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  • After Rome

    After Rome: C.400-c.800

    Thomas Charles-Edwards (Editor). The chapters in this volume, each written by a leading scholar of the period, analyse in turn the different nationalities and kingdoms that existed in the British Isles from the end of the Roman empire to the coming of the Vikings, the process of conversion to Christianity, the development of art and of a written culture, and the interaction between this written culture and the societies of the day. Available from: - British pounds - US dollars - Canadian dollars - Euros - Euros

    The End of Roman Rule

    Roman Lighthouse
    Roman Lighthouse, Dover

    Documentary Accounts

    Early in the following year, a combined barbarian force of Burgundians, Alans, Vandals and Suevi swept through central Gaul, cutting the links between Rome and Britain. In the autumn of that year (406), the remaining Roman forces in Britain mutinied. Two emperors were proclaimed in succession, the first, Marcus, being immediately assassinated and the second, Gratian lasting just four months. Zosimus (VI, 2-5) describes events thus: 

    'While Arcadius was still Emperor, and Honorius and Theodosius were consuls for the seventh and second times respectively (AD 407), the soldiers in Britain rebelled, elevated Marcus to the imperial throne, and gave him their obedience as ruler there. However, because he was not in tune with their ways, they put him to death, promoted Gratian and, granting him the purple robe and crown, formed a bodyguard for him as they would an emperor. However, not finding him to their liking either, they deposed him and put him to death after four months, and gave the throne to Constantine.'

    This further emperor, Constantine III, took the last remaining legion, the Second Augusta, into Gaul to further his ambitions. According to Orosius, writing in the 5th century, 'Constantine was elected from the lowest ranks of the military, solely on the basis of the hope engendered by his name, and not because of any valour he had. As soon as he assumed power he crossed to Gaul. There he was frequently tricked by worthless pacts with the barbarians and was the cause of great harm to the state' (Adversum Paganos [Against the Pagans] VII, 40, 4). Zosimus provides an extensive history, mentioning a native Briton, Gerontius, as one of his generals. Orosius (VII, 42, 1-4) goes on to write:

    'In the 1165th year after the foundation of Rome (AD 410) the Emperor Honorius, seeing that no action could be taken against the barbarians with so many usurpers rising up against him, ordered that the usurpers themselves be disposed of as a first move. The supreme command in this war was entrusted to the Count Constantius ... Therefore count Constantius set out to Gaul with an army, besieged the Emperor Constantine at Arles ( the new capital of the Prefecture of the Gauls), took him prisoner, and put him to death (AD 411). At this point... Constantine's son Constans was killed at Vienne by his Count Gerontius, a man more given to evil than to virtue, who then set up a certain Maximus in Constans' place. Gerontius himself was slain by his own soldiers.' 

    Tribal Militias and the End of Roman Rule

    Britain after Roman rule<

    The Fall of the Roman Empire

    The Fall of the Roman Empire : A New History of Rome and the Barbarians

    by Peter Heather. The death of the Roman Empire is one of the perennial mysteries of world history. Now, in this groundbreaking book, Peter Heather proposes a stunning new solution: Rome generated its own nemesis. Centuries of imperialism turned the neighbors it called barbarians into an enemy capable of dismantling the Empire that had dominated their lives for so long. Heather is a leading authority on the late Roman Empire and on the barbarians. In The Fall of the Roman Empire, he explores the extraordinary success story that was the Roman Empire and uses a new understanding of its continued strength and enduring limitations to show how Europe's barbarians, transformed by centuries of contact with Rome on every possible level, eventually pulled it apart. Available from: - UK Pounds - US Dollars - Canadian dollars - Euros - Euros

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