Why did Rome fall? Vicious barbarian invasions during the fifth century resulted in the cataclysmic end of the world's most powerful civilization, and a 'dark age' for its conquered peoples. Or did it? The dominant view of this period today is that the 'fall of Rome' was a largely peaceful transition to Germanic rule, and the start of a positive cultural transformation. Bryan Ward-Perkins encourages every reader to think again by reclaiming the drama and violence of the last days of the Roman world, and reminding us of the very real horrors of barbarian occupation. Attacking new sources with relish and making use of a range of contemporary archaeological evidence, he looks at both the wider explanations for the disintegration of the Roman world and also the consequences for the lives of everyday Romans, in a world of economic collapse, marauding barbarians, and the rise of a new religious orthodoxy. He also looks at how and why successive generations have understood this period differently, and why the story is still so significant today.
476 a.d.: The Roman Empire, riddled with corruption and staggered by centuries of barbarian onslaughts, now faces its greatest challenge---not only to its wealth and prestige, but to its very existence. In his riveting novel The Sword of Attila, Michael Curtis Ford thrilled readers with his recounting of a cataclysmic clash of ancient civilizations. Now, in The Fall of Rome, he takes on the bloody twilight of empire, as the legacy of Attila---once thought destroyed on the battlefield---emerges again to defy the power of the Western World. In this powerful saga of Roman warfare, the sons of Attila's great officers wage battle with one another as the dramatic confrontation between Rome's last emperor and Rome's barbarian conqueror leads to the thrilling dénouement that becomes the fall of a mighty empire. Pulsing with intrigue, saturated with historical detail, The Fall of Rome brings readers to new places—pressed into the trenches as catapult bolts fly overhead, lurking within the palace where betrayal is plotted, imprisoned in a tower stronghold where an emperor turns mad. Once again, Ford demonstrates his mastery as a chronicler of battle, honor, and ancient worlds in this masterfully plotted epic novel that will leave readers begging for more. Praise for the Novels of Michael Curtis Ford The Sword of Attila "Supremely well executed . . . again, Ford offers solidly researched and lustily violent military historical fiction." ---Kirkus Reviews The Last King "Michael Curtis Ford's love for the ancient world emanates from every page: in his magical settings and spectacular re-creation of monuments and landscapes, in his bold portraits of the protagonists, and in his intriguing and swiftly moving plot." ---Valerio Massimo Manfredi, author of the Alexander Trilogy and Spartan "This is Ford's best so far, and only those who have read his first two know just how good that makes this book." ---The Statesman Journal Gods and Legions "Powerful and passionate. A truly compelling story---one not just of gods and legions but of men." ---Library Journal (starred review) "Thanks to the author's excellent research of both his subject and era, the reader experiences this great man's transformation step by determined step. Highly recommended." ---The Historical Novels Review The Ten Thousand "A worthy successor to Steven Pressfield's Gates of Fire." ---Library Journal (starred review) "Michael Curtis Ford's moving account of the fighting and dying of these heroic Greek mercenaries is not only historically sound, but very human, in making Xenophon's tale come alive in a way that no ancient historian or classicist has yet accomplished." ---Professor Victor Davis Hanson, author of The Soul of Battle
The mysterious disappearance of Hayet, the manageress of the village bar, presents a conundrum for its owner, who cannot face a return to the days of late nights, lewd customers and greasy dishwater. A succession of would-be hosts and hostesses descend, with disastrous results, before Matthieu and Libero, childhood friends disillusioned with their philosophical studies, return to take up the reins. Initially they are successful, but as lustful, avaricious reality rudely intrudes on their idyll, they too are forced to concede, their senses befuddled by easy women and plentiful liquor, that all empires must inevitably crumble. Meanwhile, Matthieu's grandfather Marcel, who funded their enterprise, perhaps out of spite, still lingers on the island, his memories of the collapse of France's colonial empire still as fresh and bitter as the cancerous ulcers that must one day claim his life. By turns wise, comic, dramatic, tragic and absurd, Ferrari's Goncourt-winning masterpiece reads like a Corsican One Hundred Years of Solitude, covering a century of intimate history with a dazzling, skewering precision even Flaubert would be proud to applaud.
Denied citizenship by the Roman Empire, a soldier named Alaric changed history by unleashing a surprise attack on the capital city of an unjust empire. Stigmatized and relegated to the margins of Roman society, the Goths were violent “barbarians” who destroyed “civilization,” at least in the conventional story of Rome’s collapse. But a slight shift of perspective brings their history, and ours, shockingly alive. Alaric grew up near the river border that separated Gothic territory from Roman. He survived a border policy that separated migrant children from their parents, and he was denied benefits he likely expected from military service. Romans were deeply conflicted over who should enjoy the privileges of citizenship. They wanted to buttress their global power, but were insecure about Roman identity; they depended on foreign goods, but scoffed at and denied foreigners their own voices and humanity. In stark contrast to the rising bigotry, intolerance, and zealotry among Romans during Alaric’s lifetime, the Goths, as practicing Christians, valued religious pluralism and tolerance. The marginalized Goths, marked by history as frightening harbingers of destruction and of the Dark Ages, preserved virtues of the ancient world that we take for granted. The three nights of riots Alaric and the Goths brought to the capital struck fear into the hearts of the powerful, but the riots were not without cause. Combining vivid storytelling and historical analysis, Douglas Boin reveals the Goths’ complex and fascinating legacy in shaping our world.
The fall of the Roman Empire was the denouement of a long and dramatic confrontation between powerful ideological forces and legendary men. R. A. Lafferty captures the true meaning of both, and examines the people, places, ideas and feelings that led to this epic struggle. Rome's demise was not a simple case of fierce barbarians sacking and subduing a decadent, crumbling city. The author has skillfully balanced the turmoil and illusions of a mighty, dying Empire against the vitality of the aggressive Huns, Vandals, and above all, the Goths. The result is one of the most perceptive and stimulating historical accounts ever written. This is history told and read for sheer pleasure: exciting, splendid and complex. The Fall of Rome is a story of the men and women who made things happen, who were as awesome, poignant, and in some cases, as savage as the era itself.
The Cause & Effect in History series examines major historic events by focusing on specific causes and consequences. For instance, in Cause & Effect: The French Revolution, a chapter explores how inequality led to the revolution. And in Cause & Effect: The American Revolution, one chapter delves into this question: "How did assistance from France help the American cause?" Every book in the series includes thoughtful discussion of questions like these - supported by facts, examples, and a mix of fully documented primary and secondary source quotes. Each title also includes an overview of the event so that readers have a broad context for understanding the more detailed discussions of specific causes and their effects. Book jacket.
"At the start of the first millennium AD, southern and western Europe formed part of the Mediterranean-based Roman Empire, the largest state western Eurasia has ever known, and was set firmly on a trajectory towards towns, writing, mosaics, and central heating. Central, northern and eastern Europe was home to subsistence farmers, living in wooden houses with mud floors, whose largest political units weighed in at no more than a few thousand people. By the year 1000, Mediterranean domination of the European landscape had been destroyed. Instead of one huge Empire facing loosely organized subsistence farmers, Europe - from the Atlantic almost to the Urals - was home to an interacting commonwealth of Christian states, many of which are still with us today. This book tells the story of the transformations which changed western Eurasia forever: of the birth of Europe itself"--Provided by publisher.
Offers a compelling study that compares modern-day America to the rise and fall of ancient Rome, offering a series of warnings, nuanced lessons, and thought-provoking strategies designed to avoid the Roman Empire's fate.