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Alaric the Goth: An Outsider's History of the Fall of Rome

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Chris Macdonnell

8 Hours 13 Minutes

HighBridge Company

June 2020

Audio Book Summary

Denied citizenship by the Roman Empire, a soldier named Alaric changed history by unleashing a surprise attack on the capital city of an unjust empire.

Stigmatized and relegated to the margins of Roman society, the Goths were violent 'barbarians' who destroyed 'civilization,' at least in the conventional story of Rome's collapse. But a slight shift of perspective brings their history, and ours, shockingly alive.

Alaric grew up near the river border that separated Gothic territory from Roman. He survived a border policy that separated migrant children from their parents, and he was denied benefits he likely expected from military service. In stark contrast to the rising bigotry, intolerance, and zealotry among Romans during Alaric's lifetime, the Goths, as practicing Christians, valued religious pluralism and tolerance. The marginalized Goths preserved virtues of the ancient world that we take for granted.

The three nights of riots Alaric and the Goths brought to the capital struck fear into the hearts of the powerful, but the riots were not without cause. Combining vivid storytelling and historical analysis, Douglas Boin reveals the Goths' complex and fascinating legacy in shaping our world.

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  • Jose victor G.

    Interesting and entertaining history lesson …

    Book Rating

  • William E.

    One aspect of this book that I enjoyed was the effort made to paint the world - primarily the Roman world - as it existed in his lifetime. I suspect this was done partially due to the lack of material about Alaric himself. Still, a very interesting listen overall.

    Book Rating

  • Theresa C.

    I thought this was excellent to listen to.

    Book Rating

  • Anonymous

    This should be titled life in Rome 300 AD. I could not finish it. It was random in nature and had zero focus on Gothic life in the 100 plus minute I listed to it, or Alaric himself. Not at all what the title and summary portend.

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