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In the Name of Rome

The Men Who Won the Roman Empire
Written by: Adrian Goldsworthy
Narrated by: Derek Perkins
Length: 17 hrs and 47 mins
5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Adrian Goldsworthy has received wide acclaim for his exceptional writing on the Roman Empire - including high praise from the acclaimed military historian and author John Keegan - and here he offers a new perspective on the empire by focusing on its greatest generals, including Scipio Africanus, Marius, Pompey, Caesar, and Titus. Each chapter paints a fascinating portrait of a single general, offering in-depth insight into his leadership skills and victories as well as each one's pioneering strategies, many of which are still used today. In the process this absorbing, accessible history tells the complete story of Roman warfare, from the bitter struggle with Carthage in the third century BC to the last desperate attempt to win back the Western Empire in the sixth century AD.

©2003 Adrian Goldsworthy; preface copyright 2016 by Adrian Goldsworthy (P)2016 Tantor

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  • JLB
  • 2017-04-11

This pie was all crust, no filling

What disappointed you about In the Name of Rome?

The author starts the book with a lengthy disclaimer describing the scarcity of sources and reliable information for the individuals and periods he discusses and his reluctance to make assumptions or put weight on modern analysis of them. I would describe my knowledge of Roman history as a little more in-depth than the average random person, by no means an expert.

My chief complaint about this book is that it offered no analysis or new thought about these individuals or events. It felt like a rote recital of basic information that is covered in many other books. With only a little bit of exaggeration, I would describe his coverage of the events as more a summary of the facts. Given the lack of new thought or perspective on the subject, I am unsure what the author's goal was in writing this book.

I fully acknowledge that he states very clearly at the beginning of the book that sources and reliable information are scarce and notes that he will not wander off into questionable analysis. But I was still expecting to learn something new and interesting, or at least get the author's viewpoint on these events.

Has In the Name of Rome turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, I read and enjoyed Goldsworthy's books on Caesar, Augustus, and Cicero. Based on my experience reading these three books, I would definitely try another book from him.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Gerry
  • 2016-04-28

Great series of analyses of Roman Generalship

I found this to be very well narrated, informative and very entertaining. Goldsworthy builds a picture of how generalship, command, the army itself, and the relationships between commanders, subordinates, soldiers and ultimate civil authorities evolved from the republic through the imperial period. Inevitably, because of the paucity of sources there are large gaps but he paints as fair and balanced picture of each commander as is possible. This is definitely a recommended book if you are interested in learning more about the essential elements of the Roman philosophy of command.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan Kuhn
  • 2016-05-30

Great Overview

For a book to cover so many different campaigns, it does an excellent job explaining necessary details and pulling the reader in to understand them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mark
  • Fairfax, VA, United States
  • 2016-04-05

Solid Overview of Roman Military History

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend it to a friend with a serious interest in Roman History.

What about Derek Perkins’s performance did you like?

It is excellent. He does a great job pronouncing Latin names correctly.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not applicable to a book of this kind.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Aaron
  • 2019-10-21

An excellent book!

This is an excellent look at the historical Roman leaders and generals throughout the history of the empire presented in great detail with excellent analysis on their capabilities and strategies. This author yet again establishes himself as the expert on the Roman empire, a true joy to listen to.

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  • Opera Fan
  • 2019-10-13

Well done

Dr Goldsworthy's books on Rome are not to be missed. Both fascinating history and lessons for the present.

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  • DrBCFR
  • California
  • 2019-06-09

Great Military History

Sometimes I find military history audiobooks to be challenging listens. For some reason, while listening to these books, I find it difficult to picture battle lines and strategic maneuvers and visualize the size of forces and other features of battles. I don't know if that is just me, or if this is a problem others have as well. I find reading military histories is preferable to listening to them.

However, "In the Name of Rome" is definitely an exception. I found the text lucid and enjoyable. Adrian Goldsworthy is one of my favorite authors, and this book is now one of my favorite on Ancient Rome. The scope of the book is sweeping, encompassing something like 500+ years of Roman military conquests, but it did an excellent job of drawing connections and conclusions. The evolution of the Roman army and its tactics are traced in a straightforward and coherent narrative.

The narration is excellent, of course. Derek Perkins has such a warm, comforting, and engaging voice.

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  • Brian Cannon
  • 2018-05-04

collection of mini-biographies

interesting history, but little is done to lay out themes connecting the generals he discusses

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  • Ryan
  • 2017-07-16

Excellent

Another excellent book from Adrian Goldsworthy with incredible historical veracity. The narration is also well done and adds to the books eloquence.

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  • Buck
  • 2017-06-22

Really good in depth

really good and in depth of Roman leaders throughout the life span of the Empire