The End of Empire: Attila the Hun and the Fall of Rome

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9780393061963: The End of Empire: Attila the Hun and the Fall of Rome
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A bold new account of Attila the Hun as empire builder and political threat to Rome.

Conjuring up images of savagery and ferocity, Attila the Hun has become a byword for barbarianism. But, as the Romans of the fifth century knew, Attila did more than just terrorize villages on the edge of an empire. Drawing on original texts, this riveting narrative follows Attila and the Huns from the steppes of Kazakhstan to the opulent city of Constantinople and the Great Hungarian Plain, uncovering an unlikely marriage proposal, a long-standing relationship with a treacherously ambitious Roman general, and a thwarted Roman assassination plot. Attila the Hun and the Fall of Rome reframes the warrior king as a political strategist, capturing the story of how a small, but dedicated, opponent dealt a seemingly invincible empire defeats from which it would never recover.3 maps; 40 illustrations

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About the Author:

Christopher Kelly, a professor of classics and ancient history and a Fellow and Director of studies in classics at Corpus Christi College at the University of Cambridge, where he received his PhD in classics. He lives in Cambridge, England, and Chicago, Illinois.

From Publishers Weekly:

Drawing on the Roman historian Priscus of Panium's History of Attila the Hun, Cambridge University historian Kelly (Ruling the Later Roman Empire) restores the image of Attila as a politically ingenious leader bent more on making strategic alliances to benefit his people than conquering neighboring tribes by savage attacks. With the grace of a good storyteller, Kelly narrates the Huns' origins as nomadic peoples who eventually settled in the Great Hungarian Plain. As they began to consolidate their control over new territories, says Kelly, the Huns recognized the need for a more stable form of government, a greater concentration of military effort focused on a single objective, and the closer coordination of all clans under one leader. In A.D. 434, they found their leader in Attila, and the Huns steadily conquered—by force and by strategic political agreements—various regions of the Roman Empire. They were never able to take Rome, but battling the Huns so weakened Rome's resources that Vandals sacked the city in A.D. 455, effectively ending the Western Roman Empire. Kelly's first-rate history provides a singularly fresh look at a fractious period in the life of ancient Rome. Maps. (June)
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