The Ruin of the Roman Empire (Ebook)

The Emperor Who Brought It Down, The Barbarians Who Could Have Saved It

James J O'Donnell

A provocative portrait of the end of Rome's empire in the 5th and 6th centuries by a major historian, who tells the story of the barbarians who might have saved it and the Emperor who brought it down.

What really marked the end of the Roman Empire? James O'Donnell's magnificent new book takes us back to the sixth century and the last time the Empire could be regarded as a single community. Two figures dominate his narrative - Theodoric the 'barbarian', whose civilized rule in Italy with his philosopher minister Boethius might have been an inspiration, and in Constantinople Justinian, who destroyed the Empire with his rigid passion for orthodoxy and his restless inability to secure his frontiers with peace. The book closes with Pope Gregory the Great, the polished product of ancient Roman schools, presiding over a Rome in ruins.

Publication date: 26/05/2011


ISBN: 9781847653963

ISBN 10 / ASIN: B0051G0OOA

Imprint: Profile Books

Subject: History & Classics

Reviews for The Ruin of the Roman Empire

''The Ruin of the Roman Empire is an exotic and instructive tale, told with life, learning and just the right measure of laughter on every page. O'Donnell combines a historian's mastery of substance with a born storyteller's sense of style to create a magnificent work of art. Perfect for history-lovers and admirers of great writing alike''

 Madeleine K. Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State

'A vigorous history of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire'

 Kirkus Reviews

'O'Donnell's richly layered book provides significant glimpses into the many factors that leveled a mighty empire'

 Publishers Weekly

'A vibrant new look at the Roman empire's collapse...a brief review cannot do justice to the lively, teeming canvas - political, religious, social and cultural - that O'Donnell paints, the extraordinary personalities that emerge, and his stimulating judgements'

Peter Jones BBC History Magazine

'An engagingly personal narrative of the 5th and 6th centuries'

Mary Beard Sunday Times

''A hugely informative and richly rewarding book''

Jonathan Wright Glasgow Herald

'"O'Donnell has written a thoroughly researched and elegant history of this great empire's division and downfall...rewarding and informative"'

Julian Fleming Sunday Business Post