Cover image for The collapse and recovery of the Roman Empire
The collapse and recovery of the Roman Empire
Grant, Michael, 1914-2004.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Routledge, 1999.
Physical Description:
xviii, 121 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
Format :


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DG305 .G73 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Collapse and Recovery of the Roman Empire presents a study of third century Rome, which is lavishly illustrated and a lucid read, typical of Michael Grant's inimitable style.
In Collapse and Recovery of the Roman Empire, Michael Grant asserts that the fact that the Roman empire of the third century AD did not collapse is one of the miracles of history. He argues that at that time the empire seemed ripe for disintegration and expresses amazement that it continued, in the west, for another two hundred years, and in the east, for far longer.

Michael Grant examines the reasons for collapse, including analyses of the succession of emperors, the Germans and the Persians and also, the reasons for its remarkable recovery, including discussions of strong emperors, a reconstituted army, finance and coinage and state religion.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Grant's great gift has been to make the basic trends of classical civilization accessible to general readers while maintaining first-rate standards of scholarship. In this compact volume, Grant examines the causes for the near disintegration of the empire in the mid-third century A.D., including the problems of imperial succession, Germanic encroachments on the frontiers, and chronic conflicts with the Persians in the East. He then convincingly asserts that the empire possessed hidden strengths that allowed for a vigorous recovery from these dangers and survival for another two centuries in the West (and another millennium in the East). Despite the relative brevity of his survey, Grant probes with great insight various critical aspects of third-century Roman civilization, including religious life, the reconstitution of the army, and economic stability. This work is a worthy and necessary addition to both academic and public library collections on classical history. --Jay Freeman

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsp. vii
List of emperorsp. ix
Mapsp. x
Introductionp. xvii
Part 1 Collapsep. 1
1 The succession of emperorsp. 3
2 The Germansp. 16
3 The Persiansp. 19
Part 2 Recoveryp. 21
4 Strong emperorsp. 23
5 The army reconstitutedp. 35
6 Diocletianp. 39
7 Coinage and financep. 44
8 State religionp. 49
Part 3 Away from politicsp. 55
9 Philosophy and personal religionp. 57
10 Heliodorus and the Aethiopicap. 62
Epiloguep. 67
Appendixp. 69
Notesp. 95
Sourcesp. 109
Bibliographyp. 112
Indexp. 116