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Beschreibung des Verlags
The idea that with the decline of the Roman Empire Europe entered into some immense ‘dark age’ has long been viewed as inadequate by many historians. How could a world still so profoundly shaped by Rome and which encompassed such remarkable societies as the Byzantine, Carolingian and Ottonian empires, be anything other than central to the development of European history? How could a world of so many peoples, whether expanding, moving or stable, of Goths, Franks, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, whose genetic and linguistic inheritors we all are, not lie at the heart of how we understand ourselves?
The Inheritance of Rome is a work of remarkable scope and ambition. Drawing on a wealth of new material, it is a book which will transform its many readers’ ideas about the crucible in which Europe would in the end be created. From the collapse of the Roman imperial system to the establishment of the new European dynastic states, perhaps this book’s most striking achievement is to make sense of an immensely long period of time, experienced by many generations of Europeans, and which, while it certainly included catastrophic invasions and turbulence, also contained long periods of continuity and achievement.
From Ireland to Constantinople, from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, this is a genuinely Europe-wide history of a new kind, with something surprising or arresting on every page.
Building on the foundation he laid in Framing the Early Middle Ages, award-winning Oxford historian Wickham constructs a magisterial narrative of the political, economic, cultural and religious fabrics that constituted the crazy quilt of Europe's Dark Ages. Negating what he calls a common "teleological" view of this period as the source of European nations and a modern sense of European identity, he draws on archeological evidence and rich historiographical methods Wickham challenges standard views of the early Middle Ages as barbarous and bereft of political and cultural structure, and recreates a stunning portrait of the breakup of the Roman Empire and its consequences for Europe. Wickham looks at the immediate post-Roman polities in Gaul, Spain and Italy; the history of Byzantium, the Arab caliphate and its 10th-century successor states, including Muslim Spain; the Carolingian Empire and its successors and imitators, notably Russia and Scotland. Under this narrative layer lies a focus on the accumulation of wealth, the institutionalization of politics and the culture of the public. Wickham's achievement contributes richly to our picture of this often narrowly understood period. Maps, illus.