I have been looking for an audiobook that explains the Napoleonic period. So I tried Andrew Roberts’s epic, Napoleon the Great.
Emperors of Rome by Garrett G Fagan covers the history of Roman Emperors, with a brief overview of each Emperor’s rises and fall. However the lecture series is let down by the limited historical knowledge on some Rome Emperors, as Fagan knowledges. Where the historical knowledge allows, Fagan provides a highly engaging and informative set of lectures on Rome’s Emperors. 1
Emperors of Rome is very similar to a documentary series; expect there are no moving pictures. It is comparable in level of detail and scope to a documentary series. However, unlike many documentaries, things are not needlessly drawn out. With the Emperors of Rome, having no adverts with the common repetition of what has already been covered. Then again, many documentaries are free, given the adverts, so it is not clear-cut which is best. So it is just a question of how do you value your time? 1
There are three problems with the Emperors of Rome. First, as mentioned above, the lack of historical knowledge prevents a proper examination of many of the Emperors. As Fagan can only provide a few a details that are curranty known. The result is that the Emperors of Rome is prevented from reaching it potential. Second, some of the Emperors are very forgettable, with mad emperors being strangely very similar to each other. Third, it would have been a better experience if it was combined with Fagan’s other lecture on ancient Rome: The History of Ancient Rome. As Rome and her Emperors are closely intertwined. Furthermore, Fagan in both courses says he will leave out bits as they are covered in the other course. 2
Fagan’s narration in Emperors of Rome is easily to follow, and his lectures are clearly laid out. Whereas not all lecturers are able to master public speaking, even if they have written many books on the subject and have great knowledge on the subject. 1
By Arran Wilkins © 2021 (text only)
(1) Fagan, Garrett G. Emperors of Rome (The Great Courses, 2013) Amazon audible, Available at: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Emperors-of-Rome-Audiobook/B00D8HU1V0?ref=a_library_t_c5_libItem_&pf_rd_p=7bf74090-5cb9-4f5e-bc6f-6ea28d055287&pf_rd_r=68DNW8FZQ7D83F1K66CZ [Accessed on 22nd January 2021].
(2) Fagan, Garrett G. The History of Ancient Rome (The Great Courses, 2013) Amazon audible, Available at: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-History-of-Ancient-Rome-Audiobook/B00DIGWR4A?qid=1613652345&sr=1-1&ref=a_search_c3_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=c6e316b8-14da-418d-8f91-b3cad83c5183&pf_rd_r=QT89WTN664XPMF078JFT [Accessed on 18th February 2021].
Fagan, Garrett G. Emperors of Rome (The Great Courses, 2013) Amazon audible, Available at: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Emperors-of-Rome-Audiobook/B00D8HU1V0?ref=a_library_t_c5_libItem_&pf_rd_p=7bf74090-5cb9-4f5e-bc6f-6ea28d055287&pf_rd_r=68DNW8FZQ7D83F1K66CZ [Accessed on 22nd January 2021].
(Image 1) Andrea Albanese. Pixabay. Pixabay License. Available at: https://pixabay.com/photos/colosseum-rome-italy-ancient-rome-2030639/ [Accessed 22nd January 2021].