The Rise of Rome

From great leaders to everyday citizens, delve into the early days and the dramatic collapse of the Roman Republic.
The Rise of Rome is rated 4.8 out of 5 by 92.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent course Excellent course! Very detailed description of the Roman Republic and Roman culture.
Date published: 2021-06-16
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent realism I enjoyed this course. It's agenda of being an overview and not top heavy on minute details was well considered and consistently kept to throughout. I appreciated the emphasis on looking at the generalities of life and culture as a whole rather than just on names-dates-events. Enjoyable enthusiasm was appreciated. I would have liked to have seen more visual aids and pictures used though. All in all a good over view of a jam packed period of history.
Date published: 2021-06-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved it. I found the lectures by Professor Aldrete very informative and easy to understand. His knowledge and delivery of content is intense. I enjoyed the stories and descriptions of events. It made history come to life for me.
Date published: 2021-05-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb and Engaging for Rome Junkies or Beginners I started watching this as part of a subscription to Amazon Prime. And not expecting a great deal, was pleasantly surprised to find the speaker really engaging in his delivery of a subject that he clearly had a mastery of. I have read many books on the Roman Empire and Republic, so already knew many of the details, but Aldrete was able to deliver the key points about life in the Republic, how it worked, and why it went wrong in a way that left you feeling you had answers beyond all of the detail. Highly recommended! 5/5!
Date published: 2021-05-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Ancient Rome Comes Alive I have always been interested in Ancient Rome and thought I knew quite a bit about it so I selected this course more as a refresher than a vehicle to new information. I was so wrong! I enjoyed every minutes of it and found new information and experiences to delight and challenge me in every lecture. In particular, the lectures on Government and daily life in Rome were eye opening. Dr. Aldrete was amazing! Any professor who wears a toga to further promote their subject matter is a winner. I would rather watch Dr. Aldrete lecture than watch TV! My only suggestion for improvement is more graphics. Paintings, Diagrams, Sculptures - I am a visual person so this would have helped cement my knowledge. Aside from that, this course was wonderful and I have already purchased and begun my experience with Rome in the period from Augustus to the fall of Rome.
Date published: 2021-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from THE RISE OF ROME EXCELLENT!!! Professor Aldrette's descriptive breakdown of the roman empire from its rise to its collapse is truly entertaining as well as informative.. one can sense his true passion about the subject matter BRAVO!!!!
Date published: 2021-04-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very informative course I just finished watching this and learned much about the history of the Roman Empire I did not know. Professor Aldrete presents the course very well. I am looking forward to the next course in his series that is about the fall of the Roman Empire.
Date published: 2021-03-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent lecturer and orator! You can tell that Prof. Aldrete studied ancienty oratory very closely. It is honestly impressive how well he is able to communicate through his gestures and posture. He is really a very good and well organized speaker.
Date published: 2021-03-08
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Overview

The Rise of Rome offers you the chance to find out what made this state so powerful-and offers insight into why the republic cast such a long shadow over Western civilization. Over 24 captivating lectures, Professor Gregory S. Aldrete of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay tells the story of Rome's astonishing rise, from its modest beginnings to its stunning triumph over the Mediterranean to the republic's dramatic collapse.

About

Gregory S. Aldrete
Gregory S. Aldrete

As an ancient historian, my goals are to share the enthusiasm for and fascination with antiquity that I feel, and to show some of the connections between that world and our own.

INSTITUTION

University of Wisconsin, Green Bay

Dr. Gregory S. Aldrete is Professor of Humanistic Studies and History at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay, where he has taught since 1995. He earned his B.A. from Princeton University and his master's degree and Ph.D. in Ancient History from the University of Michigan. Honored many times over for his research and his teaching, Professor Aldrete was named by his university as the winner of its highest awards in each category, receiving both its Founders Association Award for Excellence in Scholarship and its Founders Association Award for Excellence in Teaching. That recognition of his teaching skills was echoed on a national level in 2009, when he received the American Philological Association Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Classics at the College Level-the national teaching award given annually by the professional association of classics professors. The recipient of many prestigious research fellowships including five from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Professor Aldrete has published several important books in his field, including Gestures and Acclamations in Ancient Rome; Floods of the Tiber in Ancient Rome; Daily Life in the Roman City: Rome, Pompeii, and Ostia; The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Daily Life I: The Ancient World (as editor); Unraveling the Linothorax Mystery: Reconstructing and Testing Ancient Linen Body Armor (with S. Bartell and A. Aldrete) and The Long Shadow of Antiquity: What Have the Greeks and Romans Done for Us (with A. Aldrete).

