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Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire [Kindle Edition]

Simon Baker
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
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Book Description

This is the story of the greatest empire the world has ever known. Simon Baker charts the rise and fall of the world's first superpower, focusing on six momentous turning points that shaped Roman history. Welcome to Rome as you've never seen it before - awesome and splendid, gritty and squalid.

From the conquest of the Mediterranean beginning in the third century BC to the destruction of the Roman Empire at the hands of barbarian invaders some seven centuries later, we discover the most critical episodes in Roman history: the spectacular collapse of the 'free' republic, the birth of the age of the 'Caesars', the violent suppression of the strongest rebellion against Roman power, and the bloody civil war that launched Christianity as a world religion.

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. Putting flesh on the bones of these distant, legendary figures, Simon Baker looks beyond the dusty, toga-clad caricatures and explores their real motivations and ambitions, intrigues and rivalries.

The superb narrative, full of energy and imagination, is a brilliant distillation of the latest scholarship and a wonderfully evocative account of Ancient Rome.

Product Description


"Lively and well-researched: an excellent read" (Peter Heather, author of The Fall of the Roman Empire)

"This is a history of Rome that combines vivid drama and a gripping storyline with a keen alertness to bigger historical questions" (Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at Cambridge University)

"Brings the distant past to fully fleshed life" (Good Book Guide)

"Highly recommended" (Birmingham Evening Mail)

"Rome is revealed as it really was - gritty, magnificent and sometimes pretty sordid. Splendid stuff" (Manchester Evening News)

Book Description

An accessible and highly entertaining single-volume history of Ancient Rome

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2219 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Digital (30 Sept. 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003ZDO8S4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,242 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
116 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and gripping read !! 5 Oct. 2006
By Alan J. Stedall VINE VOICE
I found it very difficult to put this book down.

Simon Baker takes a refreshingly novel approach to describe the centuries-long panoply of the rise and fall of the greatest empire the world has ever known.

Instead of plodding through the subject, the author chooses a number of critical events upon which the fate of the empire turned. He devotes a chapter to each of these events and commences each chapter by describing the circumstances surrounding the event; circumstances which often sound bafflingly inexplicable. He then narrates the story of the build-up that led to the event. As such, each chapter is an absorbing and fascinating story in its own right.

Baker writes in an engaging and unpretentious style and has managed to produce a book that is at once both exciting and educational; a difficult task to pull off.

Stepping back from the detail, I think the author does full justice to the Ancient Romans: A brave, clever, determined and brutal people, whose accomplishments and historic remains leave us astounded nearly two millennia later.

Well recommended.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
The story of the rise and fall of Rome is infinitely fascinating. I picked up this book with very limited knowledge of Rome and a little curiosity, and put this book down with a brand new enthusiasm for the period.

This book squeezes many pivotal moments of Rome's history into a mere 400 odd pages. Chapters include: Revolution, Caesar, Augustus, Nero, Rebellion, Hadrian, Constantine, and Fall. It was such compulsive reading I finished it within three days - and that almost never happens with non-fiction books. Simon Baker has done a fantastic job of making this history book highly readable and accessible to all. It is informative and educational, but not dry as you might expect from the subject matter.

It is an excellent introduction to that period for the uninitiated, but for those who already have some knowledge it may be too basic an overview for you.

I have given this book 5 stars because the genius of this book is that the process of learning is completely painless. Once I picked it up I couldn't put it down.

I thoroughly recommend this to people curious about Ancient Rome, it won't disappoint.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth Reading 6 May 2008
By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER
For anyone interested in the history and events that took place in the Roman Empire this book is like manna from heaven. The author relates Roman history in such a way that the book almost reads like a novel, being both exciting and educational. But if truth be told this is far more interesting than any novel.

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.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of the rise and fall of Rome 25 Feb. 2007
This is the best history book I have ever read. It presents some key periods in Rome's history in detail, and fleshes out the history and context in between these key episodes. The style is light but informative. The author organizes a lot of material in a truly impressive way, pacing the story with skill - it's a real page turner and has none of the pompous dryness that afflicts many history books. Strongly recommended.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read! 8 Sept. 2008
I have just returned from a week sitting on a sun lounger by the side of a pool.
I intended to part read the book on holiday and finish it upon my return.
once i started to read i could not stop & finished the book in 3 days.
The book is very informative but not too heavy going.
Lots of detail & well researched, i almost felt i was there watching the romans ultimatly self distruct!.
A superb read. a+
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read 23 Jun. 2007
By Andy
For anyone interested in the Rome, its leaders and the Roman period, and like me ignorant of the facts that lead to its rise and fall. This a most enjoyable and informative book, full of facts that are easy to take in. Therfore I suggest if you have the slightest interest in Rome and the Roman period in history you go and buy this book.

I could not put this book down, finding it riveting and informative this book I rate high on my list as an excellent read.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 17 May 2007
I was given this book at Christmas. I was immediately hooked on it as it presents Roman history in an interesting way. I have always been interested in Roman history so was great for me. All the information is presented in a easy to understand way, so that even if you have never read anything to do with Ancient Rome you will be able to read this with ease. There is an abundance of information that will greatly expand anyone's knowledge . The book has obviously been researched and a lot of time has been put into it. I awarded this book Five Stars as it is a very good read and I think you will not be able to put it down.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read from start to finish
A fantastic read from start to finish, it takes the major points of the rise and the fall of Rome and fits them into a very interesting read. Read more
Published 24 days ago by Mr. Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
If you enjoy reading Ancient Rome novels this is excellent. Very well written and very good value for money.
Published 1 month ago by GDGBD
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
item arrived in excellent condition
Published 3 months ago by PHILIPPOS VOIDOMATIS
4.0 out of 5 stars and seems pretty interesting so far
Only a short way through, and seems pretty interesting so far. Dropped a star because it's a bit confusing at the start bouncing around the years, but seems to have settled down... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr. Andrew P. Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Standard tome and essential reading
Published 3 months ago by cyclesailer
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
A very interesting read on history
Published 5 months ago by A. West
5.0 out of 5 stars A great overall history - just what I was looking for!
I moved to Rome this year and while I've always adored the city I realised I actually knew very little about its history, and in particular the history of the Roman Empire. Read more
Published 5 months ago by rcb503
5.0 out of 5 stars rome.
Very good read highly recommend.
Published 6 months ago by gerald hone
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining and Well Balanced
I couldn't have asked for a better look at Rome than this. Well, yes I could, but not of this size. Simon Baker has a real talent for storytelling and makes the subject come alive. Read more
Published 6 months ago by J. J. Ward
4.0 out of 5 stars A good overview
I am about to start a new module on Roman history at university and I just wanted to read something that would give me an overview and an introduction to Roman history and this... Read more
Published 8 months ago by John Smith
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