Empires and Barbarians: Migration, Development and the Birth of Europe

At the start of the first millennium AD, southern and western Europe formed part of the Mediterranean based Roman Empire, the largest state western Eurasia has ever known, and was set firmly on a trajectory towards towns, writing, mosaics, and central heating Central, northern and eastern Europe was home to subsistence farmers, living in wooden houses with mud floors, whoAt the start of the first millennium AD, southern and western Europe formed part of the Mediterranean based Roman Empire, the largest state western Eurasia has ever known, and was set firmly on a trajectory towards towns, writing, mosaics, and central heating Central, northern and eastern Europe was home to subsistence farmers, living in wooden houses with mud floors, whose largest political units weighed in at no than a few thousand people By the year 1000, Mediterranean domination of the European landscape had been destroyed Instead of one huge Empire facing loosely organised subsistence farmers, Europe from the Atlantic almost to the Urals was home to an interacting commonwealth of Christian states, many of which are still with us today This book tells the story of the transformations which changed western Eurasia forever of the birth of Europe itself.
Empires and Barbarians Migration Development and the Birth of Europe At the start of the first millennium AD southern and western Europe formed part of the Mediterranean based Roman Empire the largest state western Eurasia has ever known and was set firmly on a traj

  • Title: Empires and Barbarians: Migration, Development and the Birth of Europe
  • Author: Peter Heather
  • ISBN: 9780330492553
  • Page: 277
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “Empires and Barbarians: Migration, Development and the Birth of Europe”

    1. Once again Peter Heath has written an extraordinarily complex and nuanced account of Europe in the first millennium AD, a period when the modern foundations of European society were established. He focuses on migration and its role in transforming the Mediterranean-centered world of Late Antiquity into the Atlantic-centered one of the Medieval and Modern eras. Toward that end, the author looks at the drift of Germanic tribes ever westward into the Roman Empire (to c. AD 600); their replacement b [...]

    2. Heather is outstanding, and his knowledge of the period is impressive. He is probably the best scholar when it comes to the knowledge of this specific historical period.Peter Heather has produced again a work of amazing depth and erudition. Highly recommended to anybody who is seriously interested in this subject.

    3. Peter Heather's book on the period from the decline of the Western Roman empire to the end of the first millennium is both revolutionary and conservative in its outlook, largely because he pushes to restore, albeit with far finer resolution and detail, the migration to our ideas of the 'Dark Ages.' While other reviewers found his book repetitive, I found his brief reviews of both his complex theory and the available evidence to be refreshing and useful; by the latter part of the book, when I fel [...]

    4. I picked up Peter Heather's 2009 book simply because it was cheap on Kindle at one point. I'm now thinking I want to get a proper hard copy book. This is mostly a measure of how much I liked the book, but there are a number of good maps that I'd like a better look at too.The primary purpose of this book is to re-examine Europe from the Roman to Dark/Early Middle Ages, and argue against the cultural continuity/no migration stance that has gained popularity from the 70s onward. The main new thing [...]

    5. NOTA BENE: The introduction of my edition of this book gets its own title wrong, calling itself, "Emperors and Barbarians." That made me roar with laughter because here's this absolutely fabulous book and some lazybones in the Macmillan offices couldn't be bothered to copyedit it with care.Just finished it and although I'd like to say I enjoyed it as much as Heather's "The Fall of the Roman Empire," I can't say that without a caveat: this was denser and more academic in tone. One had the feeling [...]

    6. This book explores barbarian migrations into the Roman Empire and the development of stable polities beyond it's traditional boarders.Draws nicely on the archeology, DNA evidence and modern migration studies as well as written sources. Good read.

    7. In “Empires and barbarians”, Peter Heather attempts to tackle two of the biggest questions in history of European continent. The first of those questions is how, in a course of millennia, Europe transformed from a territory equally divided between Roman empire and a multitude of Germanic tribes lacking any “national” structures into a socio-political construct of proto-national states which to a large degree remains unchanged into our own time. Simultaneously, he tries to figure out the [...]