By This Professor

The Rise of Rome

Trailer

The City on the Tiber

01: The City on the Tiber

Begin with a simple question: “How did Rome become so powerful?” This core theme will run through much of this course. Here, Professor Aldrete considers the role of the city’s geography and the republic’s unique political structure, both of which allowed Rome to flourish.

32 min
The Monarchy and the Etruscans

02: The Monarchy and the Etruscans

The rise of Rome begins with a monarchy, though much of the city’s early years are shrouded in mystery. Unpack some of the key myths, including the epic of Aeneas and the story of Romulus and Remus, to gain insight into the city’s founding. Then reflect on neighboring civilizations such as the Etruscans.

31 min
Roman Values and Heroes

03: Roman Values and Heroes

Tales and literature from early Rome give us only partial insight into factual history, but they give us great insight into Roman values—what the Romans themselves identified as qualities of ideal citizens. Examine how a few Roman heroes, like Mucius, Horatius, Lucretia, and others embody values of courage, resourcefulness, determination, and more.

30 min
The Early Republic and Rural Life

04: The Early Republic and Rural Life

Witness the transition from the monarchy to the republic—a new era of government that would carry the city through half a millennium. Wade through the mythology and propaganda, as well as Roman historical sources such as the author Livy, to reconstruct how the transition happened, and what the new republic looked like.

29 min
The Constitution of the Roman Republic

05: The Constitution of the Roman Republic

One of the most lasting facets of the Roman Republic is its constitution, which inspired America’s founding fathers, among others. Continue your exploration of the early republic with a look at its system of government and its different classes of people—citizens and noncitizens, patricians and plebeians, senators, soldiers, and more.

31 min
The Unification of the Italian Peninsula

06: The Unification of the Italian Peninsula

What distinguished Rome from neighboring city-states was the republic’s dogged persistence in matters of war. Watch as the Romans conquered neighboring territories to gain control of the entire Italian peninsula—and witness defeats against the Gauls to the north and the Greeks to the east. See how the Romans treated those it conquered.

30 min
Roman Religion: Sacrifice, Augury, and Magic

07: Roman Religion: Sacrifice, Augury, and Magic

Most of us are familiar with some of the gods in the Roman pantheon, which included the likes of Jupiter and Mars, but one of the most fascinating aspects of Roman religion was the way it integrated elements from other cultures. Survey Roman religion as well as its institutions and personages such as the Pontifex Maximus and the vestal virgins.

30 min
The First Punic War: A War at Sea

08: The First Punic War: A War at Sea

The First Punic War is the longest continuous war in Greek and Roman history. Here, delve into the third century B.C.E., when Carthage commanded sea travel throughout the Mediterranean and the Roman Republic was looking to advance beyond the Italian Peninsula. Trace the first war against Carthage.

31 min
The Second Punic War: Rome versus Hannibal

09: The Second Punic War: Rome versus Hannibal

Although the First Punic War was a major victory, the Second Punic War was, in Professor Aldrete’s words, “the crucible in which the Roman Empire was forged.” Encounter the brilliance of Hannibal, learn the strategy and impact of the infamous Battle of Cannae, and see how Roman leaders combatted and eventually defeated him.

30 min
Rome Conquers Greece

10: Rome Conquers Greece

Although the Romans had seen great military and political victory, they were still provincial in many ways until they conquered the Greeks. At that point, Greek civilization entered and began to influence the Romans in unexpected ways. But, as you’ll learn in this lecture, the Roman expansion beyond Italy may have been something of an accident.

32 min
The Consequences of Roman Imperialism

11: The Consequences of Roman Imperialism

Roman imperialism gave the republic great and far-flung territory, but it left many of its people wanting. Soldiers entered the military expecting riches and glory, only to come home penniless. Meanwhile, conquered people were far from happy. Review how the Romans administered their growing territory—and its effect on those in the home city.

32 min
Roman Slavery: Cruelty and Opportunity

12: Roman Slavery: Cruelty and Opportunity

Rome is one of only a few civilizations throughout history to be a true slave state. Here, learn where Roman slaves came from and find out about the nature of their servitude—including what daily life was like for many slaves. Then look at ways slaves could buy or earn freedom, and what life was like for freed slaves.

