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The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization Hardcover – September 1, 2005
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"Imaginative and intensely interesting"--Chistopher Kelly, University of Cambridge
"An important addition to the study of this period of Western history."--Library Journal
"The author makes a compelling case for his point of view and thus helps readers restudy and rethink a major period in world history.... Explains the complex realities of the Roman empire and its neighbors in fascinating detail."--BookPage
About the Author
Bryan Ward-Perkins is a lecturer in Modern History at the University of Oxford, and Fellow and Tutor in History at Trinity College. His research concentrates on the period of transition from the Roman world to that of the Middle Ages, above all in the Mediterranean region. He has published widely on the subject and is a co-editor of The Cambridge Ancient History.
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Mr. Ward-Perkins refers to the "fashionable" scholarship saying that there was no collapse of civilisation; he is polite but firm in his step-by-step deconstruction of this politically motivated fallacy.
As one who has visited the Pont du Gard and marveled at its implementation and the infrastructure that must have been required for its construction, I've got to agree.
Ward-Perkins' book was witty, concise, and entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. His analysis of military failures and barbarian invasions was spot on. However, his unique perspectives gave me much to think about regarding how economics affected the Roman Empire. Although I appreciate his economic view, I must say that examining potshards is not enough for a whole economic premise for the fall of Rome. Ward-Perkins glossed over this lack of evidence and concluded that Rome had a widespread trade economy.
I think the author discounts one aspect that most likely hastened the fall that was already well under way. He mentions some work that shows that Europe was affected by comet fragments and then moves along. The excellent books `Exodus to Arthur: Catastrophic Encounters With Comets' and `New Light on the Black Death' by Mike Baillie provide evidence for such an event in 540 AD and I think this would have put the final touches to a decline that was all but a done deal.
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This book was writen by Bryan Ward-Perkins.
Reading today, the wikipedia's article about Bryan Ward-Perkins, I read these...Read more