Empires and Barbarians: Migration, Development, and the Birth of Europe

Hardcover | April 3, 2010

byPeter Heather

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Here is a fresh, provocative look at how a recognizable Europe came into being in the first millennium AD. With sharp analytic insight, Peter Heather explores the dynamics of migration and social and economic interaction that changed two vastly different worlds - the undeveloped barbarianworld and the sophisticated Roman Empire - into remarkably similar societies and states. The book's vivid narrative begins at the time of Christ, when the Mediterranean circle, newly united under the Romans, hosted a politically sophisticated, economically advanced, and culturally developed civilization - one with philosophy, banking, professional armies, literature, stunningarchitecture, even garbage collection. The rest of Europe, meanwhile, was home to subsistence farmers living in small groups, dominated largely by Germanic speakers. Although having some iron tools and weapons, these mostly illiterate peoples worked mainly in wood and never built in stone. Thefarther east one went, the simpler it became: fewer iron tools and ever less productive economies. And yet ten centuries later, from the Atlantic to the Urals, the European world had turned. Slavic speakers had largely superseded Germanic speakers in central and Eastern Europe, literacy was growing,Christianity had spread, and most fundamentally, Mediterranean supremacy was broken. The emergence of larger and stronger states in the north and east had, by the year 1000, brought patterns of human organization into much greater homogeneity across the continent. Barbarian Europe was barbarian nolonger. Bringing the whole of first millennium European history together for the first time, and challenging current arguments that migration played but a tiny role in this unfolding narrative, Empires and Barbarians views the destruction of the ancient world order in the light of modern migration andglobalization patterns. The result is a compelling, nuanced, and integrated view of how the foundations of modern Europe were laid.

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Here is a fresh, provocative look at how a recognizable Europe came into being in the first millennium AD. With sharp analytic insight, Peter Heather explores the dynamics of migration and social and economic interaction that changed two vastly different worlds - the undeveloped barbarianworld and the sophisticated Roman Empire - into ...

Peter Heather is Professor of Medieval History at King's College London. He is the author of The Fall of the Roman Empire, Goths and Romans, 332-489, The Goths, and The Visigoths in the Migration Period.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:752 pages, 9.3 × 6.4 × 1.8 inPublished:April 3, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199735603

ISBN - 13:9780199735600

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Customer Reviews of Empires and Barbarians: Migration, Development, and the Birth of Europe

Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from a text for the truly interested a long, laborious read with nevertheless new and erudite information, not to mention arcane, probably essential however for anyone interested in the Early Middle Ages, up to about the Norman Conquest
Date published: 2010-06-02

Extra Content

Table of Contents

PrefacePrologue1. Migrants and Barbarians2. Globalization and the Germans3. All Roads Lead to Rome?4. Migration and Frontier Collapse5. Huns on the Run6. Franks and Anglo-Saxons: Elite Transfer or Volkerwanderung?7. A New Europe8. The Creation of Slavic Europe9. Viking Diasporas10. The First European Union11. The End of Migration and the Birth of EuropeNotes

Editorial Reviews

"An awesomely ambitious work: an attempt, in the heroic tradition of Pirenne, to make sense of nothing less than the reshaping of antiquity, and the origins of modern Europe.... Heather is a wonderfully fluent writer, with a consistent ability to grab hold of his readers attention. The resultis a book which richly merits reading by those interested in the future of Europe as well as its past." --Tom Holland, BBC History Magazine