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The Decline and Fall of Roman Britain by…

The Decline and Fall of Roman Britain

by Neil Faulkner

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Populist TV series, such as the BBC's What the Romans Did For Us, were repeated endlessly on British digital history channels to emphasise the heritage of the Roman Empire in its farflung outposts such as Britannia. It's true that Britons are indebted to them for a lot of technology and for the cultural legacy left to us in history, literature, religion, the law and so on.

But freelance historian and archaeology journalist Neil Faulkner argues that the Roman Empire was "a system of robbery with violence, that it was inherently exploitative and oppressive, and that it was crisis-prone, unstable and doomed to collapse". Furthermore its main use is as an Awful Lesson to us in the modern world, "dominated as it is by corporate capital and imperialist war," just as in Late Antiquity. His polemic is powerful and cumulative if, as he says, "essentially negative".

There is a lot of weight hanging on a title that pays homage to Gibbons' great multi-volume work (which, incidentally, also inspired Isaac Asimov's sequence of SF books in the Foundation series). The 2004 paperback edition reinforces his political views and includes an additional final chapter on Dark Age Britain entitled 'From Commune to Kingdom' which seems to put the final nail in the coffin of Roman Britain. ( )
  ed.pendragon | Aug 4, 2011 |
The author Neil Faulkner has tried to masquerade his book as a work on the Decline and Fall of Roman Britain. In actual fact it is a spurious piece of Marxist invective against the crimes (so called) of Imperialism. Oh those nasty Romans they were just so awful and of course what applies to the Romans applies also to...........surprise, surprise......Americans !!! (check out the introduction to the 2nd edition).

If you want to be a self righteous leftist then fine but please, please go practise your under graduate politics elsewhere and stop spreading this far left nonsense. There are far better books out there on the subject so avoid this propaganda piece - unless of course you enjoy lefty pretentiousness. ( )
  Bibliotecaboy | Jun 21, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0752428950, Paperback)

Why did Rome abandon Britain in the early 5th century? According to Neil Faulkner, the centralized, military-bureaucratic state, governed by a class of super-rich landlords and apparatchiks, had siphoned wealth out of the province, with the result that the towns declined and the countryside was depressed. When the army withdrew to defend the imperial heartlands, the remaining Romano-British elite succumbed to a combination of warlord power, barbarian attack, and popular revolt.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:07 -0400)

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