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The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire Hardcover – 1 Feb 2013

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Head of Zeus (1 Feb. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781851034
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781851036
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 4 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 132,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Riveting, magisterial ... one of our most revered chroniclers of the ancient world tells the tale in a way that will galvanise, inform and enlighten modern readers' Belfast Newsletter.

'An excellent guide ... an elegant, swift and faultless introduction to the subject' Spectator.

'Highly recommended ... Everitt's account is an agreeable primer in ancient history' Cleveland Plain Dealer.

About the Author

Anthony Everitt is visiting professor in the visual and performing arts at Nottingham Trent University. He is the author of CICERO, AUGUSTUS, and HADRIAN AND THE TRIUMPH OF ROME.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Holt Sidney Joseph on 16 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A marvellous read
I've read a lot of ancient history, especially Rome and the Mediterranean, but this book was a revelation. Grippingly written. I followed it up by buying the superb 'Rubicon'.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 81 reviews
61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
Good but slightly (inevitably?) superficial 21 Aug. 2012
By K. Kehler - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is a good book, and a worthwhile acquisition especially if you are -- like me -- a semi-retired amateur/dilettante historian. Having said that, I suppose professionals will enjoy the book too, because it gives a good overview. Readers will certainly fly through it quickly, as it is written without the turgid prose that characterizes academic works. It's also nice to get a good breezy work that treats the rise of Rome, given the myriad of books on the fall of Rome.

What makes the book good? Everitt writes for a wide audience, and provides a fine overview of the factors, viewed through the lens of episodes involving key figures, which contributed to the rise of what was essentially a large tribe in the centre of the Italian "peninsula" becoming the hegemon of the immediate region and then later the Mediterranean basin and beyond. Via entertaining and informative narrative portraits, Everitt treats many, but of course not all, aspects of the figures who made Rome. He's strong on the military and institutional aspects and solid on the political, social and ideological (and rhetorical) battles. So what issues do I have with the book? Not too many, other than the superficiality of it: the book, perhaps inevitably, feels rushed. There's a tremendous amount of history covered in it (700+ years), so there are going to be gaps. It's a reliable highlight package.

I've given the book 4 stars. Maybe I've been too harsh, though I just don't feel the book merits 5 stars, for the reason stated above. However, Everitt has collected a lot of interesting material (probably in the course of writing his other books) about Rome and Roman ways, he's and he's a good storyteller. One last point: in the middle of the book, to one's surprise, there is a really good, if short, selection of colour plates! (I've got the hardcover edition but still, it's not often one gets colour plates.) There's also several decent maps, at the beginning, and a good Time Line at the back of the book ... which makes up for a skimpy select bibliography. But to repeat, this is a breezy work of popular history, easy to read and uncontroversial (maybe that's for the best; I've just read Adrienne Mayor's gushing book on Mithradates, so it was a relief to get a plain, old straightforward work of history in the form of Everitt's book).
66 of 71 people found the following review helpful
Masters of the Mediterranean 17 Aug. 2012
By wogan - Published on
Format: Hardcover
So much of our rule of law comes from Rome, the 3 branches of government, the literary heritage, cultural, and architectural history. This book does an admirable job in presenting those facts and how that empire came into being. The contents begin with Troy and describes in detail the leaders, armies, battles, the land, the people and the setbacks on the road to empire...the sacking of Rome, Hannibal.

All is written in a readable style. It becomes at points, almost conversational. There are asides making comparisons to more modern day English history, such as the capturing of the Enigma machine, a "serendipitous chance came to the Republic's rescue"...this is written by an English professor.
There are a few maps and a section of photos, a time line, extensive notes and an index. At many points in the narrative, page numbers are given to refer back to remind a reader about a military general, for instance. It's a good tool.

Since the rise of Rome does not occur without war and battles, many of the pages follow the battles to build that empire; but many interesting incidents are included. A reader cannot help but be impressed by what a military society Rome was. At points, the author asks, how do we know this? And then he explains.
The history of the community, political and social life is touched upon. This is a book that gives the stories, myths, legends, histories and archeological evidence in an interesting and amazingly concise manner, summing up the rise of Rome in 403 readable pages.
22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
A book for a serious reader 10 Sept. 2012
By Frank H - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book contains a wealth of interesting tidbits of history. The author weaves together a number of factors that influence the development of the Roman Empire. However, it is very difficult at times to follow the meaning and impact of each factor. It will take more than one reading to develop and understanding of what the author is trying to convey. This book is probably written for someone who has some previous knowledge of about the subject. Still, I enjoy reading about history and enjoy the enthusiasm the author projects in his writing. I feel it is a scholarly written book that serious readers will find worthwhile reading.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Superb Narrative Flow 5 Jan. 2013
By Tracy Cramer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although I am fascinated by this period in history, I have failed, time and again, to get through any comprehensive history of Rome from its founding through the end of the Republic. This book, however, gripped me throughout. It is scholarly, but it was written for the general reader, and the narration flows. A book like this makes me want to know more as the author necessarily had to speed through many parts to cover 700 years of history in only 402 pages. I will certainly read Everitt's biographies of Cicero, Augustus and Hadrian, where, chronologically, the story will start up again.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Good but not great 8 Jan. 2014
By Justinius Valerius Priscus - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Anthony Everitt has written a decent book on Ancient Rome. My problem with him is that while he gives the traditional account of Roman history he then dismisses much of it as unreliable and offers his own explainations which he does not back up with classical scholarship so in short he is giving his mere unsubstantiated opinions a little bit too often for my tastes.
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