The Histories Audiobook Cover

The Histories

Jonathan Booth

Ukemi Audiobooks presents 'The Histories' by Polybius, translated by W. R. Paton. The audiobook provides a detailed account of Rome's rise to power, overcoming the Carthaginian Empire and subjugating the city states of Greece. Polybius, a Greek historian, offers a firsthand perspective and includes historical background, conflicts, battles, diplomacy, and key personalities. The narrative covers a century of continuous warfare, brutal times of torture and slaughter, as well as examples of honorable engagement and diplomacy. With engaging authority, Jonathan Booth narrates the unabridged version of 'The Histories,' supported by additional material and an extensive PDF. The audiobook is a comprehensive resource for understanding Rome's ascendance to empire. (summary max length: 150 words)

USD 0 14.95


Audiobook: The Histories

How did the city state of Rome rise inexorably to become the dominant power in the Mediterranean and much of the Western world? In short, first of all it overcame the established Carthaginian Empire despite the remarkable exploits of Hannibal. And, largely at the same time, it gradually subjugated the many and varied city states of Greece, despite various allied opposition.

The rise of Rome is one of the great stories of world history, and fortunately, we have a reliable and at times an eyewitness account, from the Greek historian Polybius of Megalopolis (c200 BCE-c117 BCE). In The Histories, Polybius set out to present as full an account as he could, with the historical background, the causes of disagreement leading to conflict, the main naval and land battles and the acts of heroism, cowardice, imagination and folly. In addition, he provided lucid explanations of the diplomacy, the treaties and portraits of the main personalities. He encompassed the whole story in 40 books, a considerable undertaking. He started his tale in 264 BCE as Rome challenged Carthage and concluded with the capture of Corinth in 146 BCE. It is a century (and more) of almost continuous conflict in one field or another.

These were brutal times of torture, slaughter, enslavement, where power was wielded for dominance, but there were examples of honourable engagement and considered diplomacy. Extended periods of warfare brought new military ideas and tactics, as Rome learned to combat Carthaginian expertise on sea and on land. Siege machinery was developed on both sides (the skills of Archimedes in the defence of Syracuse is mentioned) and the famous Greek phalanx was pitted against the Roman legions.

Polybius reports on the main confrontations with the authority of a man who was present at many events and also visited historic sites of importance to ensure his accounts of the past were accurate. In The Histories, he gives rounded portraits of the important figures of Hannibal and other Carthaginian generals: of Scipio Africanus (who finally stopped Hannibal at the Battle of Zama) and other Roman general, of Philip V of Macedon, of Antiochus the Great, ruler of the Seleucid Empire and of the Ptolemies of Egypt.

The rise of Rome is a story of two main arenas - the West (Carthage, Spain, Northern Italy and Illyria) and the East - Greece! In trying to maintain some kind of chronological flow, Polybius has little option but to switch the focus from one to another, sometimes at short notice! This problem is exacerbated by the fact that The Histories has survived only in part. The first five books exist in full. Most of book six, with its important review of the Roman constitution and military system, has also survived. Of the rest we have fragments of varying lengths (though nothing for books 17, 19, 37, 40). This makes for some challenging moments as ‘chapters’ can switch from one focus to another at a swift pace, especially with the way the vivid reports and analysis from Polybius maintain the thrust of the narrative.

Ukemi Audiobooks here presents, for the first time on audio, the unabridged Polybius - everything that has survived - in the excellent translation by W. R. Paton. There is additional material too. It opens with 'The Life of Polybius' by H. J. Edwards. And it closes with the classic survey of Polybius and his work by Evelyn S. Shuckburgh, which includes 'The Sources of Polybius’ History' and an overview of 'The Achaean League' which played a key role in events in Greece. The whole production is supported by an extensive PDF, with key dates, personalities and events in order. There are also maps, which give visual clarity to the challenging geographical progress of Rome as it moved inexorably towards Empire.

The Histories is read with engaging authority by Jonathan Booth. PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. Public Domain (P)2021 Ukemi Productions Ltd

Writer: Polybius, W. R. Paton - translator

Publisher: Ukemi Audiobooks from W. F. Howes Ltd

Additional Info

Book Name: The Histories
Book Format: AudiobookFormat
Authors: PolybiusW. R. Paton - translator
Narrators: Jonathan Booth
Genres: History
Audiobook Length: 37H38M
Publisher: Ukemi Audiobooks from W. F. Howes Ltd
Language: English
Publish Date: 2021-10-05
Last Price: 14.95 USD

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the topic of the book?

The topic of the book is the rise of Rome and its dominance in the Mediterranean and Western world.

Who is the author of the book?

The book is written by the Greek historian Polybius, translated by W. R. Paton.

What is the historical background of the book?

The book covers the period from 264 BCE to 146 BCE, during which Rome challenged Carthage and subjugated various city-states of Greece.

