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Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire Paperback – 7 Jun 2007


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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: BBC Books; Reprint edition (7 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1846072840
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846072840
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Little Miss Average on 26 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
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 By J. Chippindale TOP 500 REVIEWER on 6 May 2008
Format: Paperback
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 By R. M. Tuson on 8 Sept. 2008
Format: Paperback
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 By Sean Parry on 28 Jun. 2011
Format: Paperback
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 By William on 19 Nov. 2009
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 By jpb1993 on 19 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
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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