Rome and the Barbarians, 100 B.C.–A.D. 400, Part 400

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JHU Press, Sep 8, 2003 - History - 461 pages
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The barbarians of antiquity, so long a fixture of the public imagination as the savages who sacked and destroyed Rome, emerge in this colorful, richly textured history as a much more complex—and far more interesting—factor in the expansion, and eventual unmaking, of the Roman Empire. Thomas S. Burns marshals an abundance of archeological and literary evidence, as well as three decades of study and experience, to bring forth an unusually far-sighted and wide-ranging account of the relations between Romans and non-Romans along the frontiers of western Europe from the last years of the Republic into late antiquity.

Looking at a 500-year time span beginning with early encounters between barbarians and Romans around 100 B.C. and ending with the spread of barbarian settlement in the western Empire around A.D. 400, Burns removes the barbarians from their narrow niche as invaders and conquerors and places them in the broader context of neighbors, (sometimes bitter) friends, and settlers. His nuanced history subtly shows how Rome's relations with the barbarians—and vice versa—slowly but inexorably evolved from general ignorance, hostility, and suspicion toward tolerance, synergy, and integration. What he describes is, in fact, a drawn-out period of acculturation, characterized more by continuity than by change and conflict and leading to the creation of a new Romano-barbarian hybrid society and culture that anticipated the values and traditions of medieval civilization.

 

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Contents

Sometimes Bitter Friends
1
Recognition Confrontation and Coexistence
42
Through Caesars Eyes
88
The Early Empire and the Barbarians An Overview
140
Perspectives from Pannonia
194
The Barbarians and the Crisis of the Empire
248
Barbarians and the Late Roman Empire
309
Epilogue
374
Most Important Roman Emperors and Usurpers
385
Notes
391
Bibliography
431
Index
453
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About the author (2003)

Thomas S. Burns is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History at Emory University. His many books include The Ostrogoths: Kingship and Society; A History of the Ostrogoths; Barbarians within the Gates of Rome: Roman Military Policy and the Barbarians; and, with John W. Eadie, Urban Centers and Rural Contexts in Late Antiquity.

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