The Ruin of the Roman Empire

The Ruin of the Roman Empire

Book - 2008
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Baker & Taylor
An intricate analysis of the fall of the Roman empire evaluates the sixth-century events and circumstances that were key factors, challenging popular beliefs about "barbarian" activities while seeking to place responsibility on the hapless ways in which Rome's last emperors endeavored to restore and preserve their civilization. 35,000 first printing.


The Ruin of the Roman Empire by James J. O’Donnell is a “vigorous” (Kirkus Reviews) and “richly layered” (Publishers Weekly) history of Rome’s fall. Renowned historian and author of Augustine, O’Donnell revisits this ancient tale in a fresh way, bringing home its sometimes painful relevance to today’s political issues.

& Taylor

Recounts the sixth-century events and circumstances that led to the fall of the Roman Empire.

Publisher: New York : Ecco, c2008
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780060787370
Characteristics: x, 436 p. : ill, maps ; 24 cm


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May 16, 2011

What a neat idea! O'Donnell takes the old hoary legend of the Roman Empire being torn apart by invasions, one after another, and nuances it.
What if the breakdown was within the Empire itself? What if some of the very agents staving off that breakdown were so-called barbarians, simply because they had too much invested.
What an interesting take on long picked over ground.
I found the first chapter a bit Faulknerian for my taste. Happily, I finally skipped over it and went on to learn precisely why Madeline Allbright liked this history so much. I enjoyed this book.


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