dave
  • 12-12-2018

Thoroughly enjoyed it!

A fascinating subject, entertainingly presented, and I felt I learned a lot. Would thoroughly recommend!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Deus
  • 28-01-2018

Excellent

An excellent lecture series. I wished it did not have to end. I hope there is a continuation of the series by the same lecturer.

1 person found this helpful

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