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The Inheritance of Rome

Illuminating the Dark Ages 400-1000
Narrated by: James Cameron Stewart
Length: 32 hrs and 6 mins
4 out of 5 stars (91 ratings)
Regular price: $39.95
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Publisher's Summary

Prizewinning historian Chris Wickham defies the conventional view of the Dark Ages in European history with a work of remarkable scope and rigorous yet accessible scholarship. Drawing on a wealth of new material and featuring a thoughtful synthesis of historical and archaeological approaches, Wickham argues that these centuries were critical in the formulation of European identity. Far from being a middle period between more significant epochs, this age has much to tell us in its own right about the progress of culture and the development of political thought.

Sweeping in its breadth, Wickham's incisive history focuses on a world still profoundly shaped by Rome, which encompassed the remarkable Byzantine, Carolingian, and Ottonian empires, and peoples ranging from Goths, Franks, and Vandals to Arabs, Anglo-Saxons, and Vikings.

Digging deep into each culture, Wickham constructs a vivid portrait of a vast and varied world stretching from Ireland to Constantinople, the Baltic to the Mediterranean. The Inheritance of Rome brilliantly presents a fresh understanding of the crucible in which Europe would ultimately be created.

©2009 Chris Wickham (P)2018 Tantor

What members say

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent Intro to An Obscure Period

Writing for a non-specialist audience, Wickham has summed up the past generation of research into this most obscure of Western historical periods. Usually characterized as the "Fall of Rome" and the "Dark Ages," this book traces continuities and evolution across the entire Western world (ie, everything West of Persia), with major coverage of Byzantium and Islam.

i'm not the scholar to review this book in detail, but compared to anything previously available - usually a few chapters in a book focusing on the later Middle Ages - this book raises the bar considerably.

Stewart is a capable reader. However, the recording itself is brassy and can be difficult for sustained listening. Audible could do us a favor by demanding better audio engineering from its contributing companies.

Still, this is a 5-star audiobook, and sets a high standard for the field.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful book by a talented writer and historian

This is a wonderful book by a talented writer and historian. As the title suggests, the continuity between Roman times and the early middle ages is an important theme in the work. The author blends secular and ecclesiastical history together in a way that never becomes tedious and provides insight into both the eastern and western inheritance of Rome and the post-Roman Islamic world. It never bogs down in political history and gives the reader a view of the social and cultural history of the period. The narration is great, 32hrs by any single narrator can get stale, but this one never does. Highly recommended

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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A Treasure to find on Audible!

I hope Audible will provide more books like this one. I could listen to this 100 x. it is that good!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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good info, but very slow

hard to listen to the narrative because it goes into excruciating detail. This is only exacerbated by the slow cadence of the narrator. better to listen at 1.5 speed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • stephen
  • CHICAGO, IL, United States
  • 02-12-19

Dry facts read without feeling

Gave up after a couple hours because it was mostly a litany of names and places read in a purely informational tone. Disappointing because I'm fascinated by this time period.Maybe it gets better as it goes along.

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a masterwork in depth review of it's time frame

masterfully done, Wickham scratches every itch you have in regards to your dark age inquiries