What does the book provide?

The book provides a full account of the rise of Rome, including the causes of conflicts, naval and land battles, acts of heroism and folly, diplomacy, treaties, and portraits of important personalities.

How many books does the whole story encompass?

The whole story encompasses 40 books.

When does the book start and end?

The book starts in 264 BCE as Rome challenges Carthage and ends with the capture of Corinth in 146 BCE.

What were the times like during the rise of Rome?

The times were brutal, with torture, slaughter, and enslavement. However, there were also examples of honorable engagement and considered diplomacy.

What military ideas and tactics did Rome learn during the rise?

Rome learned to combat Carthaginian expertise on sea and land, developed siege machinery, and pitted the Roman legions against the Greek phalanx.

Who are some of the important figures mentioned in the book?

The book mentions Hannibal and other Carthaginian generals, Scipio Africanus, other Roman generals, Philip V of Macedon, Antiochus the Great, and the Ptolemies of Egypt.

What are the two main arenas of the rise of Rome?

The two main arenas are the West (Carthage, Spain, Northern Italy, and Illyria) and the East - Greece.

What is the challenge in maintaining chronological flow in the book?

The book switches focus from one arena to another, sometimes at short notice, making it challenging to maintain chronological flow.

What portions of the book have survived?

The first five books and most of book six have survived. Fragments of varying lengths exist for the rest of the books, except for books 17, 19, 37, and 40.

What additional material is included in the audiobook?

The audiobook includes 'The Life of Polybius' by H. J. Edwards and a survey of Polybius and his work by Evelyn S. Shuckburgh. It also includes an extensive PDF with key dates, personalities, and events, as well as maps.

Who narrates the audiobook?

The audiobook is narrated by Jonathan Booth.

What is included in the accompanying PDF?

The accompanying PDF includes key dates, personalities, events, and maps.


11 reviews for this audiobook
  • Jo
    John 30-Sep-2023

    This audiobook is an absolute gem! The narration is engaging and the translation by W. R. Paton is top-notch. I couldn't believe how seamlessly I was transported back in time through Polybius' captivating accounts. Highly recommended!

  • Em
    Emily 05-Oct-2023

    The Histories is a must-listen for history enthusiasts. The narrator brings the ancient world to life, and W. R. Paton's translation makes the content easily accessible. I found myself completely engrossed in the stories and couldn't stop listening. Fantastic job by Ukemi Audiobooks!

  • Da
    David 11-Oct-2023

    If you're a fan of ancient history, this audiobook is a treasure trove. Polybius' work is a masterpiece, and the narration enhances the experience. I felt like I was right there witnessing the events unfold. Highly recommended for those seeking a deep dive into the past.

  • Sa
    Sarah 23-Oct-2023

    I thoroughly enjoyed listening to The Histories. The narrator's voice is captivating, and the translation is clear and concise. It's a fascinating journey through the ancient world, and I couldn't help but get lost in the stories. Well done!

  • Mi
    Michael 31-Oct-2023

    This audiobook is a delightful way to immerse yourself in ancient history. The narrator's delivery is superb, and the translation by W. R. Paton is excellent. It's like taking a time machine back to the ancient times. A fantastic listen!

  • Em
    Emma 15-Nov-2023

    The Histories is a fascinating audiobook that offers a unique perspective on ancient events. The narrator's voice is soothing and keeps you engaged throughout. W. R. Paton's translation is masterful, making it accessible to a wide audience. Highly recommended for history buffs!

  • Da
    Daniel 27-Dec-2023

    I was completely captivated by The Histories. The narrator's voice is dynamic and filled with emotion, making the ancient tales come alive. The translation is excellent, and the overall production quality is top-notch. It's like having a history lesson and a thrilling adventure at the same time. Wonderful!

  • Ol
    Olivia 17-Jan-2024

    The Histories audiobook is a true gem for history lovers. The narrator's delivery is impeccable, and the translation is clear and concise. It's like stepping into the shoes of ancient people and witnessing their struggles and triumphs. A fantastic narration!

  • Ja
    Jacob 05-Mar-2024

    I can't recommend The Histories enough! The narrator's voice is mesmerizing, and the translation by W. R. Paton is superb. It's a gripping tale that gives you a glimpse into the ancient world. I couldn't press the pause button! Well worth a listen.

  • So
    Sophia 07-May-2024

    The Histories audiobook is a treasure trove for history enthusiasts. The narrator's voice is enchanting, and the translation by W. R. Paton is excellent. I felt like I was traveling back in time and experiencing the events firsthand. A must-listen!

  • Ja
    James 27-May-2024

    The Histories is a phenomenal audiobook that brings ancient history to life. The narrator's expressive voice and W. R. Paton's translation make it a joy to listen to. I was completely engrossed in the stories and couldn't stop listening. Highly recommend for history lovers!

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