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

Simon Baker
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 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.

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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: 2893 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
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,617 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 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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6 of 6 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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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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and very enjoyable read 28 Jun. 2011
It's been a while since I've sat down and read a history book. In fact it's been over 10 years. I prefer to read a good story, something like Cannery Row (Penguin Modern Classics) I can read again and again and when you have such writing from John Steinbeck, real life isn't as nearly as appealing.

But, this book broke the mould for me and kept me hooked. I've recently also finsihed watching Rome - Season 1-2 - Complete (HBO) [Blu-ray]y and was completely gripped by the story of the empire and wanted to learn more. This book certainly didn't disappoint and taught me so much more of the history of Rome, the Emperors and the culture. It was a fascinating read, but also one I could casually pick up and enjoy on the commute to work.

I would thoroughly recommend this book to many of my friends as a good read and to anyone who has an interest in Rome or European history and culture.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read 19 Nov. 2009
By William
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is popular history at its very best: wonderfully, compulsively readable. It's more like an epic thriller than a history book. If you have the slightest interest in Roman history - and you should - then this is a great place to start. So many parallels with today's world order.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read- even if you don't like history 19 Aug. 2010
By jpb1993
I came across this book and got it for Christmas, hoping it would be a great read and not a poor and quickly written book to accompany a television series- I was not disappointed. This book is every bit excellent in its very own right.

The book covers roughly 4 key aspects of Roman history, from disputes over land with Tiberius, to the conquests and death of Caesar, the taming of Judea by Vespasian, the corruption and madness of Nero, Christianity and Constantine, Hadrian, the sacking of Carthage and Rome, and much, much more. If you want to know a lot about Roman history in the space of just 418 pages, this book is yours for the taking. It's well written, easy to read and understand, it's wonderful, especially if like me you didn't know a great deal about Roman history beforehand, and what effects it is still having on our society today.

I could only wish that this book could go more in depth, but the fact that Baker covers so much in such detail so quickly is a great sight to behold, and the best thing is it's literally 99.9% accurate to the letter, so you won't come away feeling in anyway cheated.

Don't hesitate, add it to your collection now, it's great for any age group
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 17 days ago by Navnit P.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
very very good
Published 19 days ago by Grharris
4.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly enjoyable read on the history of the Roman Empire
For anyone who has even a slight interest into the rise and fall of one of the most enduring empires this world has ever seen, Simon Baker does a wonderful job in illuminating the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. G. S. Sangera
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by john moralee
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good book well worth a read and would recommend.
Published 2 months ago by robert james offord
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I am interested, like many others, in this period of history and was looking for a book that wasn't too learned but still informative. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Chris Wood
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty boring read
Pretty boring read. Don't know what I was expecting but felt like I was back at school with an old history book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by James
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read.
Great read really enjoyed this book and would recommend.
Published 4 months ago by Eric McCarthy
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 5 months 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 6 months ago by GDGBD
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