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A History of Rome, Volume 1

Written by: Cyril Robinson
Narrated by: Charlton Griffin
Length: 10 hrs and 36 mins
Categories: History, World

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Publisher's Summary

A History of Rome is the story of a tiny market town on the Tiber, its rise to world domination, and then its slow, terrible plunge to utter ruin. It is the single greatest event in all human history. Discover the fascinating origin of Rome and its mysterious Etruscan connections, its first faltering steps toward republican government, and its methodical subjugation of surrounding tribes. Slowly, the puritanical Roman Republic asserts control over all of Italy and in the process forges a political unity which proves enduring. That unity is sorely tested as Rome comes into conflict with Carthage and Hannibal, a horrifying ordeal which alters world history for all time. A resurgent Rome is next drawn into the intrigues of the eastern Mediterranean, finally conquering the Greek speaking world...only to end up surrendering itself to a seductive, decadent Hellenistic culture. A century of politcal tension and civil strife ensues. Follow the rise of powerful men like the brothers Tiberius and Caius Gracchus, Marius, Sulla, Pompey, Cicero and the greatest Roman of them all - Julius Caesar.

This is Volume 1 of A History of Rome (Unabridged). Don't miss Volume 2.

©2001 Audio Connoisseur

What members say

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Olivier Fuchs
  • 28-07-09

Informative but rusty

Well-researched and informative. It offers a broad view on Roman history, from it's earliest beginnings until the death of Caesar. Fascination story of the rise of an empire.

On the other hand, the writing style is generally old-fashioned. The voice is pleasant and well-paced, but also somewhat posh and patronising. The book is informative and consistent but perhaps lacking some enthousiasm in narration and vivacity in content.

For good or ill, please be aware that this book focuses mostly on the political and cultural aspects, such as the influence of the hellenistic arts and philosophy on the identity of rome. If it's the details of the battles you're after you are bound to be disappointed. All in all I enjoyed it but it does not stand out.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Bernie
  • 18-03-15

The History might be good, the reader is not.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A reading by someone who could speak without a ridiculous, artificially 'posh', pompous accent. Preferably someone who could read through the book first, to get an accurate understanding of the words on the page. Regularly changing the pronunciation and mispronouncing words really doesn't make for an enjoyable read. Could suggest a couple of excellent readers if he'd like to listen to them.

Would you ever listen to anything by Cyril Robinson again?

No.

How could the performance have been better?

A reading by someone who could speak without a ridiculous, artificially 'posh', pompous accent. Preferably someone who could read through the book first, to get an accurate understanding of the words on the page. Regularly changing the pronunciation and mispronouncing words really doesn't make for an enjoyable read. Could suggest a couple of excellent readers if he'd like to listen to them.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Didn't get far enough into the narrative to be able to find out it's undoubted 'redeeming' qualities.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Andrew
  • 12-09-13

A note about the narrator

What did you like best about A History of Rome, Volume 1? What did you like least?

A History of Rome, is all in all very informative but a bit dry. But what I have to comment upon is the narrator. The style of narration seems pompous and affected, surely no one talks like this. The overall effect is of someone pretentiously trying to sound ultra-English, maybe this is the way the man talks but for me it ruined the book, my mind kept wandering away from the narrative and focusing upon the manner of delivery and hoping it would stop. I lost count of the number of times I had to stop the the recording and rewind to catch the piece of information I had just missed because I could not believe the affectation of the narrator. He would be perfect as a Monty Python character. Note to self, never buy another audio book with Charlton Griffin as narrator.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Thank God the narration has finished.

How could the performance have been better?

A different narrator.

Was A History of Rome, Volume 1 worth the listening time?

Just, for the info.

1 person found this helpful