A fresh and vivid narrative history of the Roman Empire from the point of view of the “barbarian” enemies of Rome.
History is written by the victors, and Rome had some very eloquent historians. Those the Romans regarded as barbarians left few records of their own, but they had a tremendous impact on the Roman imagination. Resisting from outside Rome’s borders or rebelling from within, they emerge vividly in Rome’s historical tradition, and left a significant footprint in archaeology. Kershaw builds a narrative around the lives, personalities, successes, and failures both of the key opponents of Rome’s rise and dominance, and of those who ultimately brought the empire down.
Rome’s history follows a remarkable trajectory from its origins as a tiny village of refugees from a conflict zone to a dominant superpower. But throughout this history, Rome faced significant resistance and rebellion from peoples whom it regarded as barbarians: Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Goths, Vandals, Huns, Picts and Scots.
Based both on ancient historical writings and modern archaeological research, this new history takes a fresh look at the Roman Empire through the personalities and lives of key opponents during the trajectory of Rome’s rise and fall.