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The Fall of the West: The Death of the Roman Superpower

The Fall of the West: The Death of the Roman Superpower

Paperback

By (author) Adrian Goldsworthy

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Product description

The Fall of the Roman Empire has been a best-selling subject since the 18th century. Since then, over 200 very diverse reasons have been advocated for the collapse of the western half of the Roman Empire. Until very recently, the academic view embarrassedly downplayed the violence and destruction, in an attempt to provide a more urbane account of late antiquity: barbarian invasions were mistakenly described as the movement of peoples. It was all painfully tame and civilised. But now Adrian Goldsworthy comes forward with his trademark combination of clear narrative, common sense, and a thorough mastery of the sources. In telling the story from start to finish, he rescues the era from the diffident and mealy-mouthed: this is a red-blooded account of aggressive barbarian attacks, palace coups, scheming courtiers and corrupt emperors who set the bar for excess. It is 'old fashioned history' in the best sense: an accessible narrative with colourful characters whose story reveals the true reasons for the fall of Rome.

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Author information

Adrian Goldsworthy has a doctorate from Oxford University. His books include THE PUNIC WARS, and the volume on Roman Warfare in John Keegan's Cassell History of Warfare series. He has lectured on Roman history in both the UK and USA.

Review quote

Goldsworthy describes this collapse with a strong, clear narrative, not forgetting that history is about stories, individual stories of horror and tragedy, while also describing the wider story. CATHOLIC HERALD