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"Ancient Rome" is the story of the greatest empire the world has ever known. Focusing on six momentous turning points that helped to shape Roman history, Simon Baker's gripping narrative charts the rise and fall of the world's first superpower - a political machine unmatched in its brutality, its genius, its lust for power. From the conquest of the Mediterranean beginning in the third century BC to the destruction of the empire at the hands of barbarian invaders some seven centuries later, we discover the most critical episodes in Roman history: the spectacular collapse of the 'free' Republic, the birth of the age of the 'Caesars', the violent suppression of the strongest rebellion against Roman power, and the bloody civil war that launched Christianity as a world religion. At the heart of this account are the dynamic, complex but flawed characters of some of the most powerful rulers in history: men such as Pompey the Great, Julius Caesar, Augustus, Nero and Constantine. Putting flesh on the bones of these distant, legendary figures, Simon Baker looks beyond the dusty, toga-clad caricatures and explores their real motivations and ambitions, intrigues and rivalries.
This is Rome as we've never seen it before - awesome and splendid, gritty and squalid. Accompanying a landmark BBC television series, "Ancient Rome" is a fresh, fast-paced history which addresses themes about the nature of power that are as relevant today as they were two thousand years ago. This book contains a foreword by Dr Mary Beard, Fellow of Newnham College, Cambridge.