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Publisher's Summary

With commanding skill, Thomas R. Martin tells the remarkable and dramatic story of how a tiny, poor, and threatened settlement grew to become, during its height, the dominant power in the Mediterranean world for 500 years. Encompassing the period from Rome's founding in the eighth century BC through Justinian's rule in the sixth century AD, he offers a distinctive perspective on the Romans and their civilization by employing fundamental Roman values as a lens through which to view both their rise and spectacular fall.

Interweaving social, political, religious, and cultural history, Martin interprets the successes and failures of the Romans in war, political organization, quest for personal status, and in the integration of religious beliefs and practices with government. He focuses on the central role of social and moral values in determining individual conduct as well as decisions of state, from monarchy to republic to empire. Striving to reconstruct ancient history from the ground up, he includes frequent references to ancient texts and authors, encouraging readers to return to the primary sources.

Comprehensive, concise, and accessible, this masterful account provides a unique window into Rome and its changing fortune.

©2018 Thomas R. Martin (P)2018 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Ancient Rome

Average Customer Ratings
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Great review and understanding of Christianity

I have Found it difficult to understand how the Roman Empire disintegrated and moved over into the Christian role.

How the invasion of the barbarians change the world in Europe

I found that this book gave me clear dating and how years rolled by and what happened during these different epochs

Spacestationark

4 people found this helpful

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Familiar story in new perspective

I have listened to a couple dozen audiobooks about the history of Rome. This follows the same storyline, naturally. The perspective is in the telling. If you love the Rome of the ancient world, you'll like this. It's a little better than four stars.

3 people found this helpful

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Fails the Turin test

This book sounds like its being read by a computer, the story was interesting but such a wooden delivery made it hard to enjoy.

2 people found this helpful

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Good short read, narrated poorly

The text of this book is very solid, but the reader is quite monotone and difficult to listen to for long stretches

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent narrator

This is a great read of what seems to be a outstanding college term paper. History students should love this work but for everyone else, maybe not so much.

2 people found this helpful

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A superb, concise history of Rome

Super-focused, keeps the information not only relevant, but makes key developments understandable by presenting the cause and effect relations. Explains fundamental shifts in values, beliefs, and so on in ancient Rome. All to-the-point, clearly written and easy to follow. Excellent reader, too. Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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I wish I knew more about this fascinating topic.

If I knew more about the history of Rome, I would be in a better position to rate this book. Overall, I see no reason to doubt any of the observations.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Ky
  • 01-12-21

Great book

Just enough detail without getting bogged down in minutiae. Well paced and very insightful. Great

1 person found this helpful

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Good survey

Tough subject to cover in a single volume. Martin emphasises the interaction Rome has with surrounding peoples (subjugation, language, laws, infrastructure, religion, etc).

Highlights leaders that had impact (positive and negative) instead of a catalog. Good introduction to the subject

1 person found this helpful

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Insightful

This reading provides a great overview of the Romans in a well paced and wonderfully organized manner. It gave me a wonderful insight into how an ancient civilization has shaped our modern world. I enjoyed the reflections on the human condition that still plagues us today. I do have some questions about the presentation and representation of Christian beliefs and history. However, it is mostly neutral and overall a fair representation.

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  • Andrew
  • 09-15-21

Lightweight and superficial content. Reader ok.

This book only really skims the surface and it is difficult to see what audience this aims at. Much of the content skips very superficially along without being interesting - for example, a major civil war is skipped over in a couple of sentences. This comes across very much like a high level précis of someone else’s work. There are far better works out there on all levels.
The reader is decently competent, mispronounced a few names here and there., but not too egregious.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Glenn Michael Harper
  • 04-17-22

no booty in this discarded waste basket

Listening to this for 9 hours soon became an uphill struggle and an exercise in perseverance with scant reward to show at the end. A rambling scattergun of a narrative attempts to outline the society and culture of Rome, with character vignettes that go unexplained and the bold premise of encapsulating centuries worth of history in one book is a sunken failure.

Martin seems to enjoy mentioning the word 'booty' every few pages, like a forlorn king, struggling to fight against the waves of present day vernacular, that denotes 'booty' not as reward but as the rear end. Perhaps a drinking game whenever 'booty' is uttered could brighten this dour affair?

Unfortunately, the rear end is a perfect analogy for the quality of the narration by Lescault, whose starched delivery fails to engage on any memorable level.

One to avoid.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MR J H T Ashworth
  • 08-14-21

why this narrator?

I imagine the book is fascinating but couldn't deal with the narration. it is like listening to a droid. had to turn off.

1 person found this helpful

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  • kris clark
  • 09-13-22

not as good as Ancient Greece

I really enjoyed the authors " Ancient Greece:, ancient Rome wasn't as enjoyable, because of repetition, the author also discusses Jesus as a historical figure without references to historical texts. fictional charactors surley should not be included in historical nonfiction.

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  • Eugene Oconnell
  • 06-28-22

Like a Catholic priests version of History

To start with the narrator speaks in a tedious monotone that does not change at all.
As to the content in which through the first 600 years of the empire in double quick time then it deals in mind-numbing detail with the growth of the Christian church. I am not at a religious seminary and was bored out of my skull. I suggest this book is largely for those of a Christian religious persuasion. Otherwise don’t waste your time like I did

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  • Susan Sabin
  • 03-04-22

Poorly read

Dreadful pronunciation! Such a shame. just a little bit of homework on how names, bith ancient and modern, woukd make this so much better. I cringed at the way some names were pronounced.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-27-21

its ok

ok overview of roman history. nothing special nothing terrible. could be better and could be worse.

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  • Duck
  • 10-22-21

An excellent starting place

This book succeeds admirably in its stated intention of giving a broad overview of ancient Rome, with the aim of inspiring further research and reading.

As someone who came to the subject with essentially zero knowledge, this has helped me at least get something of a grasp on this time. If you are already well read on this period I doubt there is much here to entice you as it doesn't deal with any one subject in depth, but given that it covers such a huge span of time in less than 9 hours, that's understandable.

The narrator is absolutely fine. It's certainly not the most inspired reading I've heard, and doesn't liven up what is potentially already a dry subject, but it's clear and well read throughout.

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  • Rob Beresford
  • 06-29-21

My first Audible Book. Impressed.

Very enjoyable listen to the reader about Ancient Rome by Thomas R Martin. I look forward to listening more audiobooks.