• Naked Statues, Fat Gladiators, and War Elephants

  • Frequently Asked Questions About the Ancient Greeks and Romans
  • By: Garrett Ryan
  • Narrated by: Stephen Graybill
  • Length: 7 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Ancient History
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (105 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

Why didn't the ancient Greeks or Romans wear pants? How did they shave? How likely were they to drink fine wine, use birth control, or survive surgery?

In a series of short and humorous essays, Naked Statues, Fat Gladiators, and War Elephants explores some of the questions about the Greeks and Romans that ancient historian Garrett Ryan has answered in the classroom and online. Unlike most books on the classical world, the focus is not on famous figures or events, but on the fascinating details of daily life.

Learn the answers to questions such as: How tall were the ancient Greeks and Romans?; how long did they live?; what kind of pets did they have?; how dangerous were their cities?; did they believe their myths?; did they believe in ghosts, monsters, and/or aliens?; did they jog or lift weights?; how did they capture animals for the Colosseum?; were there secret police, spies, or assassins?; what happened to the city of Rome after the Empire collapsed?; and can any families trace their ancestry back to the Greeks or Romans?

©2021 Garrett Ryan (P)2021 Tantor

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What listeners say about Naked Statues, Fat Gladiators, and War Elephants

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Garret Ryan delivers an accessible and thoroughly entertaining deep dive

I’m a fan of Garret Ryan and his work on YouTube. While I’m busy on the go, my time to read books is a little limited these days. I’m very happy to say that this audiobook was an intriguing yet comprehensive version of a casual Q&A with a historian. While not informal, it is written in a way that is more conversational rather than rigidly academic.

The narration was good, but Garret has his own YouTube channel (Over 100K subscribers +) and would have been much better had he been able to do it. I would rather enjoy if a rerelease allowed this in the future, no disrespect to the current narrator.

An easy listen that will teach you a thing or two and allow a greater sense of understanding of these two Titans of civilizations. Highly recommend.

3 people found this helpful

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FANTASTIC WRITING, Mediocre Narration

This book is best enjoyed like an encyclopediac FAQ, where you can pick and choose whichever chapters you would like to listen to to satisfy your curiosity.

The writing is extremely accessible as well as entertaining, it really condenses ancient history into a pithy, yet substantial, guide. I loved the author’s YouTube videos and the same goes for his writing.

Nevertheless, I did NOT enjoy the dry narration, often punctuated by mispronunciation, and either read too quickly or too slowly at any given time.

If you can get past the listening experience to the subject matter, you will have a good time. On the whole, I wish I’d read this rather than listened to it.

2 people found this helpful

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A Fantastic Look into odd Roman History

Really great - excited for the audiobook. I read the physical copy and it was a fun read that explored some fun topics that aren’t normally discussed. I highly recommend the book to any fan of history!

2 people found this helpful

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Great first outing for Garrett Ryan

The subject matter here is fascinating, expanding on concepts developed in Ryan’s youtube channel, toldinstone. If you’re interested in this, check that out first. You’ll definitely want to come back for this.

One small complaint, though I didn’t mind Stephen Graybill’s narration, I had gotten used to Ryan’s delivery in his videos, so it would have been nice for him to do the narration for this piece as well. Maybe they can do that for his next book.

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Great book on Roman history.

Well composed and digestible, while being historically accurate. The author shares fascinating quirks of the ancient Romans world and their sphere of influence to entertain, and educate modern audiences. The juxtaposition of his contemporary commentary on the often abhorrent ancient world compelled me to consider our modern times. Would highly recommend to any history fan, many notable tropes of history started during this empire. Skilled reader makes for easy listening.

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great book, incredibly fun and interesting info

The narrator could be a little try at times, but the writing definitely compensated and I thoroughly enjoyed listening

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informative

Love this book. gave a lot of insights into Roman culture and history that I haven't seen elsewhere. Great work Dr. Garrett Ryan. If your unsure if you'd like this book or not go sample his Roman history YouTube channel: Toldinstone

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Great book of summaries

Interesting anecdotes about Rome and daily life there. Not a history book, so don't go into it looking for a full breakdown of historical events.

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"dis book blows my works out da water" -Aristotle

easy to comprehend, a wide range of knowledge and overall just a fun listen.

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very nice account of classic lifestyle

excellent listen. Ive found it Unapologetic, down-to-earth and engaging. I have listened to it twice already.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-29-22

Great, compact, easy!

Loved it. Easy listening. Good for 8-80+ His YouTube channel is AMAZING! Only thing would have been better is if the author had read it!

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  • CoolGeorge
  • 04-14-22

Great book

Narration is best on 1.10x speed but otherwise great book full of interesting stuff

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jonathan
  • 02-03-22

Excellent Humanization if the Classical World

A wonderful way of exploring the classical World. The author brings together multiple sources that do a fine job of taking the listener through a Greek and Roman journey rich in detail and interest. Top notch narration too.

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  • L. Darragh
  • 01-22-22

good primer on Greeks and Roman's

this book was quite interesting, I became aware of its existence from the writers youtube channel. this is a great book for people who want a primer on the ancient Roman and Greek world. I did not have any trouble finishing this book and I recommend. the only thing that threw me was the narrator was different to who narrates his youtube videos.