Having your book turned into a movie is like seeing your oxen turned into bouillon cubes.

John LeCarre

Rome's Gothic Wars - From the Third Century to Alaric

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Language: English
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Amazon.com Review

From the Prologue:

Before the Gates of Rome

Late in august 410, a large troop of soldiers bore down on the city of Rome. At their head rode the general Alaric, in the full insignia of a magister militum. It was the highest command in the Roman army, won after years of politicking and military success. But Alaric was more than a Roman general. He was also a Gothic chieftain, some might have said a king. As far as contemporaries were concerned, the soldiers who followed him were Goths. Sometimes, to be sure, Alaric had put his followers at the service of the Roman emperor. When he did so, they became a unit in the Roman army. But their loyalty was to Alaric, not to the emperor or the empire, and everyone knew it. Alaric might be a Roman general, but no one ever mistook his followers for Roman soldiers. They were the Goths, and Alaric had led them against regular imperial armies more than once. In the early fifth century, the line between Roman regiment and barbarian horde was a fine one, and Alaric straddled it as best he could. But no one was quite taken in by appearances, and Alaric never succeeded in turning himself into the legitimate Roman commander he so desperately wanted to be.

Want more? Read the prologue in its entirety.


“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

"Rome's Gothic Wars is a breezy and animated, yet authoritative, look at this remarkable time in history and it's sure to be of interest to anybody with a taste for character-driven history. Kulikowski approaches his subject with both an admirable zeal and a level-headed coolness that makes this book both informative and fun."
Military History Online

"Kulikowski does an excellent job in putting together such a confused history into this brief but effective narrative."
Divi Filius, UNRV History - Roman Empire

"The book is easy to read, the narrative flows well and there are many subheadings within the chapters that keep the pace moving at an appropriate rate for an introductory text. In such a short space of 184 pages the author does an exceptional job of introducing the key debates of this complex and sometimes volatile topic, while still presenting a solid contemporary analysis of the most recent sources.

"Rome's Gothic Wars is likely to surprise even experienced students of the period with its fresh perspective."
The NYMAS Review

"A stimulating new interpretation of Gothic origins and of such storied figures as Alaric, the sacker of Rome, and Theodosius, the exiled Roman commander who revived Roman fortunes after Adrianople. Worthwhile, too, is the accompanying narrative that gives a crisp and readable account of events from the Gothic arrival in the empire to Alaric's sack of Rome...Germanic origins have long been concealed in forest mists, but Kulikowski's study of the Goths brings much to light and is not to be missed."
Lawrence A. Tritle, Loyola Marymount University, Military History

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