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How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower by…

How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Adrian Goldsworthy (Author)

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5451118,389 (3.86)25
Title:How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower
Authors:Adrian Goldsworthy (Author)
Info:Yale University Press (2009), Edition: First Edition, 560 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:History, Rome, Classical, Ancient History, Classical History, Late Antiquity, Military

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How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower by Adrian Goldsworthy (2009)

  1. 00
    The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians by Peter Heather (HarmlessTed)
    HarmlessTed: Where Heather emphasizes the pressure barbarians exercised on the borders of the Roman empire, Goldsworthy`s focus is on internal Roman conflicts, as long-time consequences of the regime-change from republic to principate.

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This is the third try I've had at this big question. Gibbon was, of course the first. Goldsworthy wants to understand the past in its own context and wants to downplay the "Lessons for modern America" approach. I'm in favour of this for as Adrian points out "Historians do not make the best prophets. Still, the lessons of the big collapse should be laid out for the present student. A fact that Goldsworthy wants us desperately to remember when consulting the records left by the Romans is that they did not know they were "Falling". It always seemed to them, that though the times were a bad patch, the empire had come through before, and odds were good it would again. Goldsworthy works on defining the long view, that serious flaws in the Roman method accumulated to the breaking point in the mid-four fifties. This is definitely a book to at least read along with Gibbon, and Peter Heather on the classical apocalypse! ( )
  DinadansFriend | Nov 28, 2017 |
Excellent. Goldsworthy states that he is not an expert in this period, which actually makes the book better for the general reader as he examines a variety of perspectives on various controversies rather than presenting the reader with a neat analysis. I am working my way through Gibbon and found this to be the most helpful overview so far of the period and the debates surrounding it. Very readable for a non-specialist. It does focus mainly on politics and military issues. If you want something about the life and times of the ordinary person, there is not much here. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
This book is both well-written and informative. The author provides a good narrative of the period from the golden age to the last years of the roman empire. He also does a good job of incorporating his thesis into the narrative to explain the age-old question of why and how the decline happened. ( )
  zen_923 | Dec 20, 2013 |
Goldsworthy's clarity brings a clear narrative line to his history of the Roman Empire through the sixth century. He offers pretty compelling evidence for his thesis that because emperors placed their survival above the good of the state, the state rotted from within. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
An excellent telling of the decling years of Rome, with a thought provoking last chapter as to Goldsworthy's explanation of why the WEstern Empire collapsed. ( )
  Peacock1 | Apr 29, 2012 |
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This is not a book that I could use in the classroom--too thick, too well-written, and perhaps most dangerously, too clear. Portraying history in such simplistic terms, however, fails to explain that governing the Late Roman Empire was a complex business. But since this is not what Goldsworthy set out to do, such criticism is unfair. By design, this is the sort of book that politicians, school teachers, and my colleagues in the Department of Physics will read, sucked in by the blurb on the dust jacket.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0300137192, Hardcover)

Amazon Best of the Month, May 2009: Adrian Goldsworthy's Caesar: Life of a Colossus was a masterly fusion of vivid historical biography and scholarly detail, an impeccably researched work that also succeeded as a compelling read. With How Rome Fell, Goldsworthy's eye turns to the forces that ultimately destroyed the Roman Empire, challenging the traditional assumption that Rome was sacked by ultimately irrepressible foreign armies. Goldsworthy asserts that Rome's foes in the death throes of empire weren't any more formidable than those at its peak, but that the cutthroat nature of its political system fractured and diverted forces better spent maintaining the integrity of provincial borders--it was civil war and paranoia that destroyed the empire from within. Drawing parallels to modern societies might be tempting, but Goldsworthy is interested in Rome and resists foreboding or moralistic tones--even making a point of acknowledging the different dynamics that drive the rise and fall current powers. In just over 400 pages, How Rome Fell speeds the both the casual and Rome-savvy reader through 400 years of tumultuous and world-changing history--it's a worthy successor to the triumph of Caesar.--Jon Foro

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:15 -0400)

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The author discusses how the Roman Empire--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.

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Yale University Press

An edition of this book was published by Yale University Press.

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An edition of this book was published by Tantor Media.

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