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Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West, 376–568


  • 1 b/w illus. 28 maps
  • Page extent: 614 pages
  • Size: 216 x 138 mm
  • Weight: 0.85 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 937/.09
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: DG311 .H35 2007
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Rome--History--Germanic Invasions, 3rd-6th centuries
    • Europe--History--392-814

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521434911)

This is a major survey of the barbarian migrations and their role in the fall of the Roman Empire and the creation of early medieval Europe, one of the key events in European history. Unlike previous studies it integrates historical and archaeological evidence and discusses Britain, Ireland, mainland Europe and North Africa, demonstrating that the Roman Empire and its neighbours were inextricably linked. A narrative account of the turbulent fifth and early sixth centuries is followed by a description of society and politics during the migration period and an analysis of the mechanisms of settlement and the changes of identity. Guy Halsall reveals that the creation and maintenance of kingdoms and empires was impossible without the active involvement of people in the communities of Europe and North Africa. He concludes that, contrary to most opinions, the fall of the Roman Empire produced the barbarian migrations, not vice versa.

• Major new survey of the Barbarian migrations • Integrates archaeological and historical approaches • Essential reading for students of early medieval Europe, medieval studies, ancient history and archaeology


Part I. Romans and Barbarians in the Imperial World: 1. Introduction: how the west was lost and where it got us; 2. Defining identities; 3. The late Roman Empire in the west; 4. Society beyond the frontier; 5. Romans and Barbarians before 376; Part II. A World Renegotiated: Western Europe, 376–526: 6. 376–82: The Gothic crisis; 7. 383–410: The crisis of the empire; 8. 410–55: The triumph of the generals; 9. 455–80: The parting of Gaul and Italy; 10. 480–550: Kingdoms of the empire; 11. Provincial society in the long fifth century; 12. Beyond the old frontier; Part III. Romans and Barbarians in the Post-Imperial World: 13. Mechanisms of migration and settlement; 14. New kingdoms, new identities, new peoples?; 15. The roots of failure: a changed world.


'… the rich and complex work of a meticulous, original, and daring historian, … Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West should be read by anyone interested the early middle ages, the historical use of archaeological evidence, theories and practices of ethnicity, and finally, in Roman Empire and its ultimate collapse.' Speculum

'This book is important not only as a systematic statement of important current views on how the last Mediterranean empire of antiquity devolved into a series of recognisably European polities, but also for its impressive fusion of seemingly disparate archaeological and literary/historical materials. A genuinely important contribution to its field, by striving to be accessible to those outside its discipline, this book should contribute beneficially to wider discussions of historical change.' English Historical Review

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