Customer Reviews


55 Reviews
5 star:
 (33)
4 star:
 (15)
3 star:
 (6)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


112 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and gripping read !!
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...
Published on 5 Oct 2006 by Alan J. Stedall

versus
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent introduction
Not a bad book by any means, but i was a little disappointed with the lack of detail - huge events like the war with Carthage are only skimmed over.

BUT, this is a generalist book and gives a decent overview of events.
Published on 26 Feb 2012 by Gsav


‹ Previous | 1 2 36 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Worth Reading, 6 May 2008
By 
J. Chippindale (England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fast-paced, fascinating read, 31 Aug 2007
By 
JK McLaren "mclaren_jk" (Cardiff) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (Paperback)
Without the tortuous lexicon and complex explanations of an academic, Simon Baker here provides a grand sweep of Ancient Roman history, zooming in to just a few key characters along the way. Thus, he is able to draw out the themes and turning points as Rome went from city state to military republic, bloated empire and crumbling, over-stretched failure.
His writing flows along with a verve that reflects very much the rollocking pace and intriguing developments of the story he narrates. Very often, history can be as dramatic as any literary imaginings, and Baker allows his story the big stage it deserves.
For any fan of history and especially Roman history, this book is a great companion piece to books such as Robert Graves' classic I, Claudius or Suetonius' The Twelve Caesars. It is also a great introduction to Roman history in general.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read and very Informative, 4 Jun 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (Paperback)
Roman history spans some 2,000 years with the 'Empire' years sandwiched in the first 1,000. So, to capture that in 300 pages just isn't practical? There were over 100 Emperors, and as many dictators (like Caesar) prior to that, so again, the book simply has to be selective.
I would suggest that those looking to get a really good education in Roman history have read several books on the subject?
This book sticks to Rome's military history / conflicts and the building of the Empire through several of its key and longest serving Emperors. Many others of course are mentioned in passing.
I particularly liked the chapter on Nero but I had no idea that a million Jews suffered at their hands of Vespasian? The book was an interesting and very informative read, though perhaps not the easiest to plough through as there's plenty of text on each page and the book felt more like a 400 plus read to me.
The book tells you little about the life of the average Roman or what the Romans actually achieved apart from dominance. It doesn't get involved with what Rome brought to the party for countries that they ruled (roads, baths etc.), though some of their engineering feats are mentioned in battle.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars epic sweep, 9 Feb 2011
By 
Fergus Reid - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (Paperback)
This book offers you an introductory education in a crucial part of world history. The stuff that happens in this account still affect us, on a daily basis. It suffers a bit for being a 'survey', in that it moves at dizzying speed, but then that suits a newcomer to the history, and you can always pick and choose which bits to investigate later. For me; Nero and the rise of the arts; the sacking of the Jews by the romans; Augustus and Contstantine, and the rise of Christianity.
Its very 'BBC' if you know what I mean, but I think it has quite a good style.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and very enjoyable read, 28 Jun 2011
By 
Sean Parry (Berkshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the greatest histories of mankind., 1 Dec 2010
By 
Mr. R. Safadi "Ray Constantine" (London, England.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (Paperback)
Have you ever wondered how the Roman empire disappeared? Let alone how it all started? This book explains all of that and more. It goes into deep detail on each emperor that controlled the most powerful empire that was ever created. The book is interesting from the first page till the last one and will leave you gripped and wanting to read more. There is more to Rome than Julius Caesar.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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
This review is from: Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and gripping introduction to roman history, 13 Aug 2010
This review is from: Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (Paperback)
Centred around a few crucial moments and persons, the book gives good insights to the "highlights" of roman history. Periods in between are missing or very briefly mentioned, so this is not a comprehensive description of "the whole story". But what it lacks in completeness and detail, it more than makes up for in gripping descriptions of battles and other important scenes. Baker really makes these extraordinary times and people come alive.

The book is the perfect introduction to roman history for those who are new to the subject, or want a vivid description of key events. After reading it, I wanted to know more about the parts that Baker had left out. However, the more comprehensive books I have read on roman history have not been the page-turners that Bakers book is.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent readable survey of Roman history, 8 Oct 2009
By 
R. F. Riesco "Rod Riesco" (Horwich, Lancashire, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book in preparation for my first trip to Rome. It enabled me to trace the basic sequence of events in the history of the Roman Republic and Empire and gain a sense of where the famous names fitted in. The author displays a wide-ranging historical knowledge backed up by notes and references to the latest academic findings, but is always highly readable. In fact parts of the book read more like a thriller. Recommended to anyone looking for an introduction to the history of Rome.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars First class introducton, 19 July 2008
By 
This review is from: Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire (Paperback)
This must the best introduction to Roman history written so far, and one not likely to be superseded in a hurry. Not only that but it has features which can benefit anyone well read in the subject since it casts a new light on some of the most important events in that history.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 36 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire
Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire by Simon Baker (Paperback - 7 Jun 2007)
6.29
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews