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Who Were the Huns and How Could They Shatter an Empire That Had Dominated Western Europe for 700 Years?

Tyler Cowen writes:

Marginal Revolution: Books in my pile: Peter Heather, Empires and Barbarians The Fall of Rome and the Birth of Europe; good book but I've read too much on this topic lately...

I would urge him to finish it and write about it. Peter Heather's earlier book, The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians (New York: Oxford, 2006) is I think best in its class--certainly it for the first time made me see not what the Huns were and how they shattered the Roman Empire in the West (we don't know that) but rather who they might have been and how they might have shattered the Roman Empire in the West.

That is, Peter Heather is the only person to have a coherent model of the Huns and a narrative of how they might have managed to do it. The only major point that I think Peter Heather misses is the difference between societies that don't dare arm their populations and societies that can, in a pinch, put nearly every single adult male on the battle line. Other than that, his is the most coherent and complete and possibly true account I know of about how even a military politician as skilled and capable as Comes et Magister Utriusque Militae et Dux et Patricius Flavius Aetius could not save the Roman Empire in the West.


From Peter Heather (2006), The Fall of the Roman Empire: A New History of Rome and the Barbarians (New York: Oxford):

James's Kindle For Mac - The Fall of the Roman Empire : A New History of Rome and the Barbarians

James's Kindle For Mac - The Fall of the Roman Empire : A New History of Rome and the Barbarians


James's Kindle For Mac - The Fall of the Roman Empire : A New History of Rome and the Barbarians


James's Kindle For Mac - The Fall of the Roman Empire : A New History of Rome and the Barbarians

James's Kindle For Mac - The Fall of the Roman Empire : A New History of Rome and the Barbarians


James's Kindle For Mac - The Fall of the Roman Empire : A New History of Rome and the Barbarians

James's Kindle For Mac - The Fall of the Roman Empire : A New History of Rome and the Barbarians

James's Kindle For Mac - The Fall of the Roman Empire : A New History of Rome and the Barbarians


James's Kindle For Mac - The Fall of the Roman Empire : A New History of Rome and the Barbarians


James's Kindle For Mac - The Fall of the Roman Empire : A New History of Rome and the Barbarians

James's Kindle For Mac - The Fall of the Roman Empire : A New History of Rome and the Barbarians


James's Kindle For Mac - The Fall of the Roman Empire : A New History of Rome and the Barbarians

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