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  • Robinson
  • Robinson
  • Robinson

Barbarians: Rebellion and Resistance to the Roman Empire

Stephen P. Kershaw

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European history, Ancient history: to c 500 CE

A fresh new look at the Roman Empire, from the point of view of those regarded by the Romans as 'barbarians'. Kershaw builds a narrative around the lives, personalities, successes and failures both of the key opponents of Rome's rise and dominance, and of the those who ultimately brought the empire down.

History is written by the victors, and in the case of Rome the victors also had some extremely eloquent historians. Rome's history, as written by the Romans, follows a remarkable trajectory from its origins as a tiny village of refugees from a conflict zone, to a dominant superpower, before being transformed into the Medieval and Byzantine worlds.

But throughout its rise and fall Rome faced resistance and rebellion from peoples which it regarded as barbarous and/or barbarian. These opponents of Rome's power left little in the way of their own first-hand historical accounts, but they had great deal of impact on the imaginations of the Romans, and of later ages. Resisting from outside the borders, or rebelling from within, they emerge vividly in Rome's historical tradition, and have a significant footprint in the archaeology. This new history takes a fresh and original viewpoint of Rome, building its narrative around the lives, personalities, successes and failures both of the key opponents of Rome's rise and dominance, and of the ones who ultimately brought the empire down.

The book presents a selection of portrait-histories of Africans, Britons, Easterners, Egyptians, Gauls, Germans, Goths, Huns, Vandals and others which can be read individually as stand-alone pieces or collectively as a narrative 'barbarian' history of Rome. These will be based both on ancient historical writings and modern archaeological research.

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Stephen P. Kershaw

Dr Stephen P. Kershaw has been a Classics tutor for some thirty years, teaching at all levels from beginner to PhD, currently operating out of the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education, authoring and teaching undergraduate courses, and tutoring on the Masters in Literature and Art. Steve has also created Oxford University's online courses on Greek Mythology, The Fall of Rome and The Minoans and Mycenaeans. He lectures at the Victoria and Albert Museum and, as Professor of History of Art, runs the European Studies Classical Tour for Rhodes College and the University of the South. In addition to titles published by Robinson, A Brief Guide to the Greek Myths, A Brief History of the Roman Empire and A Brief History of Atlantis, he has edited The Penguin Dictionary of Classical Mythology. Steve was an expert contributor to the History Channel's Barbarians Rising series; former students include the Princess of Jordan; he translated the Greek inscription on Matthew Pinsent's fourth Olympic gold medal for him after his victory in Athens; and he is a guest speaker for the Royal Academy (through Cox & Kings). He lives in the Oxfordshire village of Deddington with his wife, the artist Lal Jones.

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