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Fall Of The Roman Empire By Peter Heather

The author of the book, Peter Heather, is an authority on the subject of the Roman Empire. He has researched the reasons that led to the fall of the most important empires in the ancient world. Not that he is the only one to research this topic; the Roman Empire has fascinated almost all historians. Heather details how an empire with the most stable and organized government and a well-trained military, fell to rebels. The very insurgents who, at one time, were nothing more than a rabble, became a force to be reckoned with. And this transformation came, because of centuries of contact with the empire, through which they learned Roman tactics and intimate secrets(Heather, 2005).

Heather explains his point of view, by recalling how the mighty Huns changed the strategic balance of power in European Rome, by pressurizing the Goths to settle down on Roman lands as refugees. It resulted in a struggle between the Goth refugees and the Romans, which led to the formation of coalitions of barbarians against Rome. These alliances would later result in crushing defeat for the empire in different battles in 378 A.D. This failure would ultimately result in the Roman army retreating to Rome, and the sacking of Rome in 410 A.D. Rome’s enemies; like Attila the Hun, whose empires stretched from Gaul to Constantinople, and the Vandals, who wreaked havoc in North Africa, crippled the empire.

Peter Heather discusses that the Roman Empire did not collapse socially or morally. What destroyed it was the constant attacks from barbarians. These barbarians would later settle in Europe and merge into the local population. The greatest empire in the ancient world fell because it did not assess the potential its enemies had.


Heather, P. (2005). The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians. Oxford University Press, USA.



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