Skip to main content
Back to Results
Cover image of Rome and the Barbarians, 100 B.C.–A.D. 400
Cover image of Rome and the Barbarians, 100 B.C.–A.D. 400
Share this Title:

Rome and the Barbarians, 100 B.C.–A.D. 400

Thomas S. Burns

Publication Date
Binding Type

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...

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.

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.

Reviews

Reviews

An excellent book that comes from eleven years of painstaking research. Thomas S. Burns has written a readable and well-documented survey of Rome and the numerous peoples to its north... The book is exceptionally well organized... This book is useful for research and in the classroom not only because of its extensive documentation and bibliography but also because it is readable both for scholars and students.

Anyone who has struggled to convey to a class the manifold ways in which the establishment of a legionary fortress revolutionized the life of a region will envy Burns' pedagogical fluency.

I recommend the book highly as an informed, up-to-date, and well-written review of a huge amount of data, easily readable and well referenced.

This detailed analysis of Roman-barbarian interaction rests on a very solid scholarly base.

See All Reviews
About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
5.5
x
8.5
Pages
480
ISBN
9780801892707
Illustration Description
12 halftones, 6 maps
Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Sometimes Bitter Friends
Chapter 2. Recognition, Confrontation, and Coexistence
Chapter 3. Through Caesar's Eyes
Chapter 4. The Early Empire and the Barbarians: An Overview
Chapter 5

Chapter 1. Sometimes Bitter Friends
Chapter 2. Recognition, Confrontation, and Coexistence
Chapter 3. Through Caesar's Eyes
Chapter 4. The Early Empire and the Barbarians: An Overview
Chapter 5. Perspectives from Pannonia
Chapter 6. The Barbarians and the "Crisis" of the Empire
Chapter 7. Barbarians and the Late Roman Empire
Epilogue
Appendix: Most Important Roman Emperors and Usurpers

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Thomas S. Burns

Thomas S. Burns is the Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History at Emory University. His many books include The Ostrogoths: Kingship and Society; A History of the Ostrogoths; Barbarians within the Gates of Rome: Roman Military Policy and the Barbarians; and, with John W. Eadie, Urban Centers and Rural Contexts in Late Antiquity.