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The Roman Empire: From Augustus to the Fall of Rome

Narrated by: Gregory S. Aldrete
Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
Categories: History, Ancient
4.5 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)

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Summary

When Octavian, who took the title of Augustus as the first emperor of Rome, defeated Mark Antony to become the sole ruler of the Roman world, it was a major turning point in Western civilization. Not only did his decades-long rule completely transform the old Roman Republic into the Roman Empire, but it also profoundly shaped the culture and history of our world today. The Roman Empire: From Augustus to the Fall of Rome traces this breathtaking history from the empire’s foundation by Augustus to its Golden Age in the 2nd century CE through a series of ever-worsening crises until its ultimate disintegration.

Taught by acclaimed Professor Gregory S. Aldrete of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, these 24 captivating lectures offer you the chance to experience this story like never before, incorporating the latest historical insights that challenge our previous notions of Rome’s decline. You’ll examine the major events and familiar figures of the Roman Empire, including:

  • The political innovations of Augustus
  • The mental instability and cruel acts of Caligula and Nero
  • Writers such as Ovid, Horace, and Virgil
  • The stoic philosophy of Marcus Aurelius
  • Constantine’s startling conversion to Christianity

You’ll also look beyond the famous figures and delve deeply into the lives of ordinary Roman citizens. You’ll hear the messages they left on tombstones or scribbled on walls as graffiti; examine what life was really like for average city-dwellers and the hazards they faced every day; spend a day at Rome’s spectacular public entertainments, such as gladiator games and chariot races; and explore some of the city’s marvelous architectural and engineering works, including the Pantheon and the aqueducts.

We cannot truly understand ourselves unless we comprehend the vital influences of Rome on the modern world - and the lessons the empire can still teach us. The Roman Empire: From Augustus to the Fall of Rome is an excellent guide to one of the most important periods in world history.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 The Great Courses (P)2019 The Teaching Company, LLC

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Enjoy Gregory S. Aldrete as a narrator

I have listened to the Rise of Rome, Roman Emporers: Good, Bad, and Crazy, and Spartan Warfare also narrated by Gregory. The content is always well put together and Gregory’s passion for the topic comes through and I never felt any part was difficult to listen to. I also listen to all audiobooks twice and have done the same with these.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

Hard to listen to

Sorry to the narrator but I found him really difficult to listen to so I abandoned it after the first chapter. I’m really interested in the subject but his delivery was putting me off.

5 people found this helpful

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Entertaining and informative.<br /><br />

A good listen. Pleasent speaking voice and full of interesting anecdotes. Particularly interesting to hear the emphasis on everyday folks' experiences.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Laurel Tucker
  • 04-02-19

Gregory S. Aldrete is a treasure

I've been looking forward to this since I listened to The Rise of Rome. He makes history relatable, presents opposing viewpoints, and gives a great perspective on the subject. I love all of Aldrete's Great Courses audiobooks. Even my husband, who generally dislikes audiobooks, enjoys his work.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Grazen
  • 18-02-19

A Good Listen but Incomplete

20 lectures on the 500 years of the western empire and one lecture on the 1000 years of the Eastern Roman empire makes the series very unbalanced for those interested in history. The lecture style can be best described as 'forced conversational' in that it's clear that the professor is reading, but he tosses in a style to make it seem conversational' which ultimately leads to it being more distracting than easy listening. The four stars is based on the fact that what is presented is of good quality and we'll prepared.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Lily
  • 20-07-19

good information but narration poor

good information but left out much of the horrors of the Muslim regime and part in decline of welll....everything in the mediteranin . narration is annoying with inflection on first of every word and slow....listened at 1.25 and felt barely normal.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-12-19

Good overview of Roman History

Gregory Aldrete takes us by the hand from the times of Augustus to the fall of Rome. Though sometimes complacent with main stream history of the Empire, there are some special chapters in which Professor Aldrete gives take a deep focus on certain parts of Roman history that are notably interesting. In particular, I enjoyed his analysis of the fall of the Empire and his various passages on everyday life and spectacles of the inhabitants of the city of Rome. I would have liked more mentions about the sources and their reliability.

1 person found this helpful

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  • horoscopy
  • 09-02-19

Eh...its OKAY,,though seemed a bit monotone/boring

This "Course" is just a quick overview/ relisting of all the major "stories" of the fall of the Roman Empire from Augustus onwards. I didn't think it was a bad listen, though , I have listened to far better and more exciting/interesting courses/books.

The voice narration of the professor seemed also different than in previous other Great Courses that I have listened to. Mainly it seemed more kind of monotone and like it had been re-recorded and edited and was not a real passionate, enthusiastic (thinking engaged with speaking) "speech" type of course.

5 people found this helpful

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  • steven
  • 28-04-20

Excellent and engaging lectures

This is another awesome lecture put out by a the Great Courses. As it goes, some of this producers courses are going to be better than others. And this is one of the better ones. Greg Aldrete is very knowledgeable. He is a good teacher in the way his lessons are organized. And he is an enthusiastic narrator. These are the elements that make for an exciting and engaging lecture. Copying the PDF files to IBooks, and reading a little behind the audio gave me another chance to digest all the information. Two thumbs up. I only wish I had gone through the precursor historically in his lecture of the Roman republic (which I’m about to start now), but I don’t feel like it’s an absolute prerequisite if you also end up starting here. He gives a quick backstory to catch the listener up.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-09-19

Good synopsis

Good for what it is as a quick outline for those just wanting a basis or dipping their toes in before further readings. Lecturer is clearly knowledgeable and picks out the most important facts for an broad understanding of an even more broad era in time. Love the last few chapters. Aldrete analyzes the historical debate between opinions on our understanding of Rome. Also he breaks down how Rome’s legacy lives through till this day. Definitely should pair with his lecture series on the era of the republic to get a better sense of the overall story.

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  • Jerry
  • 20-09-19

Great information

This is a great follow up course to his previous course on Rome. You will learn a lot.

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  • Denis
  • 20-05-19

History comes alive!

Gregory S. Aldrete has done an amazing job! Great amount of information and so captivating! Many thanks from Russia.

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  • Alvaro
  • 09-05-19

Great!!!

Great course and great teacher. It is the fourth course from Prof. Aldrete and all of them have been amazing.