Rome’s Gothic Wars

Rome’s Gothic Wars is a concise introduction to the latest research on the Roman Empire’s relations with one of the most important barbarian groups of the ancient world. 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 neighbours. 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.

• Explains clearly how the ancient evidence leads to modern historical conclusions • Shows the reasons for modern controversy over Gothic history • Uses archaeological evidence to help explain the social and economic reasons for conflicts between the Roman empire and its neighbours


Prologue: before the gates of Rome; 1. The Goths before Constantine; 2. The Roman Empire and the barbarian society; 3. The search for the Gothic origins; 4. Imperial politics and the rise of Gothic power; 5. Goths and Romans, 332–376; 6. The Battle of Adrianople; 7. Theodosius and the Goths; 8. Alaric and the sack of Rome.


\'Kulikowski offers a novel, exhilarating and convincing interpretation … straight to the heart of a major historical debate.\'

– John F. Drinkwater, author of Fifth-Century Gaul: A Crisis of Identity?

\'[A] lively and important new study … engaging and sophisticated narrative of events.\'

– Guy Halsall, author of Violence and Society in the Early Medieval West

\'Intriguing, comprehensive, and up-to-date history … The reader gets a sense of who the Goths were and why they had such a tremendous effect on Rome, defeating the Roman emperor Valens in 378, the greatest military defeat in Roman imperial history, and plundering the city of Rome in 410. In the process Kulikowski de-mystifies the nationalist mythologies surrounding the Goths while telling a fascinating story.\'

– Paul Freedman, Department of History, Yale University

\'An extraordinary window back into the life-and-death struggles of the late Roman Empire. Kulikowski brings an epic conflict, rich in character and detail, to life. A great book.\'

– Robert Gardner, Producer/Director Barbarians, three-time Emmy winner and Academy Award nominee

Nøkkelord: Historie Antikk historie Krig