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The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization

Published on February 16, 2007 9:53 AM | Comments

The Fall of Rome: And the End of Civilization is a fantastic new book that argues against the developing conventional wisdom that Rome didn't actually "fall" but was assimilated into a newer "late antiquity". With great detail and exacting archaeological evidence the author makes his case in a highly readable and entertaining way (I actually read a lot of this out loud to my kids at bedtime without complaints). The second half of the book, "The End of Civilization" is particularly convincing as it details the disappearance of what was common and everyday in Roman times (good pottery, the written word, tiles roofs, coins, etc.). Most of these items nearly vanish from much of the empire, not to be seen again in some places for centuries. A remarkable work of scholarship, whether you agree with the author's premise or not. I highly recommend this book if you can find one - mine was a Christmas present and it was a used copy from Amazon.

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