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Barbarians within the Gates of RomeBarbarians within the Gates of Rome

A Study of Roman Military Policy and the Barbarians, Ca. 375-425 A.D.

Thomas S. Burns

A Selection of the History Book Club

Narrated by Charles Craig

Approximately 15 hours


Downloadable edition:

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Book published by Indiana University Press

A major work on Roman policy toward the barbarians during one of the most exciting and challenging periods in the history of the Roman Empire, when barbarian soldiers became part of the forces defending the Roman frontier and gradually its rulers. By the close of these five decades, the Western Empire—hence Western Civilization—had changed forever.

Thomas S. Burns is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of History, Emory University. He is the author of A History of the Ostrogoths, The Ostrogoths: Kingship and Society, and (with Bernhard H. Overbeck) Rome and the Germans as Seen in Coinage.



The Reader’s Review

“Thomas Burns takes us thoroughly through this moment of crisis, giving us a precise analysis of the principal players in this period of transition.”

Military Illustrated

“The book is well-written and throws new light on the events in the West a short while before the Fall of the Empire. Highly recommended!”

The Journal of Indo-European Studies

“With this impressive study Burns has greatly enriched late antique scholarship.”

Religious Studies Review

“This is a substantial and well documented book which has reminded me that the importance of reading is not so much to absorb facts, but to take in new ideas.”

Besprechungen und Anzeigen

“What Burns has accomplished here is a thoroughly interesting and compelling study of late-medieval piety in one diocese. It may well serve as a model for other local historians willing to engage in this important inquiry.”


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University Press Audiobooks