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Description

These 24 lectures retell the lives of the remarkable individuals - the statesmen, thinkers, warriors, and writers - who shaped the history of the Roman Empire and, by extension, our own history and culture. 

Among the fascinating gallery of individuals whose lives, ideas, actions, and legacies you'll explore are Hannibal (who caused the Second Punic War personally, much as Adolf Hitler caused World War II), Augustus (who, beginning at the age of just 19, brilliantly followed a doctrine of ruthless expediency in order to rescue Rome from a century of civil war), and Marcus Aurelius (that most noble and philosophic of rulers who may have hastened the Empire's decline by tolerating the wicked cruelty of his heir). 

Professor Fears divides his presentation into three "turning point" epochs in Roman history: Rome's war with Hannibal (the Second Punic War); Caesar and the end of the Roman Republic; and the imperial era between Augustus and Marcus Aurelius.

As he presents the great figures of each period, he makes them seem personal and immediate. As you study these and many other significant Romans, you'll probe fundamental questions about the political and cultural history of Rome. What was the impact of Greek civilization on the Romans? Why did the Roman people, at the height of military, political, and economic power, abandon their republican liberty for the dictatorship of Caesar and his successors? What made the 2nd century A.D. one the most creative periods in world history? And why did the central figures of Roman history hold so much appeal for America's Founding Fathers?

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

©2001 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2001 The Great Courses

Ce que les auditeurs disent de Famous Romans

Moyenne des évaluations de clients
Au global
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 5 out of 5 stars
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  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Keith Edwards
  • 2019-02-19

One of the all-time greats

As a junior in college, I enrolled in Freedom in Rome taught by Dr. Fears at The University of Oklahoma. These stories, and Fears skill and passion as a lecturer, have stayed with me for many years. I’m thrilled to find this series on Audible, and I highly recommend these.

Twenty years later, I just visited Rome for the first time, and these stories stayed with me. I’m so grateful for the memories.

13 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Histoire
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marc
  • 2014-08-19

Professor Fears is a joy, listening to him is fun.

Would you listen to Famous Romans again? Why?

Yes, the information is easy to follow, and fun to hear

What other book might you compare Famous Romans to and why?

And book by W.E.B Griffin.

What does Professor J. Rufus Fears bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His voice, it makes one think a friend of Caesar is telling the story.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes

Any additional comments?

I'm going to buy more from him

8 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Abdur Abdul-Malik
  • 2013-07-24

Captivating Biography

Any additional comments?

Hands down one of the most thrilling historical courses I've ever listened to. The description of the Second Punic War makes me wonder why Hollywood hasn't tackled it yet. The war with Hannibal shows just how close Rome came to being eradicated. Had Hannibal fully pressed his advantages Rome may have been a historical footnote and we'd all be speaking a Phoenician derivative.

The sections on Julius Caesar were also extremely well done. The course ends with the philosopher King, Marcus Aurelius, the last of the "Five Good Emperors". His decision regarding succession is given a strong rebuke by Professor Fears.

The first lecture is done in a style a little different from the rest, so let the course build up. Once Hannibal starts crossing those Alps, you'll be hooked!

10 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • kerry
  • 2013-11-10

Outstanding portraits of the Great Romans

What made the experience of listening to Famous Romans the most enjoyable?

The narrator (a college lecturer, actually) approaches his subject with infectious enthusiasm and an excellent grasp on the dramatic details of the lives, triumphs and and machinations of these great men. The anecdotes are excellent and well chosen, and they never stray away from the central thread- that these were the people who moved the world by their will.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Famous Romans?

The story of the Gracchi - Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus- the lecturer imbues his subjects with life, and you get to feeling the peril that they are willing to endure in order to save and shape Rome. And Hannibal- that was one of my favorite lectures. Hannibal and his foil, Scipio Africanus, was a wonderfully well-done piece. I could feel Hannibal's bone-deep hate of Rome and Scipio's implacable decision to stamp him out utterly.

Which character – as performed by Professor J. Rufus Fears – was your favorite?

Can I say all of them? His channeling of Cicero is pretty fabulous. The section on Scipio (the first) is wonderful, too.

Any additional comments?

I thoroughly enjoyed this course. I learned a lot, and intend to pursue Roman history more completely via these Great Courses and other work (as they weren't entirely covered in my education).

3 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Alexander Kirby
  • 2015-12-22

A great introduction for the novice

What did you love best about Famous Romans?

The author's enthusiasm and approach to his subject.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Famous Romans?

I couldn't specify one moment.

What about Professor J. Rufus Fears’s performance did you like?

His enthusiasm for his subject.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The greatness of Rome...

Any additional comments?

I thought the author did a good job making his subject enjoyable and approachable. Some of his lectures might be too simple for people who have already studied Roman history though.

This course would make a great primer for The History of Rome by Fagan course that is also available on Audible.

2 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • ben.doublett
  • 2015-02-12

Choose a different course

Do yourself a favor and go with Garrett Fagan's The History of Ancient Rome or Rome and the Barbarians by Kenneth Harl.

I have gone through several of the Great Courses on Roman history and have always been impressed, but Professor Fears did a terrible job with this one. This course is riddled with exaggerations and impositions of modern sensibilities and ideas onto historical figures.

He massively distorts the Stoic philosophy, presenting it as something much more familiar and attributing to it ideas that were developed by the early Christian church and others by Scottish and French Enlightenment philosophers.

He also treats the Roman concept of religion as if it were much the same as modern monotheism when in fact it was something entirely different, a blend of anthropomorphic polytheism and animism.

At one point he refers to Augustus as the Messiah, implying that this was how he was understood by contemporaries. In fact, the word Messiah does not mean 'savior', as Fears claims, but rather refers to a specific prophecy in the Hebrew bible and means "anointed one". For the Hebrews at the time to call Augustus this would have been unthinkable to them, and the Romans at the time would have no idea what such a term meant.

Fears takes the most sensationalist reports from historical sources, as well as long debunked myths (like that the Romans sewed the Carthaginian fields with salt so nothing would grow there ever again) and presents them unquestioned as historical facts.

His word choice is repetitive and on more than one occasion one can hear the producers giggling in the background when Fears makes a joke.

13 les gens ont trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-10-20

Great series

listened to this one 3 times now and better every time. My favorite professor in the great courses series.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jack Avetisyan
  • 2019-05-21

This is how history should be taught

Wonderful lecturer and great storytelling. I loved how he showed the parallels between the Roman empire and our current political and social behaviors. In the beginning of each lecture he took few minutes to recap the previous lecture which is helpful if you don't listen on daily basis.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joseph
  • 2017-12-04

Dr. Fears is the best!

Nobody teaches and entertains like Dr. Rufus Fears. His enthusiasm for his subject and for history are refreshing.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile

  • Au global
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • T. Rodriguez
  • 2017-11-16

if you love ancient history, and inspiring Tales

... from ancient history, you'll love this audio
recording. the author definitely has a classical view of individuals in history. Having said that, I think that everyone can find something inspirational about hearing how people took on the world either well or poorly, and left a mark on history.

1 personne a trouvé cela utile