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How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower
 
 
Author
Adrian Goldsworthy.
Publisher Yale  
Format hardcover
Product Dimensions 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.6 inches
ISBN 9780300137194
Pages/Publication Date 531/2009
Daedalus Item Code 22102
This item is not available.
Description
Under the rule of Marcus Aurelius in the later 2nd century, the Roman Empire seemed eternal and unassailable. Yet within three centuries Rome had ceased to be the capital and twice was sacked, while Roman rule had vanished in most of Europe and Africa—only Constantinople and the diminished Eastern Empire remained. Adrian Goldsworthy (whose New York Times Notable Book Caesar won the Society of Military History's Distinguished Book Award for Biography) here examines one of the central questions of classical history—how Rome fell—and chronicles the power struggles and civil wars that turned Roman soldiers against each other and allowed invaders to chip away at the empire.

"British historian Goldsworthy's ninth Roman history offers the same high level of scholarship, analysis and lucid prose as the previous eight. After a superb survey of Roman politics and civilization, Goldsworthy begins with the death in 180 AD of emperor Marcus Aurelius, whose reign is traditionally viewed as the apex of Roman power. During the disastrous century that followed, emperors rarely ruled more than a few years; most were murdered, and civil wars raged, though there was some stability during the reigns of Diocletian and Constantine. Invasions slowly chipped away at the empire until it vanished in 476 with the abdication of the last Western emperor. Goldsworthy makes sense of 300 years of poorly documented wars, murders and political scheming. Highly opinionated, he presents surviving documents and archeological evidence to back his views, such as that Constantine became Christian because Roman leaders traditionally believed that divine help won battles, and the Christian god seemed to Constantine like the front-runner. This richly rewarding work will serve as an introduction to Roman history, but will also provide plenty of depth to satisfy the educated reader."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 
 
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