428 AD by Giusto Traina

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



This is a sweeping tour of the Mediterranean world from the Atlantic to Persia during the last half-century of the Roman Empire. By focusing on a single year not overshadowed by an epochal event, 428 AD provides a truly fresh look at a civilization in the midst of enormous change--as Christianity takes hold in rural areas across the empire, as western Roman provinces fall away from those in the Byzantine east, and as power shifts from Rome to Constantinople. Taking readers on a journey through the region, Giusto Traina describes the empires' people, places, and events in all their simultaneous richness and variety. The result is an original snapshot of a fraying Roman world on the edge of the medieval era. The result is an original snapshot of a fraying Roman world on the edge of the medieval era.

Readers meet many important figures, including the Roman general Flavius Dionysius as he encounters a delegation from Persia after the Sassanids annex Armenia; the Christian ascetic Simeon Stylites as he stands and preaches atop his column near Antioch; the eastern Roman emperor Theodosius II as he prepares to commission his legal code; and Genseric as he is elected king of the Vandals and begins to turn his people into a formidable power. We are also introduced to Pulcheria, the powerful sister of Theodosius, and Galla Placidia, the queen mother of the western empire, as well as Augustine, Pope Celestine I, and nine-year-old Roman emperor Valentinian III.

Full of telling details, 428 AD illustrates the uneven march of history. As the west unravels, the east remains intact. As Christianity spreads, pagan ideas and schools persist. And, despite the presence of the forces that will eventually tear the classical world apart, Rome remains at the center, exerting a powerful unifying force over disparate peoples stretched across the Mediterranean.


About Giusto Traina

See more books from this Author
Giusto Traina is professor of Greek history at the University of Rouen. He is the author of several previous books on Roman and Greek history.
Published April 25, 2011 by Princeton University Press. 232 pages
Genres: History, Travel. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for 428 AD

BC Books

See more reviews from this publication

The end of the Roman empire, as the people really lived it.

Jun 28 2009 | Read Full Review of 428 AD

Suite 101

428 AD is an innovative approach to the study of the last years of the Roman empire, focussed on the events of a single year in the later Roman world.

| Read Full Review of 428 AD

Reader Rating for 428 AD

An aggregated and normalized score based on 13 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review