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

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Synopsis

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: Centuries of imperialism turned the neighbors Rome called barbarians into an enemy capable of dismantling an Empire that had dominated their lives for so long.
A leading authority on the late Roman Empire and on the barbarians, Heather relates the extraordinary story of how Europe's barbarians, transformed by centuries of contact with Rome on every possible level, eventually pulled the empire 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.
 

About Peter Heather

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Peter Heather teaches at Worcester College, University of Oxford. A leading authority on the barbarians, he is the author of The Goths, Goths and Romans, and The Huns.
 
Published December 1, 2005 by Oxford University Press, USA. 580 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Fall of the Roman Empire

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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...

Jan 22 2012 | Read Full Review of The Fall of the Roman Empire:...

http://www.unrv.com

The fall of the Western Roman Empire is a topic that is at the heart of any complete analysis of Roman civilization and one that has held immense fascination for centuries.

Feb 15 2015 | Read Full Review of The Fall of the Roman Empire:...

http://www.standpointmag.co.uk

This belief in continued Roman power is representative of a broad change in historical fashion: almost none of the authors we are considering here believes that Rome's strength had declined significantly before it fell, whereas for Gibbon and most authors of the 19th and earlier 20th centuries, t...

Sep 16 2009 | Read Full Review of The Fall of the Roman Empire:...

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