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eBook Restorer of the World: The Roman Emperor Aurelian download

by John White

eBook Restorer of the World: The Roman Emperor Aurelian download ISBN: 1862272506
Author: John White
Publisher: Spellmount (October 1, 2006)
Language: English
Pages: 256
ePub: 1665 kb
Fb2: 1687 kb
Rating: 4.5
Other formats: docx rtf txt lrf
Category: Biography
Subcategory: Historical

The Roman Emperor Aurelian: Restorer of the World Hardcover

The Roman Emperor Aurelian: Restorer of the World Hardcover.

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The Roman Empire was now whole again courtesy of Aurelian’s brilliant strategic and tactical mind. Unfortunately, Aurelian was assassinated in Thrace just a year after this. The Senate bestowed upon him the well-deserved title of Restitutor Orbis: Restorer of the World. We never saw much of his capacity to operate as a peacetime ruler, so we won’t know how the Roman Empire would have evolved with Aurelian as the guiding hand rather than Diocletian. In my view, he served his historical role admirably: putting the pieces back together.

His achievements enabled the Roman Empire to survive for another two centuries, ensuring a lasting legacy of Roman civilization for the successor European states. Without Aurelian, the 'Dark Ages' would probably have lasted centuries longer. Pen & Sword Books The Limited.

The ancient Sibylline prophecies had foretold that the Roman Empire would last for 1000 years

The ancient Sibylline prophecies had foretold that the Roman Empire would last for 1000 years. As the time for the expected dissolution approached in the middle of the third century AD, the empire was lapsing into chaos, with seemingly interminable civil wars over the imperial succession. The western empire had seceded under a rebel emperor and the eastern empire was controlled by another usurper. Barbarians took advantage of the anarchy to kill and plunder all over the provinces.

The Roman Empire almost disintegrated in the 3rd Century AD, under the onslaught of barbarians and the defections of rebel governors, the general-emperor Aurelian. The ancient Sibylline prophecies had foretold that the Roman Empire would last for 1000 years. The western empire had seceded under a rebel emperor and the eastern empire was controlled by another usurper

Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "The Roman Emperor Aurelian: Restorer of. .Barbarians took advantage of the anarchy to kill and plunder all over the provinces

Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "The Roman Emperor Aurelian: Restorer of the World" для чтения в офлайн-режиме. Yet within the space of just five years, the general, later emperor Aurelian had expelled all the barbarians from with the Roman frontiers, re-united the entire empire and inaugurated major reforms of the currency, pagan religion and civil administration. His accomplishments have been hailed by classical scholars as those of a 'superman', yet Aurelian himself remains little known to a wider audience.

The Roman Empire almost disintegrated in the 3rd Century AD, under the onslaught of barbarians and the defections of rebel governors, the general-emperor Aurelian restored the whole Roman world allowing the empire to survive just long enough for civilization to b.

The Roman Empire almost disintegrated in the 3rd Century AD, under the onslaught of barbarians and the defections of rebel governors, the general-emperor Aurelian restored the whole Roman world allowing the empire to survive just long enough for civilization to be salvaged after the Dark Ages. This is the first non-specialist book to be devoted to this extraordinary, yet little known, Roman emperor folowing his carrer from obscurity to savior of the Empire.

