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Publisher Description

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. The rise and fall of Rome is the most thrilling event in world history. And in the hands of master historian Cyril Robinson we hear the narrative of this incredible story in unsurpassed, brilliant, and eloquent language. Discover the fascinating origin of Rome and its mysterious Etruscan connections, its first faltering steps toward republican government in the 8th century B.C., 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 political 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. With Caesar's assassination comes renewed civil war. The aristocratic senatorial faction is defeated and the Republican form of government is replaced by dictatorship. Caesar's adopted nephew, Augustus, comes to power as the first Roman Emperor and puts into place the most extraordinary experiment in imperial government ever attempted. In the process, he paves the way for a long period of peace a golden age the likes of which has never before been seen since.

The Empire is ruled by one dynasty after another some good, some bad until it reaches its apogee during the age of the brilliant Antonine emperors. But chaos follows with a series of corrupt rulers, and only the strong leadership of Diocletion late in the 3rd century A.D. brings stability. Shortly afterward, Constantine's rule promotes the new faith of Christianity and makes it the official religion of the empire.

But the downward spiral of decay cannot be reversed. Economic disruptions, plague and barbarian invasions prove too much for Rome, and the western half of the empire descends into a maelstrom of ignorance, despair and random violence from which it will not emerge for many centuries.

Charlton Griffin
hr min
March 6
Audio Connoisseur