1) The Fall of the West: The Death of the Roman Superpower – Adrian Goldsworthy
Phoenix | 2010 | EPUB
The Fall of the Roman Empire has been a best-selling subject since the 18th century. Since then, over 200 very diverse reasons have been advocated for the collapse of the western half of the Roman Empire. Until very recently, the academic view embarrassedly downplayed the violence and destruction, in an attempt to provide a more urbane account of late antiquity: barbarian invasions were mistakenly described as the movement of peoples. It was all painfully tame and civilised. But now Adrian Goldsworthy comes forward with his trademark combination of clear narrative, common sense, and a thorough mastery of the sources. In telling the story from start to finish, he rescues the era from the diffident and mealy-mouthed: this is a red-blooded account of aggressive barbarian attacks, palace coups, scheming courtiers and corrupt emperors who set the bar for excess. It is ‘old fashioned history’ in the best sense: an accessible narrative with colourful characters whose story reveals the true re
2) How Rome Fell. Death of a Superpower – Adrian Goldsworthy
Yale University Press | 2010 | EPUB, PDF
In AD 200, the Roman Empire seemed unassailable. Its vast territory accounted for most of the known world.Â By the end of the fifth century, Roman rule had vanished in western Europe and much of northern Africa, and only a shrunken Eastern Empire remained.Â What accounts for this improbable decline?Â Here, Adrian Goldsworthy applies the scholarship, perspective, and narrative skill that defined his monumental Caesar to address perhaps the greatest of all historical questionsâhow Rome fell.
It was a period of remarkable personalities, from the philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius to emperors like Diocletian, who portrayed themselves as tough, even brutal, soldiers.Â It was a time of revolutionary ideas, especially in religion, as Christianity went from persecuted sect to the religion of state and emperors.Â Goldsworthy pays particular attention to the willingness of Roman soldiers to fight and kill each other. Ultimately, this is the story of how 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.