The Roman Empire almost disintegrated in the 3rd Century AD, under the onslaught of barbarians and the defections of rebel governors, the general-emperor Aurelian restored the whole Roman world allowing the empire to survive just long enough for civilization to be salvaged after the Dark Ages. This is the first non-specialist book to be devoted to this extraordinary, yet little known, Roman emperor folowing his carrer from obscurity to savior of the Empire. The author's original research uses the most up-to-date interpretations of ancient literature and inscriptions to examine Aurelian's methods and achievements. Details of the little-described 3rd Century Roman army are also included, as are many photographs.
Comments: (7)
ACOS
This book is a biography of the little-known late Roman Emperor Aurelian who reigned in the Third Century AD. Aurelian is the man traditionally credited with saving the Roman Empire from the brink of disaster. This is probably overstating the case, but White would very much like to convince you otherwise. The book begins with two chapters summing up Republican and Imperial history up till that time. This is matched with the final two chapters which cover Roman history after his time. These summaries are fairly superficial and are intended merely to bring the non-academic audience up-to-date. There are some very nice pictures of Rome and some of coins. Given the relatively minor role of Rome by this point they seem a strange choice to focus on and likely represent the author's interest rather than the book's focus. There are also a number of maps which appear to be hand drawn. The battle maps in particular are not as useful as they should be since the landscape is based entirely of the literary descriptions as the real battlefields are unknown. The maps of the empire however are fairly accurate.

The big problem with this book is that it is almost entirely written record-based. Archaeology plays a very small role in the book, only showing up in the context of material gleamed from other writers discussing similar events in detail. It is also almost exclusively Latin based with Greek sources only playing a minor role. The author is an expert at Latin, but doesn't know Greek so this tendency is to be expected. This leads to very real problems when it comes to the use of Greek sources. With Zosimus for example he uses a copy by an unknown translator from 1814, while for Dexippus and Peter the Patrician he uses the Latin translations from the Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum. The 1814 translation is badly outdated (obviously) but the Latin translations are reasonably accurate.

While these problems may sound damning they are not entirely so. The Latin sources generally need to be relied heavily on for this period as they were written closer to the time in question and cover the period in its entirety.The epitomes of the 4th Century are based off of the postulated Kaisergeschichte and are fairly accurate if brief, while the earliest surviving sources in Greek come from the 6th Century and deal primarily with later events. That is not to dismiss the problem entirely. Archaeological work (especially numismatics) is vital to produce an accurate chronology of this period. Zosimus is vital for any understanding of the situation in Palmyra, and Zonaras (a 12th Century source) contains much that is not found elsewhere. His use of these works is erratic at best (I'm not sure he even uses Zonaras) and based entirely off a poor translation. He also doesn't bother citing his information most of the time (less than a citation a page) which is likely to be infuriating for a historian.

The problem with the Latin sources is rather more serious. White uses the Historia Augusta (HA) fairly uncritically as a source for Aurelian's reign. The HA is the late antique historian's bette noir. It's accuracy has been questioned since at least Gibbon, and for the last hundred years it has been fairly convincingly shown that this work was actually written by one author in the late 4th Century rather than six in the late 3rd and early 4th as is claimed within the book. The authors use anachronistic terms that would have been meaningless in the 3rd Century, reference political families that would not rise to prominence until the 370s and generally maintain a fairly consistent air of fantasy. As proof of many of their most ridiculous claims they quote letters and documents in the manner of Suetonius, except that while Suetonius as the Emperor's secretary had access to the Imperial archives, the author of the HA simply and obviously makes them up. Even in his first biography (and the early lives are generally regarded as more accurate than the later ones) he has Hadrian talking to a consul who wouldn't achieve that position for four years about his son who he wouldn't adopt for six years. As such, historians have to be extremely careful when basing any of their material off of the HA unless they can find corroboration elsewhere.

