Saturday, January 13, 2007

Lead Pipes Didn't Cause the Roman Empire to Fall

When I was in grade 11 my history teacher explained all the reasons why the mighty Roman Empire fell.

Mostly those reasons dealt with internal decline, ie corruption, Roman decadence, sapping of martial spirit, even lead pipes.

But according to this excellent book I just read, The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Roman and the Barbarians, the real reasons for the fall were external --- Barbarians and lots of them: Huns, Franks, Germans, Goths.

Anyway, I would recommend this book to anybody interested in classical history (and who isn't?).

It's quite a readable narrative and the author does a good job of modernizing Roman concepts, ie he talks about Roman "spin doctors", who tried to make Imperial disasters sound like great victories.

Some things in politics never change.

2 comments:

Matt said...

"Anyway, I would recommend this book to anybody interested in classical history (and who isn't?)."

It just so happens that along with my Busineess degree I did a minor in Classical Civ. I'll add this to my reading list.

Jeff in Calgary said...

It's quite a good book and a much easier read than Edward Gibbon.

Another good read I'd recommend is "Ghengis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" by Jack Weatherford.