    8. This is a really long book that I read in 10-15 page snippets over a few months, so a lot is mighty hazy to me right now. There is a lot of good info in it, and it has an interesting argument. It's main focus is on the role of migration in European history in the first millennium AD. Heather notes that scholars once at migration as playing a key factor in the fall of Rome, with singular tribal/ethnic units entering into the Empire. That was discredited after WWII with Hitler's Aryan beliefs disc [...]

    9. The author believes that even without invading Huns, the Roman Empire’s borders would have become more diffuse and eventually collapsed merely by the process of civilizing the peoples on its borders and bridging the gap in technological development. By the end of the 1st Century AD the Romans were mostly maintaining an area they had already won and which was profitable. The barbarians on the periphery of empire will naturally be aware of the empire’s prosperity and migrate towards it, althou [...]

    10. Combining a fluency in archeology, sociology, linguistics, history, and economics with a command of data that can only be described as breathtaking, Peter Heather had produced a work of astonishing depth and erudition with Empires and Barbarians: The Fall of Rome and the Birth of Europe. He tackles an audacious question: what dynamics led to the formation and distribution of peoples that gave rise to post-Roman Europe. ||Heather brings together an extraordinary array of data: distributions of Ro [...]

    11. Not an easy book to read, even for an historian ;-)A hefty volume, cluttered with facts and figures. Interesting? Yes, certainly to see why the Roman empire was pulled under by barbarian tribes flowing in from all directions, both because the barbarians got themselves better organised, because of the way the Romans used money and subsidies to keep the tribes calm (but only luring other tribes in who also want part of this wealth) and the declining strength of the Roman army.The second part of th [...]

    12. This book has a different focus than Heather's previous book The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians; its focus is after and outside of Rome. It's also a more technical book, I feel, so general readers might find it a bit hard to digest.

    13. A pretty good examination of the "migrations" that made modern Europe during and after the collapse of the Roman Empire. Not as well-written or as interesting, in my humble opinion, as Heather's previous volume, "The Fall of the Roman Empire." Also, for such a scholarly book, Heather adopts a somewhat playful and irreverent tone at times, right up to the concluding section, "Newton's Third Law of Empires?" . . .

    14. Very much a scholarly work; very long and contains much information. Some of it seems inconsistent at times, but that may be because of its length and depth. It draws its conclusions from historical sources, archeology, and linguistics, as well as comparative studies of contemporary situations. It is not an easy book to comprehend; still I believe it’s a book that it is good to own. The information is very interesting, varied, and comprehensive; also it is supported with many footnotes and dis [...]

    15. Don't be fooled by the size or the subject matter or Heather's assumption that the reader of this book has strong opinions Gibbons's "Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire": it's actually quite readable. Being someone without a background in classics or archeology who picked this up on a self-educating whim, I was impressed at how clearly Heather laid out his argument. This is solid history for the general reader.

    16. As time passes, more research is done, more artifacts and items are discovered, and more is known about the beginning of the Middle Ages, often know as the so-called “Dark Ages.” The simple explanation that is spouted in most simple history books is the idea that when the Roman Empire fell, all of Western Europe regressed to barbarian savages and everything was lost, and it was not until around a thousand years later that this continent achieved a civilized status once more. But as more stud [...]

    17. Confession, any problems that I have with this book stem from me not knowing what I was getting into when I purchased it and began to read it. I was expecting a history of the 1st millennium, with some migration and development thrown in for good measure. What I got was a book of human migration, economic development, and state creation with precious little history included. I'm not sure that I personally would even say that this is a history book (though strictly speaking it of course is) but w [...]

    18. "When this story opens at the birth of Christ, the European landscape was marked by extraordinary contrasts. The circle of the Mediterranean, newly united under Roman imperial domination, hosted a politically sophisticated, economically advanced and culturally developed civilization. This world had philosophy, banking, professional armies, literature, stunning architecture and rubbish collection. Otherwise, apart from some bits west of the Rhine and south of the Danube which were already beginni [...]

