The Restoration Of Rome

The Restoration Of Rome

Barbarian Popes And Imperial Pretenders

Book - 2014
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"In 476 AD, the last of Rome's emperors, known as "Augustulus" was deposed by a barbarian general, the son of one of Attila the Hun's henchmen. With the imperial vestments dispatched to Constantinople, the curtain fell on the Roman empire in Western Europe, its territories divided among successor kingdoms constructed around barbarian military manpower. But, if the Roman Empire was dead, Romans across the old empire still lived, holding on to their lands, the values of their civilization, and their institutions. The conquering barbarians, witnessing the continuing psychological dominance of Rome, were ready to reignite the imperial flame and enjoy the benefits of its civilization. As Peter Heather shows in dazzling biographical portraits, each of the three greatest contenders--Theoderic, Justinian, and Charlemagne--operated with a different power base but was astonishingly successful in his own way. Though each in turn managed to put back together enough of the old Roman West to stake a plausible claim to the Western imperial title, none of their empires long outlived their founders' deaths. Not until the reinvention of the papacy in the eleventh century would Europe's barbarians find the means to establish a new Roman Empire, one that has lasted a thousand years"--
Publisher: London ; New York : Oxford University Press, USA, 2014.
ISBN: 9780199368518
Characteristics: xviii, 470 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 25 cm


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Dec 13, 2014

In The Restoration of Rome, author Peter Heather writes in a more approachable mode for a general readership. His thesis is, that after the final collapse of the western Roman empire in the 476 AD, various successor "Roman" empires arose. Heathers examination of these states is full of scholarly data and opinion, often his own. The reader receives an extremely detailed analysis of the political, economic and cultural factors involved in each successor state. These are all compared and contrasted to the original Roman state model. The final section, on the Roman Catholic Papacy, is brilliant. He reveals a Papacy which at its beginnings until the early middle ages was far less than the powerful and authoritative body that exist today, details exactly how this came to be. This section alone is a fascinating read. Highly recommended for Heather fans, and readers seeking to fill in the gaps after the fall of Rome and the rise of modern Europe.

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