The Fall in the Roman Empire : A Whole New History of Rome and also the Barbarians [Kindle Edition] review

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"A rich and dramatic synthesis with the latest research on Gibbon's old story.... The drama of Mr. Heather's book lies not just in the world-changing story he must tell, but also in his behind-the-scenes take a peek at how historians work. Like an expert detective, Mr. Heather employs one of the most various techniques--everything from pollen sampling to archaeology to literary criticism--to wring reality through the reticent past.... What Mr. Heather offers just isn't easy analogies but a realization from the complex strangeness in the past--the achievement of the great historian."--Adam Kirsch, Ny Sun "Like a late Roman emperor, Heather is going to impose order on a fabric that is definitely threatening to fragment and collapse into confusion; unlike most late Roman emperors, he succeeds triumphantly."--The Times of London "Gibbon's 'awful revolution'--the decline and fall of the Roman Empire inside West--still casts a pall. Yet, as Peter Heather's brilliant combination of rapid flowing narrative and deeply thought analysis fully brings out, still it exerts a pull too. 'Lepcisgate', Alaric's Goths, and Attila's Huns are typical thrown into Heather's melting pot together with Roman imperial aims and mismanagement. The outcome is a conclusion Heather finds pleasing--and Gibbon wouldn't normally have despised--that Roman imperialism was ultimately responsible because of its own demise."--Paul Cartledge, University of Cambridge "To a period that has often appeared as impenetrable as it can be momentous, Peter Heather brings a rare mixture of scholarship and flair for narrative. With this book, a powerful searchlight continues to be shone upon the shadow-dimmed end of Rome's western empire."--Tom Holland, author of Rubicon: The Past Years with the Roman Republic "Deftly covering the required economic and political realities of decline and fall, Heather also presents the stories as well as the characters with this tumultuous epoch, in the colorful and enthralling narrative."--The Independent "Masterful, lucid.... Always rewarding."--ForeWord Magazine The death of the Roman Empire is one with the perennial mysteries of world history. Now, with this groundbreaking book, Peter Heather proposes a stunning new solution: Rome generated its nemesis. Centuries of imperialism turned the neighbors it called barbarians into an enemy able to dismantling the Empire that have dominated their lives for so long. Heather is really a leading authority about the late Roman Empire and on the barbarians. Inside Fall of the Roman Empire, he explores the extraordinary success story that's the Roman Empire and uses a new understanding of its continued strength and enduring limitations showing how Europe's barbarians, transformed by centuries of exposure to Rome on every possible level, eventually pulled it apart. He shows first what sort of Huns overturned the prevailing strategic balance of power on Rome's European frontiers, to push the Goths yet others to find refuge in the Empire. This prompted two generations of struggle, during which new barbarian coalitions, formed in response to Roman hostility, brought the Roman west to the knees. The Goths first destroyed a Roman army on the battle of Hadrianople in 378, and proceeded to sack Rome in 410. The Vandals spread devastation in Gaul and Spain, before conquering North Africa, the breadbasket with 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 your final desperate phase of Roman collapse culminating inside Vandals' defeat of the massive Byzantine Armada: the west's last chance for survival. Peter Heather convincingly argues that the Roman Empire had not been on the brink of social or moral collapse. What brought it to an end were the barbarians.

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