    19. Heather is one of those scientists (or historians) who discovered "The Truth" (or think they did) and then apply conclusions over broad area. Heather's "The Truth" is this: after Rome halted it's European expansion in early 1st century A.D. (post-Teutoborg forrest battle though battle itself is not cruicial factor, Rome simply ran out of profitable areas to conquer-except Dacia later) they engaged in trade and diplomacy with "barbarians" on the other side of the border. This allowed roman goods [...]

    20. En esta obra Peter Heather comienza con hacer un repaso de cómo se han ilustrado las invasiones bárbaras del siglo V en la Antigua Roma a lo largo de los años. El autor hace un claro análisis de las cosmovisiones de las cuales se han partido para tratar de entender estas invasiones haciendo una marcada acentuación en como el Nacionalismo y el Nazismo las han influenciado, por el hecho de que han recurrido a este período histórico con la intención de buscar, con fundamentos pseudo-cientí [...]

    21. First, I really like Heather. He has ridiculous command of the material and is able to explain things clearly without dumbing them down. He is also able to construct a narrative even when relying on mostly or purely archaeological evidence without going into detail of which pot was found it which grave (see previous reviews for rants about archaeologists who have trouble with this). This is a history of the various migrations that took place in the 1st millennium, focused primarily on the German [...]

    22. While it perhaps should prove the case that Heather's continuous bombardment of the reader with statistics and data regarding the maelstromic mélange of ethnic compositions, movements, and cultures from the final era of the (Western) Roman Empire and the Dark Age that ensued subsequent to its fall—items discovered through good old-fashioned spadework across the layered barrows of the North European Plain and its mountainous southern girdle—would become soporific in its pervasiveness, his ni [...]

    23. I read this book over a long period, mainly because it is a long one. To be honest I'm not sure how to review this book. I had bought it thinking it was about something and it ended up being about something else entirely (or rather a different time period). Plus, if I'm going to compare it to his other book (The Fall of the Roman Empire) this book doesn't do so well. It was a bit on the boring side, not meant for the casual history buff, HOWEVER; the information in the book is invaluable if you [...]

    24. Mr. Heather wrote an excellent historical version of Empires and Barbarians. His clear style of writing allowed me to understand subject matter extremely well. He explains everything in detail and you can tell that the book was well researched. The book covers the Roman Empire, along with the Goths, Hans, etc, and it also goes into the fall of Roman Empire. There are also interesting stories based on actual accounts of the folks that lived during the period.So, if you want to get educated on the [...]

    25. Heather taught me that (a) what I learned in school about Völkerwanderung was considered not true by the last generation of professional historians, but (b) was actually quite close to the most plausible interpretation of the available evidence. So the Völkerwanderung did happen, and more generally, large scale migration was an important influence in shaping the beginnings of what is now "Europe".

    26. This book is a fascinating look at the ancient people that eventually formed the nations of Europe. It is written in a very scholarly fashion and is not an easy nor a fast read. The author has a very deep mastery of this subject and uses a vast array of information, including pollen charts to make his case for how these early millennial "barbarians" changed the face of Europe. I need to read a book with an overview of this era of history and then re-read this book.

    27. Virtually unreadable; I had to stop several times and re-read sections after realizing that, in my boredom, I'd started to skim. This book reads more like the authors collection of theories on population migration rather than anything truly about the fall of Rome or the birth of Europe and the "domestication" of the various barbarian tribes.

    28. This is a long book, and it's rather a hard slog to get through it. Not that it's boring, it's just that it's full of a lot of sometimes rather dry facts. It's something academics would likely enjoy, but might be too much for the casual reader.

    29. Brilliantly written, this is one of the most entertaining history books I have read, yet Heather's jaunty style masks what is actually incredible subject knowledge and analysis. Not to mentionI've met and been lectured by the man, he's hilarious and good natured to a fault.

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