On August 9, ad 378, outside Adrianople in the Roman province of Thrace, the Roman Empire began to fall. Two years earlier, an unexpected flood of refugees from the tribe known as the Goths had arrived at the Empire's eastern border, seeking admittance. In the David-and-Goliath struggle that ensued, the barbarians eventually inflicted upon the Roman Army the most disastrous defeat they had suffered since Hannibal's victory over them almost 600 years earlier. Although the Empire did not actually fall for another century, this battle signalled nothing less than the end of the ancient world and the opening of the Middle Ages. Barbero vividly recreates the events leading up to the last epic battle of the ancient world, and a significant turning point in world history. The Day of the Barbarians is military history at its gripping best.
Alessandro Barbero teaches Medieval Studies at the Universit del Piemonte Orientale. A previous winner of the Strega Prize, Italy's most prestigious literary award, he is the author of Charlemagne: Father of a Continent , The Battle: A New History of Waterloo (Atlantic Books, 2005) and The Day of the Barbarians: The First Battle in the Fall of the Roman Empire (Atlantic Books, 2007).
Barbero has mastered the vast scholarly output on his subject. He possesses the historian's gift of summarizing a complex situation in a single sentence.
Spectator - Raymond Carr
On the lines of Peter Heather's brilliant The Fall of the Roman Empire... A cracking tale, well researched and beautifully paced.
Literary Review - Peter Jones
[Barbero's] lucid, flowing narrative not only brings alive the military leaders and the problems they had to overcome, but also re-creates the lot of the ordinary footsoldiers. Rarely is history recounted in such a stimulating fashion.
Yorkshire Evening Post
Elegant and pleasurable - what a joy it is to read about the ancient world in digestible portions.
New York Times - Steve Coates