Famous Romans : The Great Courses: Ancient History

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor J. Rufus Fears
  • Series: The Great Courses: Ancient History
  • 12 hrs and 26 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

These 24 lectures retell the lives of the remarkable individuals - the statesmen, thinkers, warriors, and writers-who shaped the history of the Roman Empire and, by extension, our own history and culture.
Among the fascinating gallery of individuals whose lives, ideas, actions, and legacies you'll explore are Hannibal (who caused the Second Punic War personally, much as Adolf Hitler caused World War II), Augustus (who, beginning at the age of just 19, brilliantly followed a doctrine of ruthless expediency in order to rescue Rome from a century of civil war), and Marcus Aurelius (that most noble and philosophic of rulers who may have hastened the Empire's decline by tolerating the wicked cruelty of his heir).
Professor Fears divides his presentation into three "turning point" epochs in Roman history: Rome's war with Hannibal (the Second Punic War); Caesar and the end of the Roman Republic; and the imperial era between Augustus and Marcus Aurelius.
As he presents the great figures of each period, he makes them seem personal and immediate. As you study these and many other significant Romans, you'll probe fundamental questions about the political and cultural history of Rome. What was the impact of Greek civilization on the Romans? Why did the Roman people, at the height of military, political, and economic power, abandon their republican liberty for the dictatorship of Caesar and his successors? What made the 2nd century A.D. one the most creative periods in world history? And why did the central figures of Roman history hold so much appeal for America's Founding Fathers?
<PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Dumbed down and superficial

If this book wasn’t for you, who do you think might enjoy it more?

This series claims to be university level, but if it is then all I can say is that standards at university have really fallen.

Admittedly I didn't get beyond the first two lectures, but as they both consisted of imaginary conversations between the subject of the lecture and his father, as well as irritating parallels with the the USA (the Ancient Romans got rid of their Kings, just as in the United States we got rid of King George....) it was just too dumbed down for me. A teenager with an interest in history, or someone who likes their learning superficial, may enjoy this - I did not.

A waste of money, and if I could give it no stars I would.

Read full review

- Asha

too narrative.

it is good. but it does not focus enough on the characters of each lecture. it follows the largely narrative route taken by most courses on roman history. for example only the last 10 or so minutes of claudius is on him. the first part focuses on the narrative from augustus through tiberius to caligula.
Read full review

- D

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses