The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History

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Pan Macmillan, Nov 30, 2010 - History - 592 pages
10 Reviews

In AD 378 the Roman Empire had been the unrivalled superpower of Europe for well over four hundred years. And yet, August that year saw a small group of German-speaking asylum-seekers rout a vast Imperial army at Hadrianople, killing the Emperor and establishing themselves on Roman territory. Within a hundred years the last Emperor of the Western Empire had been deposed. What had gone wrong?

In this ground breaking book, Peter Heather proproses a stunning new solution to one of the greatest mysteries of history. Mixing authoratative analysis with thrilling narrative, he brings fresh insight into the panorama of the empire's end, from the bejewelled splendour of the imperial court to the dripping forests of "Barbaricum". He examines the extraordinary success story that was the Roman Empire and uses a new understanding of its continued strength and enduring limitations to show how Europe's barbarians, transformed by centuries of contact with Rome, eventually pulled it apart.

'a colourful and enthralling narrative . . .an account full of keen wit and an infectious relish for the period.’ Independent On Sunday

‘provides the reader with drama and lurid colour as well as analysis . . . succeeds triumphantly.’ Sunday Times

‘a fascinating story, full of ups and downs and memorable characters’ Spectator

‘bursting with action . . .one can recommend to anyone, whether specialist or interested amateur.’ History Today

'a rare combination of scholarship and flair for narrative' Tom Holland

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - port22 - LibraryThing

Historic orthodoxy dismisses barbarians and puts forward reasons like corruption, decline in agriculture, over-taxation, and religion in the center of what brought the empire down. To Peter Heather it ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jcbrunner - LibraryThing

The fall of the Roman Empire, a topic about which much ink has been spilled. Memorable are also the series of sword and sandals films of the 1960s with valiant Romans and vile Goths and Huns. Peter ... Read full review

Contents

ROMANS
3
BARBARIANS
46
THE LIMITS OF EMPIRE
100
WAR ON THE DANUBE
145
THE CITY OF GOD
191
OUT OF AFRICA
251
ATTILA THE HUN
300
THE FALL OF THE HUNNIC EMPIRE
351
THE FALL OF ROME
431
DRAMATIS PERSONAE
461
TIMELINE
481
GLOSSARY
488
NOTES
495
BIBLIOGRAPHY
537
INDEX
553
Copyright

END OF EMPIRE
385

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About the author (2010)

Peter Heather was born in Northern Ireland in 1960 and educated at Maidstone Grammar School and New College, Oxford. He has taught at University College, London, and Yale University, and is currently a Fellow of Medieval History at Worcester College, Oxford.

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