Late in August 410, Rome was starving, its residents were turning on one another, and, to make matters worse, the Gothic army camped at Rome's gates was restless. The Gothic commander was Alaric, a Roman general and barbarian chieftain. Leading an army that was short of food and potentially mutinous, sacking Rome was his only way forward. The old heart of Rome's empire fell to a conqueror's sword for the first time in eight hundred years. For three days, Alaric's Goths sacked the eternal city.
In the words of a contemporary, the mother of the world had been murdered. Alaric's story is the culmination of a long historical journey by which the Goths came to be a part of the Roman world. Whether as friends or foes of the Roman empire, the Goths and their history are entwined with the larger history of Rome in the third and fourth centuries.
Rome's Gothic Wars explains how the Goths came into existence on the margins of the Roman world, how different Gothic groups dealt with the enormous power of Rome just beyond their lands, and how, in two traumatic years, thousands of Goths entered the imperial provinces and destroyed the army that was sent to suppress them, leaving the emperor of the eternal city dead on the field of battle.
Unlike other histories of the barbarians, Rome's Gothic Wars shows exactly how and why modern historians understand the Goths the way they do and why our understanding is so controversial.
About the Author
Michael Kulikowski is associate professor of history at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. A recipient of the Solmsen Fellowship at the Institute for Research in the Humanities at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, he is the author of Late Roman Spain and it's Cities , which was awarded an Honorable Mention in Classics and Archaeology from the Association of American University Presses. His scholarly articles have appeared in Early Medieval Europe, Britannia, Phoenix, and Byzantium, and he has appeared on the History Channel's Barbarians series.
'Kulikowski offers a novel, exhilarating and convincing interpretation ... straight to the heart of a major historical debate.' John F. Drinkwater, author of Fifth-Century Gaul: A Crisis of Identity? '[A] lively and important new study ... engaging and sophisticated narrative of events.' Guy Halsall, author of Violence and Society in the Early Medieval West 'Intriguing, comprehensive, and up-to-date history ... The reader gets a sense of who the Goths were and why they had such a tremendous effect on Rome, defeating the Roman emperor Valens in 378, the greatest military defeat in Roman imperial history, and plundering the city of Rome in 410. In the process Kulikowski de-mystifies the nationalist mythologies surrounding the Goths while telling a fascinating story.' Paul Freedman, Yale University 'An extraordinary window back into the life-and-death struggles of the late Roman Empire. Kulikowski brings an epic conflict, rich in character and detail, to life. A great book.' Robert Gardner, three-time Emmy winner and Academy Award nominee, Producer/Director Barbarians
|Prologue: Before the Gates of Rome||p. 1|
|The Goths Before Constantine||p. 14|
|The Roman Empire and Barbarian Society||p. 34|
|The Search for Gothic Origins||p. 43|
|Imperial Politics and the Rise of Gothic Power||p. 71|
|Goths and Romans, 332-376||p. 100|
|The Battle of Adrianople||p. 123|
|Theodosius and the Goths||p. 144|
|Alaric and the Sack of Rome||p. 154|
|Epilogue: The Aftermath of Alaric||p. 178|
|Glossary of Ancient Sources||p. 185|
|Biographical Glossary||p. 191|
|Further Reading||p. 205|
Series: Key Conflicts of Classical Antiquity
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Number Of Pages: 240
Published: 17th July 2008
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2 x 1.5
Weight (kg): 0.3