The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization

The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization


By (author) Bryan Ward-Perkins

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 248 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 236mm x 18mm | 585g
  • Publication date: 1 September 2005
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0192805649
  • ISBN 13: 9780192805645
  • Illustrations note: numerous halftones and line drawings

Product description

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.

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Author information

Bryan Ward-Perkins is a lecturer in Modern History at the University of Oxford, and Fellow and Tutor in History at Trinity College. His research concentrates on the period of transition from the Roman world to that of the Middle Ages, above all in the Mediterranean region. He has published widely on the subject and is a co-editor of The Cambridge Ancient History.

Review quote

"Imaginative and intensely interesting"--Chistopher Kelly, University of Cambridge"An important addition to the study of this period of Western history."--Library Journal"The author makes a compelling case for his point of view and thus helps readers restudy and rethink a major period in world history.... Explains the complex realities of the Roman empire and its neighbors in fascinating detail."--BookPage

Table of contents

1. Did Rome ever Fall?; PART I THE FALL OF ROME; 2. The Horrors of War; 3. The Road to Defeat; 4. Living under the New Masters; PART II THE END OF A CIVILIZATION; 5. An End to Comfort; 6. Why the Collapse of Comfort?; 7. The End of a Civilization; 8. All for the Best in the Best of All Possible Worlds; Appendix: From Pot-Sherds to History; Notes; Further Reading; Timeline