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54 Reviews
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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

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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


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112 of 114 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absorbing and gripping read !!, 5 Oct 2006
By 
Alan J. Stedall "yoss_uk" (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read, 23 Jun 2007
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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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36 of 38 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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing introduction to a facinating period in history - completely absorbing, 26 Nov 2009
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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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent overview of the rise and fall of Rome, 25 Feb 2007
By 
A. R. Wilkinson (Somewhere in the North of England) - See all my reviews
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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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read, 19 Nov 2009
By 
William (Buckinghamshire) - See all my reviews
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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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a great read!, 8 Sep 2008
By 
R. M. Tuson (Lancs U.K.) - See all my reviews
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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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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truely fascinating..., 28 Sep 2006
By 
I bought this book after seeing the BBC 1 programme, (which starred Michael Sheen as Nero - he was brilliant and barking) This book is truely fascinating... it really brings the Roman world to life. In many ways the book is more rewarding than the TV series because it explores this alien world in the detail it deserves. The book takes you through the big moments in Roman history but it doesn't feel like you are reading a solemn history book. The ancient Romans leap off the page - these were not distant people but immediate larger than life figures making big, difficult decisions. As someone with little prior knowledge, if you felt that life was too short to read loads about the Romans and that there was one book to read on the subject i'd recommend this one... it read more like an episode of the west wing or some political thriller than what I imagined Roman history was going to be like... And in the end I had a vivid picture of Roman history.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent broad history of Rome, 22 Jan 2007
By 
A. J. Adey (England) - See all my reviews
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This is an excellent history of Rome, from its earliest days. It is very readable and full of information which seems to have been passed over in other similar works. There is a useful bibliography from which the reader can fill in the many gaps that such a small book has when it covers such a huge subject.

This is one that I shall probably read again - and soon. I don`t do that with many books. If you are even SLIGHTLY interested, buy it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Very Good Beginners Guide, 21 Nov 2011
By 
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. If you are looking for a quick, enjoyable guide to the story of Rome and its Empire this is a great book to start with. A really good read, fast paced and informative. Perfect as a prelude to more concise reading. Highly recommended.
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