Romans and Barbarians: The Decline of the Western Empire

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The Fall of the Roman Empire—from the barbarian's perspective

Available for the first time in paperback, this classic work by renowned historian E.A. Thompson examines the fall of the Roman Empire in the West from the barbarian perspective and experience. Standard interpretations of the decline of the Roman Empire in the West view the barbarian invaders as destroyers. Thompson, however, argues that the relationship between the invaders and the invaded was far more complex than the common interpretation would suggest. This edition includes a new foreword by F.M. Clover and J.H.W.G. Liebeschuetz.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Romans and Barbarians can and should be recommended to students of the late Roman Empire, of early Germanic history and society, and of the early medieval history of the Mediterranean area and of western and central Europe. . . . Thompson himself points out that very rarely if ever can we penetrate into the minds and attitudes of the barbarians whom we are trying to understand. In this and other writings Thompson has come as close to achieving this ideal as anyone is likely to."—Welden A. Ernest, German Studies Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780299087043
  • Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Series: Wisconsin Studies in Classics Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

E. A. Thompson (1914-1994) was professor of classics at the University of Nottingham in England from 1948 to 1979. His many books include A History of Attila and the Huns, The Visigoths in the Time of Ulfila, and The Goths in Spain.

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Table of Contents

List of Maps
1 Introduction: Economic Warfare 3
Pt. I Gaul
2 The Settlement of the Barbarians in Southern Gaul 23
3 The Visigoths from Fritigern to Euric 38
Pt. II Italy
4 A.D. 476 and After 61
5 The Byzantine Conquest of Italy: Military Programs 77
6 The Byzantine Conquest of Italy: Public Opinion 92
Pt. III Noricum
7 The End of Noricum 113
Pt. IV Spain
8 Hydatius and the Invasion of Spain 137
9 The Suevic Kingdom of Galicia 161
10 The Gothic Kingdom and the Dark Age of Spain 188
11 Spain and Britain 208
12 Barbarian Collaborators and Christians 230
App The Visigoths in Aquitaine: Why? 251
Abbreviations 257
Notes 263
Index 311
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