Author(s): Adrian Keith Goldsworthy
The Fall of the Roman Empire has been a best-selling subject since the 18th century. Since then over 200 discrete reasons have been advanced for the collapse of the western half of the Roman empire. Until very recently, the academic view downplayed the death and destruction, to spin a positive story of the 'world of late antiquity'. Barbarian invasions are described in neutral language: the movement of peoples. It is all painfully 'politically correct'. 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 beginning to end, he rescues the era from the mealy-mouthed and diffident: this is a red-blooded account of barbarian invasions, palace coups, scheming courtiers and corrupt emperors who set the gold standard for dissipation. It is 'old fashioned history' in the best sense: an accessible narrative with colourful characters whose story reveals the true reasons for the fall of Rome.