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HIST 2310: Fall of Rome

This topic guide is designed to assist students in Mr. Rafalowski's HIST 2310 with writing about ten causes for the Fall of Rome.

Books

How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower

In AD 200, the Roman Empire seemed unassailable, its vast territory accounting for most of the known world. By the end of the fifth century, Roman rule had vanished in western Europe and much of northern Africa, and only a shrunken Eastern Empire remained. In his account of the fall of the Roman Empire, prizewinning author Adrian Goldsworthy examines the painful centuries of the superpower's decline. Bringing history to life through the stories of the men, women, heroes, and villains involved, the author uncovers surprising lessons about the rise and fall of great nations. This was a period of remarkable personalities, from the philosopher-emperor Marcus Aurelius to emperors like Diocletian, who portrayed themselves as tough, even brutal, soldiers. It was a time of revolutionary ideas, especially in religion, as Christianity went from persecuted sect to the religion of state and emperors. Goldsworthy pays particular attention to the willingness of Roman soldiers to fight and kill each other. Ultimately, this is the story of how an empire without a serious rival rotted from within, its rulers and institutions putting short-term ambition and personal survival over the wider good of the state.

Barbarian Migrations and the Roman West, 376-568

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.

Rome's Gothic Wars: From the Third Century to Alaric

The book uses archaeological and historical evidence to look not just at the course of events, but at the social and political causes of conflict between the empire and its Gothic neighbors. In eight chapters, Michael Kulikowski traces the history of Romano-Gothic relations from their earliest stage in the third century, through the development of strong Gothic politics in the early fourth century, until the entry of many Goths into the empire in 376 and the catastrophic Gothic war that followed. The book closes with a detailed look at the career of Alaric, the powerful Gothic general who sacked the city of Rome in 410.

The Fall of the Roman Empire: a new history of Rome and the Barbarians

The death of the Roman Empire is one of the perennial mysteries of world history. Now, in this groundbreaking book, Peter Heather proposes a stunning new solution: Centuries of imperialism turned the neighbors Rome called barbarians into an enemy capable of dismantling an Empire that had dominated their lives for so long.

The Body Legal in Barbarian Law

The sixth to ninth centuries saw a flowering of written laws among the early Germanic tribes. These laws include tables of fines for personal injury, designed to offer a legal, non-violent alternative to a blood feud.

Articles