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This is a very solid course, and if you're new to Roman history or to The Great Courses, it would be a fine place to start.
But if you're like me – a long time fan of TGC on Audible, and something of an ancient history enthusiast – then there is not a lot here that you haven't heard already from TGC's other ancient history offerings, namely Garrett G. Fagan's excellent two-part survey course, composed of "The History of Ancient Rome" and "Emperors of Rome", and Robert Garland's course on "Daily Life in the Ancient World."
Though the focus here is on just why the Roman republic became so powerful (And it IS just about the republic – it leaves off right as Octavian/Augustus seizes power, whereas a lecture on the "Rise of Rome" really ought to take you through at least to Trajan.), it's really not much more than another (admittedly very decent) survey course of Roman history. And that's a bit of a shame, as Aldrete has written books on such specific things as Greek linen body armor and floods of the Tiber in antiquity. TGC's ancient history offerings could use more specificity of focus, and Aldrete is perfectly qualified to give that to us… But that's not what happened.
To sum up: it's a perfectly enjoyable course, but don't expect any major revelations if you're already familiar with the subject.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful
If you're entirely new to the history of the Roman Republic, pick this course up. It's a fine introductory survey that covers Rome's early history right up to the reign of Augustus. However, if you're already steeped in Roman history, you might not find anything fresh or exciting. Aldrete is a fine lecturer and an obvious master of the subject, though, and I have no complaints against him.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful