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The TRUTH on the Fall of the Roman Empire

New Historical Light!!

    
THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE - A New History of Rome and the
Barbarians

by Peter Heather


IN THE FRONT OF THE BOOK: Praise for The Fall of the Roman Empire

"Like a late Roman emperor, Heather is determined to impose order
on a fabric that is always threatening to fragment and collapse
into confusion; unlike most late Roman emperors, he succeeds
triumphantly." - The Times of London

"A rich and dramatic synthesis of the latest research on Gibbon's
old story.... The drama of Mr. Heather's book lies not just in
the world-changing story he has to tell, but in his
behind-the-scenes view of how historians work. Like a master
detective, Mr. Heather employs the most various techniques -
everything from pollen sampling to archaeology to literary
criticism-to wring the truth from the reticent past.... What Mr.
Heather offers is not easy analogies but a realization of the
complex strangeness of the past-the achievement of a great
historian." - Adam Kirsch, New York Sun

"Gibbon's 'awful revolution' - the decline and fall of the Roman
Empire in the West - still casts a pall. Yet, as Peter Heather's
brilliant mixture of rapid flowing narrative and deeply thought
analysis fully brings out, it still exerts a pull too.
'Lepcisgate,' Alaric's Goths, and Attila's Huns are all thrown
into Heather's melting pot along with Roman imperial aims and
mismanagement. The outcome is a conclusion Heather finds
pleasing-and Gibbon would not have despised - that Roman
imperialism was ultimately responsible for its own demise." -
Paul Cartledge, University of Cambridge

"To a period that has often appeared as impenetrable as it is
momentous, Peter Heather brings a rare combination of scholarship
and flair for narrative. With this book, a powerful searchlight
has been shone upon the shadow-dimmed end of Rome's western
empire." - Tom Holland, author of Rubicon: The Last Years of the
Roman Republic

"Deftly covering the necessary economic and political realities
of decline and fall, Heather also presents the stories and the
characters of this tumultuous epoch, in a colorful and
enthralling narrative." - The Independent

ON THE BACK OF THE BOOK: 

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 author 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 barbarians 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 Vandal's 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.

Peter Heather teaches at Worchester College, University of
Oxford. A leading authority on the barbarians, he is author of
"The Goths," "Goths and Romans." and "The Huns." 

FROM PETER HEATHER'S BOOK PAGES 443/444


The Components of Collapse

     IN PRESENTING my own take on the reasons for the collapse of
the west Roman Empire, I find myself lined up against one of the
oldest historical traditions of all - in English writing,
certainly. Famously, Edward Gibbon emphasized internal factors:
The decline of Rome was the natural and inevitable effect of
immoderate greatness. Prosperity ripened the principle of decay;
the causes of destruction multiplied with the extent of conquest;
and, as soon as time or accident had removed the artificial
supports, the stupendous fabric yielded to the pressure of its
own weight.
     Gibbon's analysis picked up from where the Greek writer
Polybius left off. Polybius, like most ancient historians, saw
individual moral virtue or vice as the main moving force behind
historical causation. The Roman Republic rose to greatness
because of the self-discipline of its leaders, went his argument,
and started to fall from grace when the excesses produced by
success fed through to corrupt their descendants. Polybius was
writing in the second century BC, long before the Empire reached
its full extent, let alone started to shed territories. Picking
up his general line of argument, Gibbon, addressing the subject
of Christianity, saw it as contributing massively to the tale of
woe. For him, the new religion sowed internal division within the
Empire through its doctrinal disputes, encouraged social leaders
to drop out of political participation by becoming monks, and, by
advocating a 'turn-the-other-cheek' policy, helped undermine the
Roman war machine.
     There may be something to be said for this way of thinking
but there is one counter-argument that relegates it to no more
than a footnote in the debate. Any account of the fall of the
western Roman Empire in the fifth century must take full stock of
the fact that the eastern Empire not only survived, but actually
prospered in the sixth. All the evils identified in the western
system applied equally, if not more, to the eastern. If anything,
the Roman east was more Christian, and more given to doctrinal
argument. Also, it operated the same kind of governmental system
over the same kind of economy. Yet the east survived, when the
west fell. This alone makes it difficult to argue that there was
something so inherently wrong with the late imperial system that
it was bound to collapse under its own weight. And if you start
looking for differences between east and west that might explain
their different fates, accidents of geography are what come most
immediately to mind. The richest provinces of the east, the band
stretching from Asia Minor to Egypt, were well protected by
Constantinople against invaders from the north and east, whereas
the western Empire had most of the Rhine and Danube frontier line
to protect, and we have seen what hazards that threw up.
     Both of these points were made by two earlier commentators,
N. H. Baynes and A. H. M. Jones; but since Jones was writing -
forty years ago - it has become more necessary, I would argue, in
any account of the collapse of the Roman west, to shine the
spotlight on the barbarian-immigrant issue. This is for two
reasons. First, the only factor that Jones saw as playing any
real role in the different fates of east and west was their
relative prosperity. In his view, overtaxation crippled the late
Roman economy. Peasants were not being left with a large enough
share of their yearly produce to feed themselves and their
families, so that both population and output saw steady, if
unspectacular, decline. This, he believed, was especially true in
the west. Jones's view of the late Roman economy was entirely
based, however, on written, above all legal, sources. As he
wrote, the French archaeologist George Tchalenko was publishing
the account of his revolutionary trove of prosperous late Roman
villages in the limestone hills behind Antioch (see pp. 112-13);
and since Jones wrote, rural surveys, as we saw in Chapter 3,
have completely recast our view of the late Roman economy. We
know that in the fourth century, taxes were certainly not high
enough to undermine peasant subsistence. In the west as well as
the east, the late Empire was a period of agricultural boom, with
no sign of an overall population decline. The east may still have
been richer, of course, but there was no major internal economic
crisis at play in the Roman world before the fifth century.
     Equally important, understanding that both moments of
frontier crisis, 376-80 and 405-8, had the same non-Roman cause,
and reconstructing the detailed narrative of subsequent imperial
collapse from 405 to 476, underline the central role played by
outside immigrants in the story of western collapse.
..........


NOTE:

SOMETIMES  WE  HAVE  TO  WAIT  FOR  DECADES  BEFORE  THE 
RESTITUTION  OF  TRUTH  IS  BROUGHT  FORTH.  I  AM  ALWAYS 
THRILLED  WHEN  NEW  LIGHT  COMES  FORTH  ON  ANY  SUBJECT. I 
LOVE  TRUTH  AND  I  LOVE  TO  HAVE  IT  PRESENTED  TO  ME  WHEN 
THAT  TRUTH  IS  BACKED  UP  WITH  UNDENIABLE  EVIDENCE  -  WHEN 
THE  TRUTH  OF  THE  MATTER  IS  BACKED  WITH  THE  FACTS  THAT 
PROVE  THE  TRUTH  BEING  PRESENTED.  THIS  WEBSITE  IS 
DEDICATED  TO  THE  RESTITUTION  OF  ALL  THINGS  TOWARDS  THE 
ULTIMATE  RESTITUTION  OF  ALL  THINGS  THAT  WILL  COME  ABOUT 
WHEN  JESUS  THE  CHRIST  RETURNS  TO  THIS  EARTH  TO  RESTORE 
ALL  THINGS  AND  TO  ESTABLISH  THE  KINGDOM  OF  GOD  OVER  ALL 
NATIONS.  WHEN  THE  LAW  WILL  GO  FORTH  FROM  ZION  AND  THE 
WORD  OF  THE  LORD  FROM  JERUSALEM.  THEN  INDEED  ALL  TRUTH 
AND  RIGHTEOUSNESS  WILL  BE  RESTORED  AND  THE  KNOWLEDGE  OF 
THE  LORD  SHALL  COVER  THIS  EARTH  AS  THE  WATERS  COVER  THE 
SEA  BEDS.

THIS  BOOK  BY  PETER  HEATHER  IS  A  MUST  HAVE  BOOK  IF  YOU
ARE  RAISING  CHILDREN  -  FOR  THEIR  TRUE  HISTORY  READING 
YOU  SHOULD  HAVE  THIS  BOOK  IN  YOUR  HOME  LIBRARY.

Keith Hunt  


 
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