A book released December 1, 2005 by Peter Heather< read all 2 reviews
In "Crisis", it started with the arrival of the Tervingi and Greuthungi Goths at the doorsteps of the eastern Roman empire in 376AD, they were driven from their homeland by the Huns, and they seek safely within the border of the empire, and the Emperor Valens allowed them in, however, their settlement was mishandled and these groups rebelled and caused havoc on the Balkans, and ultimately annihilated the Eastern army in Hadrianople and killed the Emperor Valens, the rebellion was finally put down, but the Gothic groups at this point was too large and the empire lacked the necessry resources to completely wipe them out, and they were permanently settled within the empire, and this is different from the previous immigration groups, as they were concentrated in one place and was never assimilated into the Roman world, and in early 5th century, the various gothic groups within the empire eventually joined forces to form the supergoup (the Visigoths), led by Alaric, they sacked Rome in 410, but Rome eventually was able to deal with these barbarian threat, and resettle the Visigoths in southern Gaul. But a second wave of the great migration also hit the western empire in the early 5th century, the Vandals, Alans, and Suevi entered the empire through Gaul and wreaked havoc all the way to Hispania, and basically partitioned the Iberia pennisula among them. But the fatal blow to the empire came in 439, when the Vandals conquered the Roman North Africa, the richest provinces of the Empire, the loss the revenue was an enormous blow, and the west was never able to raise enough troops from this point on, and must rely on the various barbarian groups in order to fend off the coming Hunnic threat. The Huns ravaged the eastern empire in the 440s, and finally turned its attention to the west in late 440s, but they were defeated in the early 450s, and the death of Attila the Hun caused the Hunnic empire to quickly crumble, the unraveling of the Hunnic empire proved to be disastrous for Rome, as all the barbarian groups within Roman borders no longer had a common enemy, and was scrambling to carve out more influence and territory within the empire.
In "The Fall of the Empire", the eastern Roman empire was trying to save the west by a last ditch attack on the Vandal North Africa in 468, however, the combined fleet of east and west were soundly defeated and that pretty much spelled doom for the western empire, and the last emperor Romulus was deposed 8 years later, thus ending over half a millenium of Roman dominance in western Europe.
The book was well written and cites extensive sources from temporary historians and letters, and each battle was described in detail and the cause and effect for each of these events were well reasoned, I believe Peter Heather provided a compelling argument for the external cause of the fall of the Roman Empire.
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