About the Author(s)
Peter Heather teaches at King's College, London. A leading authority on the barbarians, he is the author of The Goths, Goths and Romans, and The Huns.
"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
"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
"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
"Masterful, lucid.... Always rewarding."--ForeWord Magazine