The Roman Empire derived its strength from its military conquests: overseeing territories across Europe, Africa and Asia. Before Christianity, emperors were praised and honored for their successes on the battlefield; as Christianity took root throughout Rome, it was used as a means to elevate emperors to an even greater status: raising them from successful imperialists to divinely appointed leaders.
By Peter Heather
After the collapse of the Roman Empire, the Western world went through a turbulent and dramatic period during which a succession of kingdoms rose, grew, and crumbled in spans of only a few generations. The wars and personalities of the dark ages are the stuff of legend, and all led toward the eventual reunification of Europe under a different kind of Roman rule — this time, that of the Church. Below, historian Peter Heather selects ten moments from the period upon which the fate of Europe hinged.
By Peter Heather
The Roman Empire at its peak was the first great hemispherical power in human history. Over the years, though, this mighty society was torn apart by internal strife and attacks by rival powers. Below, the renowned historian Peter Heather describes the ten most critical turning points which led to the fall of the Empire and the beginning of the Dark Ages.
As promised, here is part 2 of the dialogue between Bryan Ward-Perkins and Peter Heather, colleagues at Oxford University and the authors of two recent books on the collapse of the Roman Empire; ‘The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization’ and ‘The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians’, respectively. Today they discuss the consequences of ‘the fall’ on western Europe and why they both decided to write about the fall of Rome at the same time.
Today we present a dialogue between Bryan Ward-Perkins and Peter Heather. Ward-Perkins and Heather are colleagues at Oxford University and the authors of ‘The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization’ and ‘The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians’, respectively. Both books were published this fall and offer new explanations for the fall of the Roman Empire.