Reviewers' Perspectives on Bryan-Ward Perkins' The Fall of Rome

Topics: Roman Empire, Ancient Rome, Decline of the Roman Empire Pages: 2 (663 words) Published: June 23, 2013
In The Fall of Rome, the author Bryan Ward-Perkins sees the fall of Rome as a time of dismay and displacement that destroyed a great civilization. Ward-Perkins uses modern archaeological evidence to look at both the wider explanations for the breakdown of the Roman world and also the consequences for the lives of everyday Romans who were experiencing economic collapse and being raided by barbarians. The book recaptures the violence and drama of the last days of the Roman world. It also reminds us of the existent horrors of barbarian occupation.

In Tim Dunkin’s review on The Fall of Rome and the End of Civilization, he believes Ward-Perkins’ information is more accurate than others who have written on this topic. “He does this by bringing to the table a perspective that many other academics in this field of study don't have — that of a field archaeologist who is used to digging in the dirt, finding artifacts, drawing logical conclusions from the empirical evidence, and then using that evidence to decide "what really happened," rather than just literary sources and speculative theories.” Dunkin is somewhat being biased assuming that others who have written about the fall of Rome have not used empirical evidence. Tim states that the book is clearly a warning to us today of those who are socially and fiscally ripping the nation apart. That makes me agree with Dunkin when he says not all barbarians are outsiders. They should not actually be called barbarians because that is not exactly what they were. The Western empire was not destroyed by the invasion of the Germanic tribes; it was simply “transitioned” into the Middle Ages. I may not say that I entirely agree with this simply because the book gives examples of numerous atrocities.

Like Tim Dunkin, another reviewer of the book, Skarr, agrees that Ward-Perkins also did a remarkable amount of research. The book is not only backed by empirical evidence, but by historical references. The thesis of the book...
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