Rome and the Barbarians, 100 B.C.-A.D. 400

Rome and the Barbarians, 100 B.C.-A.D. 400

4.5 2
by Thomas S. Burns
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

The barbarians of antiquity, so long a fixture of the public imagination as the savages who sacked and destroyed Rome, emerge in this colorful, richly textured history as a much more complex—and far more interesting—factor in the expansion, and eventual unmaking, of the Roman Empire. Thomas S. Burns marshals an abundance of archeological and literary

…  See more details below

Overview

The barbarians of antiquity, so long a fixture of the public imagination as the savages who sacked and destroyed Rome, emerge in this colorful, richly textured history as a much more complex—and far more interesting—factor in the expansion, and eventual unmaking, of the Roman Empire. Thomas S. Burns marshals an abundance of archeological and literary evidence, as well as three decades of study and experience, to bring forth an unusually far-sighted and wide-ranging account of the relations between Romans and non-Romans along the frontiers of western Europe from the last years of the Republic into late antiquity.

Looking at a 500-year time span beginning with early encounters between barbarians and Romans around 100 B.C. and ending with the spread of barbarian settlement in the western Empire around A.D. 400, Burns removes the barbarians from their narrow niche as invaders and conquerors and places them in the broader context of neighbors, (sometimes bitter) friends, and settlers. His nuanced history subtly shows how Rome's relations with the barbarians—and vice versa—slowly but inexorably evolved from general ignorance, hostility, and suspicion toward tolerance, synergy, and integration. What he describes is, in fact, a drawn-out period of acculturation, characterized more by continuity than by change and conflict and leading to the creation of a new Romano-barbarian hybrid society and culture that anticipated the values and traditions of medieval civilization.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

History: Reviews of New Books

An excellent book that comes from eleven years of painstaking research. Thomas S. Burns has written a readable and well-documented survey of Rome and the numerous peoples to its north... The book is exceptionally well organized... This book is useful for research and in the classroom not only because of its extensive documentation and bibliography but also because it is readable both for scholars and students.

— John F. DeFelice

Journal of Military History

An excellent study... Burns breaks the stereotype of the barbarians as destructive savages held in check by the Roman Empire. In its place he offers a balanced view of an evolving relationship between complex, diverse societies on the barbarian side and the civilized Romans... The book is enhanced by Burns's very effective integration of the traditional literary sources with the testimony of archaeological evidence... Sheds light on an important aspect of Roman history and is valuable to both the scholar and the beginning student.

— J. P. Karras

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Anyone who has struggled to convey to a class the manifold ways in which the establishment of a legionary fortress revolutionized the life of a region will envy Burns' pedagogical fluency.

— Michael Kulikowski

International History Review

I recommend the book highly as an informed, up-to-date, and well-written review of a huge amount of data, easily readable and well referenced.

— Peter S. Wells

Choice

This detailed analysis of Roman-barbarian interaction rests on a very solid scholarly base.

Ancient West and East

Rome and the Barbarians, is a book that will delight both academics and their students.

— Gocha R. Tsetskhladze

Ordia Prima

A thought-provoking analysis... A good foundation upon which future studies can build.

— James Chlup

Classical Review

A remarkably even-handed portrait of Roman-northern action and reaction.

— Frank M. Clover

New York Military Affairs Symposium Newsletter

A very good read for any student interested in the Romans or the barbarians.

History: Reviews of New Books
An excellent book that comes from eleven years of painstaking research. Thomas S. Burns has written a readable and well-documented survey of Rome and the numerous peoples to its north... The book is exceptionally well organized... This book is useful for research and in the classroom not only because of its extensive documentation and bibliography but also because it is readable both for scholars and students.

— John F. DeFelice

History: Reviews of New Books - John F. DeFelice

An excellent book that comes from eleven years of painstaking research. Thomas S. Burns has written a readable and well-documented survey of Rome and the numerous peoples to its north... The book is exceptionally well organized... This book is useful for research and in the classroom not only because of its extensive documentation and bibliography but also because it is readable both for scholars and students.

Journal of Military History - J. P. Karras

An excellent study... Burns breaks the stereotype of the barbarians as destructive savages held in check by the Roman Empire. In its place he offers a balanced view of an evolving relationship between complex, diverse societies on the barbarian side and the civilized Romans... The book is enhanced by Burns's very effective integration of the traditional literary sources with the testimony of archaeological evidence... Sheds light on an important aspect of Roman history and is valuable to both the scholar and the beginning student.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review - Michael Kulikowski

Anyone who has struggled to convey to a class the manifold ways in which the establishment of a legionary fortress revolutionized the life of a region will envy Burns' pedagogical fluency.

International History Review - Peter S. Wells

I recommend the book highly as an informed, up-to-date, and well-written review of a huge amount of data, easily readable and well referenced.

Ancient West and East - Gocha R. Tsetskhladze

Rome and the Barbarians, is a book that will delight both academics and their students.

Ordia Prima - James Chlup

A thought-provoking analysis... A good foundation upon which future studies can build.

Classical Review - Frank M. Clover

A remarkably even-handed portrait of Roman-northern action and reaction.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801892707
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
06/02/2009
Series:
Ancient Society and History
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
629,718
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Ralph W. Mathisen

Burns brings thirty years of extensive study of the literary and archaeological evidence to bear on the nature of the impact not only that the Romans had on the barbarians but also that the barbarians had on the Romans. Fortified with a thorough exposition of the source material, meticulous analysis, and provocative suggestions, Rome and the Barbarians will take the dialogue to another level.

Ralph W. Mathisen, University of South Carolina

Meet the Author

Thomas S. Burns is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History at Emory University. His many books include The Ostrogoths: Kingship and Society; A History of the Ostrogoths; Barbarians within the Gates of Rome: Roman Military Policy and the Barbarians; and, with John W. Eadie, Urban Centers and Rural Contexts in Late Antiquity.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Rome and the Barbarians, 100 B. C. -A. D. 400 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book considers the traditional Roman based accounts of barbraians to be biased. Roman writers wrote for Roman audiences, so they used Roman cliches. For example, because of Roman literary habits, various tribes of barbarians were called Galls or Germans when they actually were known to themselves by some other name. This books points to actual archelogical facts to temper Roman accounts. It depicts barbarians as being independent, yet technologically backward people. They eventually merge with the Romans for pragmatic reasons which benefits both the barbarians and the Romans. I enjoyed that the life style of people was featured and that not just military and political history was considered.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago