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Summary

In Ancient Rome all the best stories have one thing in common: murder. 

Romulus killed Remus to found the city, Caesar was assassinated to save the Republic. Caligula was butchered in the theatre, Claudius was poisoned at dinner and Galba was beheaded in the forum. In one 50-year period, 26 emperors were murdered. But what did killing mean in a city where gladiators fought to the death to sate a crowd? 

Emma Southon examines real-life homicides from Roman history to explore how perpetrator, victim and the act itself were regarded by ordinary people. Inside Ancient Rome's unique culture of crime and punishment, we see how the Romans viewed life, death and what it means to be human.

©2020 Emma Southon (P)2020 W. F. Howes Ltd

What listeners say about A Fatal Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Popular history at its best.

Emma Southon has played a blinder here. A serious exploration of Roman attitudes to the killing of individuals which is explained in colloquial and conversational ways. Some will say that swearing undermines an argument but they’re being silly. And this brings me to my one disappointment. The narrator reads this book like Alexa would. How someone could fail to give life to the language here is beyond me but she gave me the impression she was too lofty to be saying things like “chinny reckon”. It just needed and deserved more life.

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Not a serious history book

I thought I was buying a serious history book but this is awful. Every other minute, there's a four letter word: F*** or p*** or s***. WHY THE VULGARITY? It's both offensive and patronising and a real turn off. I'm returning this book.

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Concise and fun to listen

Really nice. I will definitely return to it for another listen. Quite enjoyable narration and full of interesting information