The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians by Peter Heather

The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians: A New History of Rome and…

byPeter Heather

Kobo ebook | October 28, 2005

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The death of the Roman Empire is one of the perennial mysteries of world history. Now, in this groundbreaking book, Peter Heather proposes a stunning new solution: Rome generated its own nemesis. Centuries of imperialism turned the neighbors it called barbarians into an enemy capable of dismantling the Empire that had dominated their lives for so long. Heather is a leading authority on the late Roman Empire and on the barbarians. In The Fall of the Roman Empire, he explores 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 on every possible level, eventually pulled it apart. He shows first how the Huns overturned the existing strategic balance of power on Rome's European frontiers, to force the Goths and others to seek refuge inside the Empire. This prompted two generations of struggle, during which new barbarian coalitions, formed in response to Roman hostility, brought the Roman west to its knees. The Goths first destroyed a Roman army at the battle of Hadrianople in 378, and went on to sack Rome in 410. The Vandals spread devastation in Gaul and Spain, before conquering North Africa, the breadbasket of the Western Empire, in 439. We then meet Attila the Hun, whose reign of terror swept from Constantinople to Paris, but whose death in 453 ironically precipitated a final desperate phase of Roman collapse culminating in the Vandals' defeat of the massive Byzantine Armada: the west's last chance for survival. Peter Heather convincingly argues that the Roman Empire was not on the brink of social or moral collapse. What brought it to an end were the barbarians.

Title:The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians: A New History of Rome and…Format:Kobo ebookPublished:October 28, 2005Publisher:Oxford University Press, USALanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199741182

ISBN - 13:9780199741182

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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Superb work. It has been more than a couple of years since I read this book, but wanted to belatedly give it some of the credit it deserves. Although I don’t really subscribe to any theory of a “single cause” of the end of the Roman Empire, believing the cause to be more mundane and a confluence of a number of basic factors including declining quality of leadership, the practical difficulty of maintaining such a large and sprawling empire and the numbing and weakening effect of success on individual motivations and more importantly, discipline, among many others to mention here, my point is really that this book is not just a single clever theory but rather a compelling description of the time and a superb read which was hard to put down. Highly recommend this truly excellent book. I will read it again after I make some progress in mowing through the rather large pile of other books I want to get to! Cheers.
Date published: 2008-01-21