Friday, December 13, 2013

What I'm reading: "Ancient Rome: The Rise and Fall of an Empire" by Simon Baker

Several of my readers have asked me to recommend a good book that gives an overview of the history Ancient Rome.

This is somewhat of a tall order, since the history of Ancient Rome covers so much time and so much diversity. However, Simon Baker's book rises to the task. It is highly readable, and reasonably thorough, all things considered.



The book is slightly more than 400 pages long; and it covers all of the major phases of Ancient Rome--from the Roman Republic through the fall of the Christian Roman Empire. 


I emphasize that this book is an overview. The vast amount of time and events included in Baker's book means that relatively major characters--like Emperors Tiberius and Julian the Apostate--are given only a few pages or paragraphs. Readers who already know the fundamentals of Roman history will probably prefer to focus on texts that deal with specific lives and periods. 

Still, if you are brand new to Ancient Roman history (or need a good review of the basics), then Ancient Rome should serve you well.


The book is slightly more than 400 pages long; and it covers all of the major phases of Ancient Rome--from the Roman Republic through the fall of the Christian Roman Empire. 

I emphasize that this book is an overview. The vast amount of time and events included in Baker's book means that relatively major characters--like Emperors Tiberius and Julian the Apostate--are given only a few pages or paragraphs. Readers who already know the fundamentals of Roman history will probably prefer to focus on texts that deal with specific lives and periods. 

Still, if you are brand new to Ancient Roman history (or need a good review of the basics), then Ancient Rome should serve you well.

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