How Rome Fell : Death of a Superpower

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2010-09-28
  • Publisher: Yale University Press

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In AD 200, the Roman Empire seemed unassailable. Its vast territory accounted for most of the known world. By the end of the fifth century, Roman rule had vanished in western Europe and much of northern Africa, and only a shrunken Eastern Empire remained. What accounts for this improbable decline? Here, Adrian Goldsworthy applies the scholarship, perspective, and narrative skill that defined his monumental Caesarto address perhaps the greatest of all historical questions---how Rome fell. It was a period of remarkable personalities, from the philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius to emperors like Diocletian, who portrayed themselves as tough, even brutal, soldiers. It was a time of revolutionary ideas, especially in religion, as Christianity went from persecuted sect to the religion of state and emperors. Goldsworthy pays particular attention to the willingness of Roman soldiers to fight and kill each other. Ultimately, this is the story of how an empire without a serious rival rotted from within, its rulers and institutions putting short-term ambition and personal survival over the wider good of the state. Adrian Goldsworthy is the author of many books about the ancient world, including Caesar, The Roman Army at War, and In the Name of Rome. He lectures widely and consults on historical documentaries produced by the History Channel, National Geographic, and the BBC. He lives in Wales.

Author Biography

Adrian Goldsworthy is a preeminent historian of the ancient world. His many acclaimed works include Caesar, a New York Times Notable Book and winner of the Society of Military History’s Distinguished Book Award for Biography. Goldsworthy, who received his doctorate at Oxford, lectures widely and consults on historical documentaries produced by the History Channel, National Geographic, and the BBC.

Table of Contents

List of Mapsp. vii
List of Illustrationsp. ix
Prefacep. 1
Introduction - The Big Questionp. 11
Crisis? The Third Centuryp. 27
The Kingdom of Goldp. 29
The Secret of Empirep. 53
Imperial Womenp. 70
King of Kingsp. 86
Barbariansp. 103
The Queen and the 'Necessary' Emperorp. 123
Crisisp. 138
Recovery? The Fourth Centuryp. 155
The Four - Diocletian and the Tetrarchyp. 157
The Christianp. 174
Rivalsp. 194
Enemiesp. 205
The Paganp. 223
Gothsp. 245
East and Westp. 264
Fall? The Fifth and Sixth Centuriesp. 283
Barbarians and Romans: Generals and Rebelsp. 285
The Sister and the Eternal Cityp. 299
The Hunp. 314
Sunset on an Outpost of Empirep. 335
Emperors, Kings and Warlordsp. 353
West and Eastp. 370
Rise and Fallp. 388
Conclusion - A Simple Answerp. 405
Epilogue - An Even Simpler Moralp. 416
Chronologyp. 425
Glossaryp. 441
Bibliographyp. 449
Notesp. 467
Indexp. 511
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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