• The Fall of the Roman Empire

  • A New History of Rome and the Barbarians
  • By: Peter Heather
  • Narrated by: Allan Robertson
  • Length: 21 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 02-04-14
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Audible Studios
  • 4.1 (320 ratings)

Regular price: $34.94

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Publisher's Summary

The death of the Roman Empire is one of the perennial mysteries of world history. Now, in this groundbreaking book, Peter Heather proposes a stunning new solution: Centuries of imperialism turned the neighbors Rome called barbarians into an enemy capable of dismantling an Empire that had dominated their lives for so long. A leading authority on the late Roman Empire and on the barbarians, Heather relates the extraordinary story of how Europe's barbarians, transformed by centuries of contact with Rome on every possible level, eventually pulled the empire apart. He shows first how the Huns overturned the existing strategic balance of power on Rome's European frontiers, to force the Goths and others to seek refuge inside the Empire. This prompted two generations of struggle, during which new barbarian coalitions, formed in response to Roman hostility, brought the Roman west to its knees.
The Goths first destroyed a Roman army at the battle of Hadrianople in 378, and went on to sack Rome in 410. The Vandals spread devastation in Gaul and Spain, before conquering North Africa, the breadbasket of the Western Empire, in 439. We then meet Attila the Hun, whose reign of terror swept from Constantinople to Paris, but whose death in 453 ironically precipitated a final desperate phase of Roman collapse, culminating in the Vandals' defeat of the massive Byzantine Armada: the west's last chance for survival.
Peter Heather convincingly argues that the Roman Empire was not on the brink of social or moral collapse. What brought it to an end were the barbarians.
©2006 Peter Heather (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Sten B. Lofgren on 05-29-15

A good book not ideally suited to audiobook format

A very detailed account of the fall of the Roman Empire. If I had the printed book in my hands I would likely give it 5 stars. The mass of detail made me wish that I could flip back and forth in the book to recheck dates and see which of masses of unfamiliar and unpronounceable names had come up before. In addition I wished for maps or illustrations to give a better idea of where all the locations of the narrative were situated. In sum, I found it a very good account that was not ideally suited for the audiobook mode of presentation. I found the author's thesis and particular viewpoint of this period of history compelling and convincing. I learned much that I did not know before, which was my goal, albeit accompanied by some frustration.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful


By J D Williams on 04-17-15

What Happened?

Would you listen to The Fall of the Roman Empire again? Why?

This is a well written, informative and engaging book that is well worth the time of anyone interested in the Roman Empire and its demise. Like all history, the devil is in the details, and not as simplistic as individuals may want to think of it. Was the Empire brought down by its own decadence? or had it simply overreached so much to a be unable to deal with increasingly sophisticated "barbarians"who began to use its own tactics and weapons against the mighty legions. It's amazing how quickly the empire went from a strong and organized entity to desolate ruins. The narrator, Allen Robertson, projects this story with a excellent voice.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Mrs. E. Fairhead on 03-19-15

A fascinating listen

I was gripped by this account. It is very clear and persuasive. It illuminates a period which as a traditional classicist I have always wondered about. Peter Heather occasionally throws in fascinating analogies from more recent periods. He also depicts his subjects, Roman and barbarian, vividly and often amusingly, colouring what sometimes comes across as a huge sweep of history told with almost tragic intensity

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Mr D J Mannion on 07-20-15

A pure History Lesson

Would you listen to The Fall of the Roman Empire again? Why?

It was pitched at a level I could understand,it brought history to life for me

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Fall of the Roman Empire?

The sack of Rome, it was unbelievable.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Too many to mention

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

unpatriotic land owning classes

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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By Shane on 05-29-16

From an Alternative Perspective

This book will be a godsend to anyone who has finished The History of Rome podcast by Mike Duncan. It goes into more depth about the fall of the empire and the thesis is incredibly interesting. By giving the "barbarians" agency it really gives a more 3 dimensional image of the time period.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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