Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire” as Want to Read:
The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  1,291 Ratings  ·  174 Reviews

From Anthony Everitt, the bestselling author of acclaimed biographies of Cicero, Augustus, and Hadrian, comes a riveting, magisterial account of Rome and its remarkable ascent from an obscure agrarian backwater to the greatest empire the world has ever known.

Emerging as a market town from a cluster of hill vi
ebook, 480 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by Random House (first published January 1st 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Rise of Rome, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Will The author includes Romulus and Remus in the part of his book labeled "Legends." He includes the traditional myth of the twins left to die outside…moreThe author includes Romulus and Remus in the part of his book labeled "Legends." He includes the traditional myth of the twins left to die outside town and raised by wolves, but also includes other historians theories about their origin. Lupa means wolf, but it also was a slang word for prostitute. The king could have allowed his twin sons to be raised by a woman of ill repute because of the earlier omens. (less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Georgina Ortiz
Oct 22, 2012 Georgina Ortiz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a nerd. And my love (bordering on obsession?) for Ancient Rome has even made me more of a nerd. Not many people my age (or any age for that matter) possess this kind of dedication to the memory of one of the greatest empires the world has ever known (this is a fact and not pure gushing on my part).

It is because of this love (not just for Ancient Rome, but for history in general) that I recommend The Rise of Rome to other enthusiasts of Ancient Roman history and culture. The way Anthony Eve
Jun 18, 2016 Darwin8u rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
"On occasion, contemporary academics overreach themselves. They dismiss incidents because they are, to the rational mind, simply implausible; they must have been made up. Unfortunately, much in history is implausible.”
― Anthony Everitt, The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire.


There is no doubt that Everitt knows his Classical stuff. His previous books: Cicero: The Life and Times of Rome's Greatest Politician and Augustus: The Life of Rome's First Emperor were fantastic. Hadr
Sean DeLauder
Jan 13, 2014 Sean DeLauder rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, everitt
Everitt's The Rise of Rome is a two- (maybe three) pronged recounting of the beginnings and evolution of the western world's most prominent power prior to and during the early Christian era.

The book's structure is centered upon significant episodes in the genesis and development of Rome the city as the empire expanded, beginning with the traditional history. This first stage is acknowledged as having nuggets of truth, in that the overarching event described probably occurred, but has likely been
Jonathan Watkins
As a history major – and especially as one who enjoys classical Rome – finding a solid, yet easily readable, narrative on the early history of the Roman Republic has been a goal of mine. Adrian Goldsworthy’s “How Rome Fell” is an excellent source on the later Roman Empire, but the early phases of the Republic, combined with the mythological underpinnings that the people of Rome they themselves believed, can make this opening difficult for beginners on the subject. I would highly recommend Anthon ...more
Dec 01, 2012 Socraticgadfly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A solid overview of Republican Rome.

Everitt, especially in looking at the early years of the republic, and the ancient authorial sources, breaks their writing, like Caesar's Gaul, into three parts:
1. The largely to entirely mythical
2. The mythical by nature, but reflecting a historical core
3. The largely historical

And, with that, tells how the city grew to become a city-state and more.

A large part of this is discussing Roman politics: consuls, plebian tribunes, pleb, patricians (and knights) as
The Rise of Rome is a rather nice overview of a vast time period, starting with the mythological Romulus and Remus and culminating with the assassination of Julius Caesar. I wanted to read something not overly dense, but still well-researched and reliable, and I got just that. My main complaint about this book is the lack of focus. I am not very knowledgeable in the history of the great empire just yet, so I found the endless names and dates, and battles a little overwhelming. I did appreciate t ...more
Myke Cole
Nov 28, 2015 Myke Cole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An excellent survey of Rome from its legend-shrouded birth through the end of the Republic (which Everitt considers to be Sulla's hegemony, rather than Caesar's crossing of the Rubicon. Everitt gives a very brief wavetop view of Rome post-Sulla up to Octavian), told with flair and a feel for dramatic story-beats and centering around the characters that made the history of this city-state more implausible than any work of fiction.

Everitt is to be commended in particular for his organization of th
same excellent style (Cicero, Augustus) that makes it hard to put down; on the other hand while the mythical beginnings are covered well, the book starts becoming very diluted after that and even the narrative pull suffers. There are still some good parts - the story of Pyrhus for example, but by the Punic Wars the book becomes really mediocre and you can read Wikipedia for better stuff.

Overall for early Rome, I still recommend the extant Titus Livius (Livy) on which i grew up, but this book wil
Where many histories of Rome prefer to focus on its fall or the transition of Classical to European Europe, Anthony Everitt offers a reading of Rome’s rise. The Rise of Rome reaches back into Rome’s mytho-historical past, when Rome was little more than a market town and concludes with the rise of Augustus Caesar.