White of course argues the opposite. While not entirely disregarding the evidence for a late 4th Century authorship date he believes in the multiple authors and has used computer analysis in an attempt to prove it. To his credit he merely states that this shows that the case for a single author is unproven and not disproven, but it is obvious that he believes the former to be the case. He believes in the accuracy of the HA in a way that suggests to me that he entirely misses the point of earlier critiques. His assumption is that the HA, whenever it was written, was the work of men attempting to record the truth from shaky and unreliable eyewitness testimony. To him this accounts for the discrepancies and blatant errors. The problem is that the general consensus is that this is exactly the opposite of the truth. There are enough obviously fictitious elements in the work to make it clear that the author could in no way have been writing a sober, reliable history and was most likely falsifying what little he knew in order to entertain or amuse. The other alternative is that he was simply uncritically copying the lies and falsifications of others. I am personally of the opinion that the entire work is but a parody of the often ridiculous stories told by biographers. White believes that ancient historians are simply unfamiliar with the unreliability of such eyewitness accounts without considering the fact that all such ancient works were written in that way. A generally unreliable and sloppy historian can indeed be recognized whatever the nature of his sources. By any standards the HA is a mess, and to just assume that it is an honest attempt to record the past (even if just as a record of what was currently believed) is a dangerous assumption and ignores the sections (such as the letters) that have been shown to be deliberate falsifications.

Despite what the blurb says about there being no up-to-date biography of Aurelian just such a book was published in 2004, two years before this one came out. While the situation described might have been true at the time when White began his book it seems either sloppy or deceptive to describe it that way in the author section (especially since he cites that work in his book). The other book is called Aurelian and the Third Century and it is a far superior work to this one. I would strongly recommend seeking that book out instead. Had that book not come out I would likely be singing this book's praises (but not unconditionally) for bringing a little known period of Roman history to light. As it is it's simply the second best book on the subject, and not a very close second either. This book's positive aspects in comparison to that one: It is more readable, better designed for the beginner, and offers a pretty clear summary of his reign. People looking for a light read who aren't put off by the price tag and don't intend to use it as a source may find this book the superior one. Those who want to read a more in-depth work or need it for a source would be well advised to search out the other one. As I've said, it doesn't seem fair to judge this book too harshly simply because a better one exists, so I've given it the rating it would have earned on its own.
Akinohn
Of course readers interested in the Crisis of the Third Century have to know that there was a Crisis of the Third Century and therefore probably have a deal of knowledge about Roman history. At that point the reader would probably already be familiar with varying theories as to the cause of the crisis and some of the key personalities and events during this tumultuous era where only one Roman Emperor in about fifty years died of a cause other than murder.
The empire was torn apart by rival generals while both the rampaging Goths and a resurgent Persian Empire attacked Roman territory. Meanwhile hyperinflation had gotten so bad that the government would not accept its own gravely debased coins. The role of Emperor was a poisoned chalice with never-ending intrigue by generals plotting to replace the current emperor with any successor available. Things reached their nadir when Valerian was taken captive by Shapur while Goths took the area between the Rhine and Danube and Roman generals were encouraged to break away from or take over the Empire.
John F. White's book is the most accessible description of this story, centered on the figure of Aurelian, the general-emperor who went very far to fix the damage of the previous four-plus decades. But he also skillfully telescopes 91 years of history to just the important political, economical, strategic, military and religious events during this period.
John F. White uses the scanty documented history plus more recently found inscription and numismatic finds to fill in as best we can the complicated story of this era. He brings the reader up to speed on the available sources and gives his opinion on the reliability of them. This reviewer may have a point of departure from White regarding the veracity of the Historia Augusta, but that is no reason to dismiss anything White has to say. I almost wish he could expand this book into a fuller history of the Roman Century of Crisis, but essentially the most important points are covered in Restorer of the World and a larger history of the entire era seems almost superfluous to all but a few (like me) with deep interest in this extremely fascinating and dramatic era. I am interested in any other histories White may have written about Classical Antiquity. Most of all White is a good read, getting you up to speed but not losing your interest as a reader.
Gaeuney
Excellent book. Good information!
Lahorns Gods
So many accomplishments in such a short reign. He was one of the great emperors of Rome.
Gathris
Great book, one of my favorites. Aurelian is my favorite Emperor. History should have given him the title, "the Great." He certainly deserved it. His accomplishments were grand.
Grotilar
Aurelian is one of my favorite topics of Roman history, and John White's book has done it a great service. John White has demonstrated a real commitment to the ancient sources which I really appreciate.