The End of Empire: Attila the Hun & the Fall of Rome

The End of Empire: Attila the Hun & the Fall of Rome

3.9 13
by Christopher Kelly
     
 

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“A thoughtful and sophisticated account of a notoriously complicated and controversial period.”—R. I. Moore, Times Literary Supplement

History remembers Attila, the leader of the Huns, as the Romans perceived him: a savage barbarian brutally inflicting terror on whoever crossed his path. Following Attila and the Huns from the steppes

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Overview

“A thoughtful and sophisticated account of a notoriously complicated and controversial period.”—R. I. Moore, Times Literary Supplement

History remembers Attila, the leader of the Huns, as the Romans perceived him: a savage barbarian brutally inflicting terror on whoever crossed his path. Following Attila and the Huns from the steppes of Kazakhstan to the court of Constantinople, Christopher Kelly portrays Attila in a compelling new light, uncovering an unlikely marriage proposal, a long-standing relationship with a treacherous Roman general, and a thwarted assassination plot. We see Attila as both a master warrior and an astute strategist whose rule was threatening but whose sudden loss of power was even more so. The End of Empire is an original exploration of the clash between empire and barbarity in the ancient world, full of contemporary resonance.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Drawing on the Roman historian Priscus of Panium's History of Attila the Hun, Cambridge University historian Kelly (Ruling the Later Roman Empire) restores the image of Attila as a politically ingenious leader bent more on making strategic alliances to benefit his people than conquering neighboring tribes by savage attacks. With the grace of a good storyteller, Kelly narrates the Huns' origins as nomadic peoples who eventually settled in the Great Hungarian Plain. As they began to consolidate their control over new territories, says Kelly, the Huns recognized the need for a more stable form of government, a greater concentration of military effort focused on a single objective, and the closer coordination of all clans under one leader. In A.D. 434, they found their leader in Attila, and the Huns steadily conquered-by force and by strategic political agreements-various regions of the Roman Empire. They were never able to take Rome, but battling the Huns so weakened Rome's resources that Vandals sacked the city in A.D. 455, effectively ending the Western Roman Empire. Kelly's first-rate history provides a singularly fresh look at a fractious period in the life of ancient Rome. Maps. (June)

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Library Journal

Kelly (ancient history, Univ. of Cambridge; The Roman Empire: A Very Short Introduction) paints an engaging portrait of Attila the Hun's rise to prominence and places the feared warlord in the context of his own time. The title is something of a misnomer, as Kelly writes of Attila's ability to build his own empire as well as his significant part in the destruction of Rome's empire. As the author explains, Attila was aware that it was not in his best interest to hasten the decline of the Roman Empire because much of his control over his own people and lands was paid for with Roman gold that he received through bribes and raids. Kelly's well-written narrative is founded on extensive research, and he provides informative notes as well as suggestions for further reading. Recommended as an excellent addition to libraries with collections in ancient history, Roman history, European history, or classical studies.
—Crystal Goldman

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393072662
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
06/14/2010
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
294,224
File size:
720 KB

Meet the Author

Christopher Kelly, a professor of ancient history and a Fellow of Corpus Christi College at the University of Cambridge, where he received his PhD in classics. He lives in Cambridge, England, and Chicago, Illinois.

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The End of Empire: Attila the Hun and the Fall of Rome 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 13 reviews.
Permacav50 More than 1 year ago
Who hasn't heard of Atilla the Hun but how many people know exactly who he was and what he accomplished? This book tells you everything plus a whole lot more. Everything from his rise to power til his victories against the Roman empire. Great book for a great price :)
Paul_in_Richland More than 1 year ago
A fast read, good for a car ride. This book is fairly fun to read, but why doesn't the nook version include any of the maps or figures? That is really infuriating.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As the author points out the Huns left little to remember them by. So much is interpretation and speculation but I still enjoyed the book Wife is from Budapest and Attila is a common name as is Ildeco, his queen. I enjoyed the eastern Roman empire history and will read further on that subject.