How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower

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 Caesar to 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. How Rome Fell is a brilliant successor to Goldsworthy's monumental (The Atlantic) Caesar.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Yale University Press
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Published on
May 31, 2009
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Pages
558
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ISBN
9780300155600
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Ancient / Rome
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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 The fourth century soldier Ammianus Marcellinus’ book of Roman history provides a remarkably accurate and impartial record, giving readers a succinct understanding of the fall of the Roman Empire. Delphi’s Ancient Classics series provides eReaders with the wisdom of the Classical world, with both English translations and the original Latin and Greek texts.  This comprehensive eBook presents Ammianus’ complete extant works, with beautiful illustrations, informative introductions and the usual Delphi bonus material. (Version 1)


* Beautifully illustrated with images relating to Ammianus’ life and works

* Features the complete extant works of Ammianus, in both English translation and the original Latin

* Concise introductions to the history work

* Provides two different translations of Ammianus’ work: C. D. Yonge and J. C. Rolfe

* Includes the translation that previously appeared in the Loeb Classical Library edition of Ammianus

* Excellent formatting of the texts

* Easily locate the sections you want to read with individual contents tables

* Provides a special dual English and Latin text, allowing readers to compare the sections paragraph by paragraph – ideal for students

* Features a bonus biography – discover Ammianus’ ancient world

* Scholarly ordering of texts into chronological order and literary genres


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CONTENTS:


The Translations

HISTORY OF ROME

C. D. YONGE TRANSLATION, 1862

J. C. ROLFE TRANSLATION, 1940


The Latin Text

CONTENTS OF THE LATIN TEXT


The Dual Text

DUAL LATIN AND ENGLISH TEXT


The Biography

INTRODUCTION TO AMMIANUS by J. C. Rolfe


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On March 15th, 44 BC a group of senators stabbed Julius Caesar, the dictator of Rome. By his death, they hoped to restore Rome's Republic. Instead, they unleashed a revolution. By December of that year, Rome was plunged into a violent civil war. Three men--Mark Antony, Lepidus, and Octavian--emerged as leaders of a revolutionary regime, which crushed all opposition. In time, Lepidus was removed, Antony and Cleopatra were dispatched, and Octavian stood alone as sole ruler of Rome. He became Augustus, Rome's first emperor, and by the time of his death in AD 14 the 500-year-old republic was but a distant memory and the birth of one of history's greatest empires was complete. Rome's Revolution provides a riveting narrative of this tumultuous period of change. Historian Richard Alston digs beneath the high politics of Cicero, Caesar, Antony, and Octavian to reveal the experience of the common Roman citizen and soldier. He portrays the revolution as the crisis of a brutally competitive society, both among the citizenry and among the ruling class whose legitimacy was under threat. Throughout, he sheds new light on the motivations that drove men to march on their capital city and slaughter their compatriots. He also shows the reasons behind and the immediate legacy of the awe inspiringly successful and ruthless reign of Emperor Augustus. An enthralling story of ancient warfare, social upheaval, and personal betrayal, Rome's Revolution offers an authoritative new account of an epoch which still haunts us today.
THE present series of lectures is designed to give a broad and general view of the long sequence of the migratory movements of the northern barbarians which began in the third and fourth centuries A. D. and cannot be said to have terminated till the ninth. This long process shaped Europe into its present form, and it must be grasped in its broad outlines in order to understand the framework of modern Europe. There are two ways in which the subject may be treated, two points of view from which the sequence of changes which broke up the Roman Empire may be regarded. We may look at the process, in the earliest and most important stage, from the point of view of the Empire which was being dismembered or from that of the barbarians who were dismembering it. We may stand in Rome and watch the strangers sweeping over her provinces; or we may stand east of the Rhine and north of the Danube, amid the forests of Germany, and follow the fortunes of the men who issued thence, winning new habitations and entering on a new life. Both methods have been followed by modern writers. Gibbon and many others have told the story from the side of the Roman Empire, but all the principal barbarian peoples - not only those who founded permanent states, but even those who formed only transient kingdoms - have had each its special historian. One naturally falls into the habit of contemplating these events from the Roman side because the early part of the story has come down to us in records which were written from the Roman side. We must, however, try to see things from both points of view...
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.
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