The Roman Empire and its Germanic peoples

Other titles
  • Reich und die Germanen. English
  • Berkeley, Calif. : University of California Press ©1997
Physical description
xx, 361 pages : maps ; 24 cm
  • 0520085116
  • 9780520085114
  • Translation of: Das Reich und die Germanen. Berlin : Wolf Jobst Siedler, c1990.
  • Includes bibliographical references (pages 335-345) and index.
  • Translated from the German.
  • TABLE OF CONTENTS -- Kings, heroes, and tribal origins -- The empire and the "new" peoples: form the Marcomannic wars to the end of the third century -- The Germanic peoples as enemies and servants of the empire in the fourth century -- Emperorship and kingship on Roman soil -- The Hunnic alternative -- The kingdom of Toulouse (418-507): pioneering achievement and failed accommodation -- The Vandals (406-534): a unique case? -- Odovacar, or the Roman empire that did not end -- Theodoric (451-526) and Clovis (466/467-511) -- A battle for Rome (526/535-552/555) -- Britain too was not conquered: the making of England in the fifth and sixth centuries -- The Burgundians: weakness and resilience (407/413-534) -- The Spanish kingdom of the Visigoths (507/568-711/725): the first nation of Europe -- The Longobard epilogue (488-643/652) -- The transformation of the Roman world.
Related item
  • History.
  • text
  • English
  • German


  • The names of early Germanic warrior-tribes and leaders resound in songs and legends, and the real story of the part they played in transforming the ancient world is no less gripping. Herwig Wolfram's panoramic history spans the great migrations of the Germanic peoples and the rise and fall of their kingdoms between the third and eighth centuries, as they invaded, settled in, and ultimately transformed the Roman Empire. Wolfram's narrative is far from the "decline and fall" interpretation that held sway until recent decades. He describes the transition from antiquity to the Middle Ages as a generally unsettled, frequently violent time of decentralization, depopulation, and shifts of power. Byzantium became the only center of the old Roman Empire while the western empire ceased to exist as such. Only the increasing authority of the papacy in the Christian-Catholic world helped Rome survive as an imperial capital for the medieval Frankish kingdom and the Holy Roman Empire. This story, based on Wolfram's sweeping grasp of documentary and archaeological evidence, brings new clarity to a poorly understood period of Western history.