Mr. Everitt has written a popular, but comprehensive, history of Rome’s rise that will satisfy most neophytes interested in learning how Rome came to be one of the greatest empires the
Mar 19, 2015 Libby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm reeeeely happy with this book! I had decided that I needed to spruce up my pathetically inadequate knowledge of Roman History and this book is just perfect for what I needed. It is written in a direct manner that doesn't put style ahead of substance, but keeps your attention on the subject at hand. It is divided into three simple sections. The first is labelled "legends" and is the Roman's own myth of the founding of the city. However, as he recounts the myth, the author also gives us archeo ...more
Eric Folley
Jan 12, 2013 Eric Folley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun read! I understand why some more conventional historians would oppose the meshing of myth and fact (and all the in-betweens), but I found it quite useful as a prequel for my recent trip to Rome. Everitt is right: unless you understand how the Romans understood themselves, a significant part of which was based on the mythic founding and founders of the city, it is hard to understand much of the classical iconography and architecture that you will find there.

I also couldn't help but think of
Jan 08, 2015 Bill rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I am a general reader interested in U. S. and English history, but I read The Rise of Rome with the hope of learning something about the beginning of the Roman Empire. I was vastly disappointed. Rather than concentrating on specific topics such as how Rome grew militarily or how its constitution was ultimately subverted, Everitt approaches Rome’s growth chronologically. The result is an endless series of confusing names and places incorporated into anecdotes that do not have any apparent connect ...more
I'd recommend this as a "getting to know early Roman history" text for newbs to the era. A lot of it was new/refresher material from long-ago college courses that have been gone through various forms of memory holes. The last third was a familiar retread of events covered in the first few books of Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series. The narrative momentum slowed down in this section since it was "been there, done that" stuff.

However, the early history - legendary Rome, the Etruscans - s

This book took a long time to read. It just didn't grab my attention, but I kept at it and slogged through it. The author knows what he is talking about, but he doesn't know how to explain it, in an palatable way, to someone who doesn't know the subject.

Honestly, I do not believe there was one entire page that was engaging. A lot of names and short little tidbits of interesting facts that got my attention of good things to come, but evaporated in the very next sentence. Disappointingly, the Kind
Margaret Sankey
Although this is nothing new, this is an adroit recap of the 700 years of Rome's ascent from market town on a ford in the Tiber River to world power. Everitt has an eye for the juicy anecdote, and does a good job dissecting what, of Rome's more spectacular political folklore, might be archaeologically, reasonably true.
Aug 21, 2015 Gert-Jan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-books
This book gives a popular description of the history of Rome. The writer uses both mythical as well as regular historical sources. The book starts with stories based on myths and ends with mostly really happened historical stories. I already knew most of the events described in the book. Some more in detail and some more high level.

This book will give semi detailed report of the important events how the Roman empire became the super-power now know. The book is ordered on time with some times a
Having read Anthony Everitt's book on Rome's first emperor Augustus (born Gaius Octavius) I was intrigued by a book just focusing on the Rise of Rome (as opposed to all the books written on the Rise and Fall, the Decline or the Fall of Rome). In this book, Everitt focuses on the first 7 centuries of Rome up to the time of Augustus and his rival, Mark Antony (Marcus Antonius). He traces Rome's humble beginnings as a agrarian village in the early 7th Century B.C. through is steady, but tumultuous ...more
I probably would have given this 4 stars if not for the rushed ending. The book is about the rise of Rome as a world empire, from it's beginnings to the fall of the Republic. The author spends considerable time going over the various wars (Punic, Macedonian, Carthage), but gives short shrift of the last 100 years of the Republic. The years of Marius and Sulla go by in less than a chapter, and at the end of that chapter we get two pages of Caesar and Augustus. The last pages could have read "Ther ...more
I give Anthony Everitt credit for taking on this subject, which has largely remained untouched in the field of classical studies: that of the rise of Rome. Gibbon himself said that it was among the two most puzzling aspects of this society-the other being its fall of course a rite of passage for any classical scholar. The rise, however is harder, much harder: legend and fact are so intimate in the early days of Rome that it is very difficult, if not impossible to separate the two successfully. E ...more
This is a good beginner's guide to the history of ancient Rome, without getting too worked up about it. There is nothing particularly special about it, but then again the aim of the book is to provide a chronological overview of how the Romans really came about without having the reader take on several different historical sources. It's the Starbucks coffee version of a much bigger with some CDs at the counter.

Everitt has broken up the book into Legend, Story, and History
Peter Mcloughlin
The book starts out with letters between Cicero and Varro writing each other about the lack of virtue in their own generation during the civil wars that would eventually lead to the rule of Agustus. The book traces the arc from the beginings of a small city state with a somewhat devolved republic growing throughout Italy meeting opposition of people around them and conquering them. They integrated these people into the Roman state on fairly liberal terms. This helped the growing power of Rome m ...more
Jul 22, 2014 Zelda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
Ordinarily this sort of book would not be my first choice for a summer read but things happen. So, yes, this went to the beach with me. Not because I couldn't put it down so much as because I wanted to finish this mofo and get on with my summer. Sorry.

