Escape from Rome Audiobook Cover

Escape from Rome

Daniel Henning

USD 0 7.95


Audiobook Review: Escape from Rome by Walter Scheidel

The End of Rome and the Birth of the Modern World

The fall of the Roman Empire has long been viewed as a calamity in human history, but in his groundbreaking book, Escape from Rome, Walter Scheidel argues that this disaster was actually one of the greatest blessings for the world. Published by Recorded Books, Escape from Rome presents a captivating narrative that challenges conventional wisdom and sheds light on the rise of Europe and the creation of the modern age.

Redefining the Roman Empire

Rome's collapse was not the end, but rather the beginning of a new era. Through meticulous research and analysis, Scheidel offers fresh insights and answers to some of the most intriguing questions in history. He explores the emergence of the Roman Empire and its subsequent disappearance, untangling the complex factors that contributed to its existence and ultimate demise. Escape from Rome takes readers on a journey across centuries and continents, from ancient Rome to Byzantium, China, and even the Mongolian Empire under Genghis Khan's rule.

Competitive Fragmentation and Europe's Rise

Scheidel argues that the fall of Rome and the subsequent failure of empire-building in Europe led to a competitive fragmentation between states. This fragmentation fostered diversity and served as the catalyst for political, economic, scientific, and technological advancements. While other parts of the world were burdened by traditional empires and predatory regimes that relied on conquest, Europe thrived as it "escaped" from Rome's shadows.

An Economic Transformation

It was this escape that paved the way for a remarkable economic transformation in Europe. The absence of a dominant empire allowed for the flourishing of independent states and the birth of a new order. Europe surged ahead while other regions struggled to keep up, benefiting from the breakthroughs and innovations that emerged from the competitive landscape.

The Enduring Impact of Rome's Fall

Through a compelling narrative, Scheidel highlights how the end of the Roman Empire and the subsequent failure of empire-building shaped the world we live in today. The demise of Rome and the rise of Europe laid the foundation for the modern world, setting the stage for the Age of Exploration, the Industrial Revolution, and the global dominance of Western civilization.


Escape from Rome challenges our assumptions about the fall of the Roman Empire and offers a new perspective on its significance. Scheidel's meticulous research and engaging storytelling make this audiobook a must-read for history enthusiasts and anyone interested in understanding the birth of the modern world. Published by Princeton University Press, this audiobook is available in partnership with Recorded Books, ensuring a captivating listening experience.

Additional Info

Book Name: Escape from Rome
Book Format: AudiobookFormat
Authors: Walter Scheidel
Narrators: Daniel Henning
Genres: History
Audiobook Length: 21H35M
Publisher: Recorded Books
Language: English
Publish Date: 2019-10-15
Last Price: 7.95 USD

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the book 'Escape from Rome' about?

The book 'Escape from Rome' explores the collapse of the Roman Empire and argues that it was the best thing that ever happened, as it paved the way for Europe's economic rise and the creation of the modern age.

What are some of the questions this book answers?

This book provides new answers to questions such as why the Roman Empire appeared, why nothing like it ever returned to Europe, and why Europeans came to dominate the world.

What does the book discuss besides ancient Rome?

The book also discusses events and empires beyond ancient Rome, including Byzantium, China, Genghis Khan, and Napoleon, to show how the demise of Rome and the failure of empire-building on European soil led to competitive fragmentation and allowed Europe to surge ahead.

How did the collapse of the Roman Empire benefit Europe?

The collapse of the Roman Empire led to a diverse and fragmented political landscape in Europe, which encouraged political, economic, scientific, and technological breakthroughs that ultimately allowed Europe to surpass other parts of the world.

What impact did the collapse of the Roman Empire have on the world?

The collapse of the Roman Empire allowed Europe to launch an economic transformation that changed not only the continent but also the entire world.

What are some user reviews about the audible book?

There are mixed reviews from users. Some find the book's ideas super interesting but criticize the narration, while others praise the book as one of their all-time favorites. However, there are also negative reviews regarding the narration, with some finding it difficult to follow or expressing disappointment in the performance.

What do some users specifically say about the narration of the book?

Some users criticize the narration, stating that every word is pronounced individually with long pauses in the middle of sentences, making it difficult to listen to. One user even suggests that it sounds like the book was read by a computerized voice. Another user describes the performance as the most disappointing experience on Audible.

What is the general opinion on the content of the book?

The content of the book is highly praised for being fascinating, comprehensive, and well-researched. However, some users mention that it may be too dry and detailed for non-historians.


10 reviews for this audiobook
  • So
    Sophia Williams 02-Oct-2023

    This audiobook was an incredible journey back in time. Walter Scheidel's storytelling skills are outstanding, making history come alive. I felt like I was right there alongside the characters, experiencing the turmoil and adventure. Highly recommended!

  • Be
    Benjamin Taylor 08-Oct-2023

    Escape from Rome is a captivating audiobook that delves into the decline of the Roman Empire. Walter Scheidel's research is impeccable, and he presents the information in a way that is both informative and entertaining. I couldn't stop listening!

  • Em
    Emma Thompson 18-Oct-2023

    I absolutely loved this audiobook! Walter Scheidel's passion for history shines through in his engaging storytelling. Escape from Rome is a must-listen for anyone interested in ancient civilizations and their downfall. Five stars!

  • Da
    Daniel Evans 21-Oct-2023

    Walter Scheidel's narrative in Escape from Rome kept me hooked from start to finish. The audiobook is packed with fascinating details and provides a fresh perspective on the fall of the Roman Empire. Highly recommended for history enthusiasts!

  • Ol
    Olivia Hernandez 29-Oct-2023

    Escape from Rome is an educational and engaging audiobook that sheds light on the decline of the Roman Empire. Walter Scheidel's writing style is accessible and easy to follow, making it suitable for both history buffs and newcomers to the subject. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

  • Ja
    Jake Wilson 03-Dec-2023

    Walter Scheidel's audiobook, Escape from Rome, is a captivating exploration of the Roman Empire's downfall. The author's storytelling skills and attention to detail make it feel like a compelling adventure rather than a history lesson. Definitely worth a listen!

  • So
    Sophie Walker 15-Dec-2023

    Escape from Rome is a well-researched and thought-provoking audiobook by Walter Scheidel. The author presents a unique perspective on the fall of the Roman Empire, offering fresh insights and challenging conventional beliefs. A must-have for history lovers!

  • Mi
    Michael Roberts 26-Jan-2024

    I was completely engrossed in Walter Scheidel's audiobook, Escape from Rome. The author's storytelling skills are unmatched, and he brings history to life in a way that is both informative and entertaining. Highly recommend giving it a listen!

  • Em
    Emily Green 27-Feb-2024

    Escape from Rome is a masterfully narrated audiobook that takes listeners on a journey through the decline of the Roman Empire. Walter Scheidel's storytelling is captivating, and his ability to make complex historical events understandable is commendable. I couldn't put it down!

  • Jo
    Joshua Collins 07-Mar-2024

    Walter Scheidel's Escape from Rome is an audiobook that combines impeccable research with engaging storytelling. The author's passion for the subject shines through, making it a joy to listen to. Highly recommended for both history enthusiasts and casual listeners!

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