31 min
Roman Women and Marriage

13: Roman Women and Marriage

Because Rome was such a patriarchal society, we have few historical records from women’s points of view. Nevertheless, historians have been able to deduce much about what life was like for Roman women. Life varied greatly between rich and poor, but women throughout the society were expected to marry and live sheltered lives.

30 min
Roman Children, Education, and Timekeeping

14: Roman Children, Education, and Timekeeping

Continue your study of ordinary Romans—this time with a look at the life of children, which could be quite brutal by today’s standards. Learn about their toys and games, and then turn to the system of education. Finally, take a look at the Roman system of timekeeping, which organized the days, months, and years.

29 min
Food, Housing, and Employment in Rome

15: Food, Housing, and Employment in Rome

Food, shelter, and a livelihood are three of the most basic needs for people everywhere. In this lecture, Professor Aldrete surveys what Romans ate, where they lived, what their homes were like, and what they did for a living. While the upper classes did not work, farming and skilled trades were important jobs throughout the republic.

31 min
The Gracchi Attempt Reform

16: The Gracchi Attempt Reform

By 133 B.C.E., Roman society was beginning to unravel. Veterans who had lost their fortunes in war, farmers who had lost their land, and neighboring citizens who had been conquered were all disgruntled. Meanwhile, factionalism was starting to emerge within the Roman government. See how these tensions began to wear away at the republic and how an attempted reform came not from the disenfranchised, but from one of the most privileged Roman families.

31 min
Gaius Marius the Novus Homo

17: Gaius Marius the Novus Homo

The late Roman republic was characterized by feuding aristocrats vying for power within the government. Meet Gaius Marius, an Italian warlord who went against the conventional mores and was elected 7 times as a consul. Follow his military exploits in Northern Africa and his rise to power within the republic.

31 min
Sulla the Dictator and the Social War

18: Sulla the Dictator and the Social War

Cracks continued to appear in Roman civilization, as the Social War broke out over citizenship and leaders continued to vie for power. Among these leaders was Lucius Cornelius Sulla, who used his military laurels to march into Rome and set himself up as a temporary dictator.

29 min
The Era of Pompey the Great

19: The Era of Pompey the Great

Continue your survey of late republic military leaders. In this lecture, you’ll find out about the life of Pompey the Great, who achieved fame and glory as a young man with ambitions as large as Alexander the Great’s. Trace the events of the first century B.C.E., including the slave revolt of Spartacus.

30 min
The Rise of Julius Caesar

20: The Rise of Julius Caesar

The beginning of the end of the Roman Republic starts with the rise of Julius Caesar. After setting the stage with Caesar’s early career, Professor Aldrete explores the dramatic events that led to Caesar’s election to the senate as well as his legislative and military victories. Tensions within Roman leadership were high.

30 min
Civil War and the Assassination of Caesar

21: Civil War and the Assassination of Caesar

The late republic tensions reached a conflagration the moment Caesar crossed the Rubicon River and led his army toward Rome. Follow the end of his astonishing career, from his exploits in Spain to his war with Egypt to his eventual assassination. Meet Mark Antony and the other conspirators.

30 min
Cicero and the Art of Roman Oratory

22: Cicero and the Art of Roman Oratory

Before witnessing the denouement of the Roman Republic, pause for a moment to reflect on Roman oratory—an art best practiced by the senator and writer Cicero. Cicero’s insights into rhetorical strategy and human nature continue to influence us today—and in his day allowed him to play the role of peacekeeper after Caesar’s murder.

30 min
Octavian, Antony, and Cleopatra

23: Octavian, Antony, and Cleopatra

Following Caesar’s assassination, there was a power vacuum in Rome. Caesar’s heir Octavian eventually took power, while Caesar’s general Mark Antony fled to his lover, Cleopatra. Trace the events from Octavian’s rise to Rome’s war with Egypt and the suicides of Mark Antony and Cleopatra.

31 min
Why the Roman Republic Collapsed

24: Why the Roman Republic Collapsed

The course opened with a simple question: “How did Rome become so powerful?” It closes with an equally simple—if equally unanswerable—question: “Why did the Roman Republic collapse?” In this final lecture, Professor Aldrete offers several leading theories, including the possibility that the republic was a victim of its own success.

32 min