Not that it wasn't a very fine book because it was and Anthony Everitt does pop-history a good turn here. If I have criticisms they sound like: a lot of the material is based on speculative evidence which is not the author's fault but makes it har
Ahmed Chowdhry
Aug 17, 2014 Ahmed Chowdhry rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good. My first foray into Roman history and i thoroughly enjoyed it.

What makes the book good? Everitt writes for a wide audience, and provides a fine overview of the factors, viewed through the lens of episodes involving key figures, which contributed to the rise of what was essentially a large tribe in the centre of the Italian "peninsula" becoming the hegemon of the immediate region and then later the Mediterranean basin and beyond. Via entertaining and informative narrative portrai
เนติวิทย์ โชติภัทร์ไพศาล
ตังแตกอตัง (ผสมตำนานปรัมปรา) จนถึงยุคสินสุดสาธารณรัฐ
อานงาย พาไปพบกับวีรบุรุษและภูมิศาสตรในทีตางๆ สนุกไปทังเรือง
Everittt does it again! Known for his biographies of great Romans, this time Everitt tackles the "biography" of Roma herself. This book focuses on the *rise* of Rome, perhaps assuming that her decline and fall have already been covered at some length since the time of Gibbon. There is probably little need for the average Classicist to read this one - I found it contained little I didn't already know - but it is exceptionally well-told and arranged, and I would now consider this book a must-read ...more
Simon Hollway
Bradfrord Makara
I purchased this book when I was at the Metropolitan Museum. I was so hypnotized by the vitality of the ancients that I just needed to bring a piece home with me. The book is organized into three parts. The first part is composed entirely of myths of early Rome, the second part is legendary but has a historical core, and the third and final part is historical. You see how the Romans were and how they viewed themselves and their origins. It gives insight into their culture and lives. It's fun to ...more
Nov 06, 2014 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I quoted these lines aloud to my wife and we laughed:

* "the powerful Greek foundation of Cumae, then under the eccentric but highly effective rule of an effeminate despot who first made his name as a male prostitute, Aristodemus the Queen"
* "They were fighting Jugurtha, a very able but unscrupulous grandson of the old Numidian king Masinissa."

... this book has a thousand of 'em. It was enjoyable reading, just letting the phrases roll by: the crazy improbable facts which, are as much poetry as th
Erik Graff
Sep 07, 2014 Erik Graff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rome fans
Recommended to Erik by: Kelly
Shelves: history
Everitt, a professor of visual and performing arts, has a hobby: classic studies. The author of several biographies of famous Romans, he has produced a readable history of the Republic from its legendary foundations until its collapse.
Rather than presenting a long, dry recapitulation of archaeological evidences as regards the formation of the Roman state, Everitt treats of the legends as represented by late Republican and early Imperial authors such a Cicero, Livy and Varro. In other words, he
Italo Italophiles
Aug 31, 2014 Italo Italophiles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Rise of Rome: The Making of the World's Greatest Empire is divided into three parts:

Part 1 - Legend, the story of the founding of Rome and the rule of the city-state under kings.
Part 2 - Story, the conquest of Italy and the growth of the Roman system of government.
Part 3 - History, the Roman Republic and its growth as a Mediterranean power.

This is not a comprehensive history, but an introduction to the history of Ancient Rome covering the eras from 753 B.C. (the purported founding of the vil
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Ghosts of Cannae: Hannibal & the Darkest Hour of the Roman Republic
  • Rome: An Empire's Story
  • The Roman Triumph
  • Ghost on the Throne: The Death of Alexander the Great and the War for Crown and Empire
  • Augustus: First Emperor of Rome
  • The Spartacus War
  • Carthage Must Be Destroyed: The Rise and Fall of an Ancient Civilization
  • Rome's Last Citizen: The Life and Legacy of Cato, Mortal Enemy of Caesar
  • The Roman Revolution
  • The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians
  • The Poison King: The Life and Legend of Mithradates, Rome's Deadliest Enemy
  • The Day of the Barbarians: The Battle That Led to the Fall of the Roman Empire
  • Pagans and Christians
  • Rome and Jerusalem: The Clash of Ancient Civilizations
  • Soldiers and Ghosts: A History of Battle in Classical Antiquity
  • Marcus Aurelius: A Life
  • A History of Ancient Britain
  • Legions of Rome: The definitive history of every Roman legion
Anthony Everitt is a British academic. He studied English literature at the University of Cambridge. He publishes regularly in The Guardian and The Financial Times. He worked in literature and visual arts. He was Secretary-General of the Arts Council of Great Britain. He is a visiting professor in the performing and visual arts at Nottingham Trent University. Everitt is a companion of the Liverpoo ...more
More about Anthony Everitt...

Share This Book

“The Oracle at Delphi contained three maxims emblematic of Greek life. "Know yourself." "Nothing in excess." and, "Offer a guarantee and disaster threatens.” 0 likes
More quotes…