The Ruin of the Roman Empire: A New History

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9780060787417: The Ruin of the Roman Empire: A New History

The dream Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar shared of uniting Europe, the Medi-terranean, and the Middle East in a single community shuddered and then collapsed in the wars and disasters of the sixth century. Historian and classicist James J. O'Donnell—who last brought readers his masterful, disturbing, and revelatory biography of Saint Augustine—revisits this old story in a fresh way, bringing home its sometimes painful relevance to today's issues.

With unexpected detail and in his hauntingly vivid style, O'Donnell begins at a time of apparent Roman revival and brings readers to the moment of imminent collapse that just preceded the rise of Islam. Illegal migrations of peoples, religious wars, global pandemics, and the temptations of empire: Rome's end foreshadows today's crises and offers hints how to navigate them—if present leaders will heed this story.

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About the Author:

James J. O'donnell is a classicist who served for ten years as Provost of Georgetown University and is now University Librarian at Arizona State University. He is the author of several books including Augustine, The Ruin of the Roman Empire, and Avatars of the Word. He is the former president of the American Philological Association, a Fellow of the Medieval Academy of America, and the chair of the Board of Directors of the American Council of Learned Societies. He is seen here at an ancient monastery on the eastern frontier of the Roman Empire, in Syria.

From AudioFile:

Two features make this audiobook challenging. First, the author jumps around so much in time that one's head spins, especially if one has little knowledge of the intricate Roman Empire. The other difficulty involves the absence of maps in audio. O'Donnell's history includes abundant geography--most of it about places antiquated beyond recognition--and the production suffers without the 20 maps and illustrations included in the print edition. Mel Foster's narration can seem as tiresome as the unadorned information he imparts. The space he places between words, just a millisecond too long, and his tonal monotony amplify the tedium of hearing seemingly endless names, dates, and facts. Other than reading it, Foster does nothing extra to sweeten a tough topic. J.A.H. AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine

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Book Description Ecco Press, United States, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Ruin of the Roman Empire by James J. O Donnell is a vigorous (Kirkus Reviews) and richly layered (Publishers Weekly) history of Rome s fall. Renowned historian and author of Augustine, O Donnell revisits this ancient tale in a fresh way, bringing home its sometimes painful relevance to today s political issues. Bookseller Inventory # AAC9780060787417

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