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Rome and the Barbarians, 100 B.C.A.D. 400 (Ancient Society and History)

Rome and the Barbarians, 100 B.C.A.D. 400 (Ancient Society and History) Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The barbarians of antiquity, so long a fixture of the public imagination as the savages who sacked and destroyed Rome, emerge in this colorful, richly textured history as a much more complex — and far more interesting — factor in the expansion, and eventual unmaking, of the Roman Empire. Thomas S. Burns marshals an abundance of archeological and literary evidence, as well as three decades of study and experience, to bring forth an unusually far-sighted and wide-ranging account of the relations between Romans and non-Romans along the frontiers of western Europe from the last years of the Republic into late antiquity.<P>Looking at a 500-year time span beginning with early encounters between barbarians and Romans around 100 B.C. and ending with the spread of barbarian settlement in the western Empire around A.D. 400, Burns removes the barbarians from their narrow niche as invaders and conquerors and places them in the broader context of neighbors, (sometimes bitter) friends, and settlers. His nuanced history subtly shows how Rome's relations with the barbarians — and vice versa — slowly but inexorably evolved from general ignorance, hostility, and suspicion toward tolerance, synergy, and integration. What he describes is, in fact, a drawn-out period of acculturation, characterized more by continuity than by change and conflict and leading to the creation of a new Romano-barbarian hybrid society and culture that anticipated the values and traditions of medieval civilization.

Book News Annotation:

The very title of book reflects a dichotomy that is far more simplistic and starker than the picture Burns (history, Emory U.) wishes to draw of the complex relationship between Rome and those within its power or on its periphery who were not defined as "citizens." Rather than a dichotomy of eternal enmity, the relationship between Rome and the barbarians was one of constantly shifting definitions of the "other," shifting structural forces brought about by military conflict, and shifting patron-client relations; all of which contributed both to the expansion of Rome as well as its eventual fall.
Annotation 2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (


Includes bibliographical references (p. 431-452) and index.

Table of Contents

Sometimes bitter friends — Recognition, confrontation, and co-existence — Through Caesar's eyes — The early empire and the Barbarians — Perspectives from Pannonia — The Barbarians and the "crisis" of the empire — Barbarians and the late Roman Empire — Epilogue — Appendix: Most important Roman emperors and usurpers.

Product Details

Johns Hopkins University Press
Burns, Thomas S.
Ancient - Rome
Rome History Republic, 265-30 B.C.
Rome History Empire, 30 B.C.-476 A.D.
World History-Ancient Near East
Ancient Society & History
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
8.90x5.58x1.48 in. 1.55 lbs.

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Archaeology » General
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Ancient Rome
History and Social Science » World History » Ancient History
History and Social Science » World History » Ancient Near East
History and Social Science » World History » Classical
History and Social Science » World History » General

Rome and the Barbarians, 100 B.C.A.D. 400 (Ancient Society and History)
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Product details 480 pages Johns Hopkins University Press - English 9780801873065 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. 431-452) and index.
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