The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History

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9780333989142: The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History
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For half a millennium the empire of Rome stretched from Hadrian's Wall to the river Euphrates, a massive fortified state founded on military might and the pillars of civilization - writing, the city, and the rule of law. But beyond these frontiers lay other lands, the lands of seemingly anarchic warrior tribes, the land of the Barbarians. The opening scenes of 'Gladiator' are based on the victories of Marcus Aurelius over one such tribe, the Marcommani. Two hundred years later the Romans still seemed invincible, routing 30,000 Alamanii at the battle of Strasbourg. However, within a generation, the foundations of this order were shaken to their core, and Roman armies, as one contemporary put it, 'vanished like shadows'. What had happened? Covering the last 100 years of Empire, a period full of great battles, treachery, and characters as wild as Attila the Hun, Peter Heather shows how the Empire gave way before the relentless and deliberate onslaught of the Huns, Goths and Vandals. These tribes, originating in Eastern Europe, finally conquered large tracts of the old Empire, sacking Rome itself and defeating Roman armies on land and sea.

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From the Back Cover:

In this ground-breaking book, Peter Heather proposes a new solution to one of the greatest mysteries of history: the demise of the Roman Empire. Mixing authoritative 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 successes of 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.

‘Provides the reader with drama and lurid colour as well as analysis. Like a late Roman emperor, he is determined to impose order on a fabric that is always threatening to fragment and collapse into confusion; unlike most late Roman emperors, he succeeds triumphantly.’ Sunday Times

‘Heather presents the stories and the characters of this tumultuous epoch, in a colourful and enthralling narrative...an account full of enjoyably anachronistic flourishes, keen wit, and an infectious relish for the period.’ Independent On Sunday

‘The story is an exciting one, bursting with action, brutality... a gripping, and balanced account... one can recommend to anyone, whether specialist or interested amateur.’ History Today

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

About the Author:

Dr Heather is a history lecturer at Worcester College, Oxford University. His previous titles include Goths and Romans 332-489 (OUP, 1991) and The Goths (Blackwell, 1996). He lives in Oxford.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780195325416: The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0195325419 ISBN 13:  9780195325416
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2007
Softcover

9780330491365: The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History

Pan Books, 2006
Softcover

9780195159547: The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians

Oxford..., 2005
Hardcover

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