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.