The Restoration of Rome

The Restoration of Rome

Barbarian Popes & Imperial Pretenders

Book - 2013
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In 476 AD the last of Rome's emperors was deposed by a barbarian general, the son of one of Attila the Hun's henchmen, and the imperial vestments were despatched to Constantinople. The curtain fell on the Roman Empire in Western Europe, its territories divided between successor kingdoms constructed around barbarian military manpower. But if the Roman Empire was dead, the dream of restoring it refused to die. In many parts of the old Empire, real Romans still lived, holding on to their lands, the values of their civilisation, its institutions; the barbarians were ready to reignite the imperial flame and to enjoy the benefits of Roman civilization, the three greatest contenders being Theoderic, Justinian and Charlemagne. But, ultimately, they would fail and it was not until the reinvention of the papacy in the eleventh century that Europe's barbarians found the means to generate a new Roman Empire, an empire which has lasted a thousand years.
Publisher: London :, Macmillan,, 2013.
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9780230700154
Characteristics: xviii, 470 pages : illustrations, maps


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Dec 13, 2014

In The Restoration of Rome, author Peter Heather writes in a more approachable mode for a general readership. His thesis is, that after the final collapse of the western Roman empire in the 476 AD, various successor "Roman" empires arose. Heathers examination of these states is full of scholarly data and opinion, often his own. The reader receives an extremely detailed analysis of the political, economic and cultural factors involved in each successor state. These are all compared and contrasted to the original Roman state model. The final section, on the Roman Catholic Papacy, is brilliant. He reveals a Papacy which at its beginnings until the early middle ages was far less than the powerful and authoritative body that exist today, details exactly how this came to be. This section alone is a fascinating read. Highly recommended for Heather fans, and readers seeking to fill in the gaps after the fall of Rome and the rise of modern Europe.

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